How Wonder Woman 1984 Sets Up Diana’s DCEU Future & Ending
Wonder Woman 1984 represents the latest chapter in Diana Prince’s DCEU journey, and it sets up both the future and ending for Gal Gadot’s character.
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Wonder Woman 1984 sets up Diana Prince’s future in the DCEU, while also laying the groundwork for how her story might end too. Set over 60 years after the events of 2017’s Wonder Woman, WW84 finds Diana in the titular year, working at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and continuing to act as Wonder Woman in secret. In some ways, Diana remains unchanged, as she continues to mourn the loss of Steve Trevor, but the film does open up new directions for her character.
While Diana doesn’t face a threat as otherworldly as Ares, the villain of Wonder Woman, WW84 does find ways of challenging her. Physically, she must overcome the challenge of Barbara Minerva, who is imbued with powers like her own; mentally, she has to figure out a way to defeat Maxwell Lord and his Dreamstone abilities; emotionally, she has to accept letting go of Steve, and learn to cope with losing him all over again.
With solo films set during World War I and the 1980s, the DCEU has yet to fully explore Wonder Woman’s story. She has, of course, been part of team-ups Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and then Justice League, both of which Wonder Woman 1984 nods towards. But there’s also room for more exploration of her as an individual, both filling in gaps between Wonder Woman 1984 and those other movies, but also a modern set film as well, be it Wonder Woman 3 or another sequel, and WW84 leaves several possibilities open for her future and ending.
How Wonder Woman 1984 Sets Up Diana’s DCEU Future
With Patty Jenkins committed to making a Star Wars movie, then the timeline of making and releasing Wonder Woman 3 is unclear, but the movie is expected to happen at some point. Wonder Woman 1984 offers a few clues as to where the story could go, and just how Diana’s story will progress. In terms of her character, by renouncing her wish and letting Steve go, it established a Diana who is finally ready to move on and become slightly more open. That won’t necessarily mean letting go of her secret identity at any point, though it’s possible that could happen in a more modern DCEU sequel, but it does at least make for a Diana more willing to open herself up to others again. That’s obviously an impending factor as it further established her working with Batman and the rest of the Justice League, but could also be explored for more personal relationships too.
That also serves to setup Diana’s possible role in the DCEU’s future in a broader sense, too. While she is working in secret, the appearances of Wonder Woman make for something that represents hope, which is among the big takeaways of her character from Wonder Woman 1984. This was true in 2017’s Wonder Woman as well, but Wonder Woman 1984’s story happening more publicly, even if Diana does block the cameras, sets the stage of a hero more well known and celebrated by the world. With Superman’s future unclear in the DCEU, then it sets the stage of Wonder Woman to be that beacon of light in the darkness. This is something continued in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, with a shot of a smiling Wonder Woman meeting a young girl the kind of optimistic scene that points to the character’s role going forward.
In terms of the more overt story, then there are a couple of different directions Wonder Woman 3 could go in. Wonder Woman 1984’s post-credits scene reveals that Asteria is still alive, played by Lynda Carter, which is an obvious tease for more. Diana discovering that Asteria is still around could be used to explain why she doesn’t have the Golden Eagle Armor in Batman v Superman or Justice League, as she might give it back to its original owner. But it could go deeper too, drawing Diana further back to her Amazonian roots and perhaps allowing a sequel to explore more of Themyscira, or to explore how Amazons should operate in the world of men, either with Diana and Asteria working together or having conflicting approaches.
Alongside that, there’s the potential return of Cheetah in Wonder Woman 3. While Maxwell Lord’s story is resolved by the end of WW84, Barbara’s is not. Viewers do get to se her turn back into a human, but there’s no exploration of her renouncing her wish or how she truly feels about what happened. With that, then there is definitely room for a return in some form, whether that’s as a villain again or working with Diana in some way, or perhaps even both.
How Wonder Woman 1984 Sets Up Diana’s DCEU Ending
While Diana has a bright future in the DCEU after Wonder Woman 1984, the movie also hints at how her story could end. That may not be anytime soon, especially if Wonder Woman 3 does happen, but if there are long-term plans for the franchise then it’s likely she will exit at some point as the next generation of heroes is introduced, similar to what the MCU did with Iron Man and Captain America. Indeed, the fates of those two characters could, if combined, give a blueprint for how Diana’s story may come to a close. As a demigoddess who ages very slowly, then she could theoretically live for several more centuries, but that would further mean watching all those she’s come to care about die. Wonder Woman is a great hero who’ll always fight for what’s right, but eventually she deserves to be able to find peace.
The return of Steve Trevor suggests that Diana’s story could well end with him, similar to Captain America and Peggy Carter; people out of time, who love each other dearly and deserve a chance to be together. While there is much more to Diana’s character than her romance, Steve is very much established as the great love of her life, something that Wonder Woman 1984 really hammers home. She may well find love again, but Steve is seemingly The One, and so it would be fitting if, when her time does come – perhaps with a heroic sacrifice – that she gets to have a happy ever after with him.
This wouldn’t be time travel, but Wonder Woman 1984 established the afterlife exists in the DCEU. Steve doesn’t remember it exactly, but knows that it was somewhere “good,” with the implication being it’s a form of heaven. While Greek Myth and DC Comics alike have both established the Elysian Fields as an afterlife plane for fallen Amazons, the workings aren’t established in the DCEU, so it could be possible that Diana does eventually get her happy ending with Steve, in a way where both of them can be together. Given how Steve’s return happens by taking over someone else’s body, then them being together in a way that transcends physical forms could be particularly fitting.