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It's been a few weeks since Marvel fans saw the Loki Season 1 ending on Disney+, and, well, we're still not over what happened, OK? There was a lot to absorb in the final installment, which clocked in at a little less than 45 minutes, so it's only natural that viewers will continue to wonder what the events of the finale mean for Season 2, and the MCU as a whole. But, the episode caught audience attention in some major ways just with the opening moments, and now we've heard from director Kate Herron about how that opening scene come together, and what (some of) the deal is with that mystery spaceship.
For those who may have already forgotten, Loki's sixth episode, "For All Time. Always," featured a stunner of an opener. In the previous episode, Loki and Sylvie had made it to the Citadel at the End of Time, but before we see their very intriguing visit with He Who Remains in Episode 6, we are first taken around the universe, time, and All There Is in an opening scene that gives us both cool voiceovers and very cool visuals.
When CinemaBlend's Nick Venable spoke with Loki's director Kate Herron recently, he asked about two specific things shown in that opening: the speedy spaceship that flies by and the double black holes that take us from one reality to the one that holds Loki, Sylvie, and presumably all of the MCU up to this point. When asked if there's anything that audiences should infer from that spaceship, Herron replied:
So I would say that, for the spaceship, it was a fun Marvel nod. We had an homage to Contact, but I was like, 'Okay, how can we get this a bit more MCU flavor?' So it was kind of picking some... I would say if people look at the ship, they will recognize it. It's been in a few things. [Laughs.]
Man, those connected to Marvel sure have fun teasing us and drawing out fan theories, don't they? I do suppose it would be (slightly) less entertaining if we asked these kinds of questions and people like Kate Herron just said, "Oh, yeah! It's XYZ! Have fun with the exact info!" At any rate, here's the ship in question:
As Herron noted, this isn't just a random spaceship created just for the finale opening for Loki. Oh, no. It's Marvel related and has been seen "in a few things." Obviously, no Loki / Marvel personnel has confirmed the origins of this spaceship, and they probably never will (at least until we see it again in an official capacity), but the current guess by folks who like to think about these things is that it's a nod to Marvel's First Family. And, with a Fantastic Four movie in the MCU already in some stage of pre-pre-pre-production with director Jon Watts, that's not a super wild theory.
Remember how Herron mentioned Contact, the 1997 Jodie Foster sci-fi movie? Well, we can thank that film for the double black holes:
And the black holes came out of... I was working with the storyboard artist, Darrin [Denlinger], and I think for us, it was just a case of 'The Contact shot's really cool.' And like, I think it was initially Eric [Martin] had written the idea that we moved through space to the end of time, which I thought was awesome. And then me and Darrin, we were like, 'Okay, well, let's play with time within this actual sequence, and how do we do that?' And I think that's what the two black holes came from.
In Contact, when Foster's character finally takes her solo mission to answer the call of extraterrestrial life, the journey is immediately very trippy. She appears to zoom through several worm holes and / or black holes in order to get to her destination, which is mirrored in our journey during Loki's finale opening. Observe:
Honestly, I still don't understand why there's not more vomit in that scene, but it does look amazing, right? Thank goodness Loki and Sylvie didn't have to actually get to the Citadel at the End of Time like this. That would have made for an even more traumatic finale, I'm pretty sure.
As for the sound that was laid over the opening, it mixed important clips of real-life figures and those of several characters in the MCU. Thereby blending the two realities and helping to show that He Who Remains really is watching and maintaining EVERYTHING. About creating the audio for the scene, and merging that with the next stage of visuals, which show how the Citadel is situated in both space and time, Kate Herron explained:
Then also from beyond that, it was just really fun in terms of creating the soundscape. That came out of like, basically, the visuals were set, and Darrin had pitched this amazing idea of, 'What about when we pull out to the end of time, the timeline is actually a circle, rather than a straight line?' Which I thought was so cool, because you even have Miss Minutes say [in Episode 2], she's like, 'We think of time as a straight line.' And I was like, that's so cool, because then we answer that in the final episode. The TVA's knowledge of the timeline has always been a straight line, so it kind of made me think of like, the Earth was [thought to be] flat, and now we see it differently, and I think that's really cool. So I think it played into that.
Herron then went on to discuss the soundscape and its origins in more detail:
And then the soundscape just started off as something very small I put in there, and then Kevin Feige was like, 'Oh, this is so cool! We've never done voices on the logo.' And then it became this massive group effort of like me, Kevin Wright, my producer, and my editor Emma and her assistant Sara, and working with the Disney diversity team. We were just kind of pulling quotes from all over the Earth really. So I think, for us, it was like a fun way to hand off what had come before in the MCU, but also, I suppose, show the chaos that He Who Remains is living very quietly in the center of. So yeah, it was very fun to put that all together.
Wow. Even with all of Kate Herron's details about the opening sequence of Loki's Season 1 finale, there's still a lot to chew on, right? Well, excuse me while I go rewatch the entire series, and maybe also take another look at Contact, for good measure.
Loki will be back for Season 2 on Disney+, but until we hear more about that, take a gander at the 2021 fall TV schedule!