Well, that twist in Captain Marvel was unexpected.

Marvel's latest film takes a few liberties with the source material, tweaking the backstory of Carol Danvers to create a compelling and surprising narrative. Never did we expect the Kree to be the movie's main villains. (Although, perhaps the fact that Ronan the Accuser later works with Thanos should have given it away.)

The really big twist came when Captain Marvel revealed that Annette Bening was playing the role of Mar-Vell, who in the comics is male. We knew Bening's role would be important, but we didn't expect that.

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Who is Mar-Vell?

In the movie, Bening portrays a few different characters. First, she's introduced as the Kree's Supreme Intelligence, which is a collective embodiment of the Kree's greatest minds. The Supreme Intelligence appears in different forms depending on who is interacting with it.

Everything you need to know about Captain Marvel

Bening is later revealed to be a woman named Dr. Wendy Lawson, who we learn is a scientist on Earth developing an experimental light speed engine using the power of the Tesseract. But that's not her real identity either.

We find out that Bening is actually playing a Kree named Mar-Vell—one of Marvel comics' most famous characters. Mar-Vell reveals that she's on Earth developing the engine to help the Skrulls escape persecution from the Kree. She's there to help end the war, rather than keep it going.

A different origin

Mar-Vell is the original Captain Marvel in the comics. Created in 1967, he was a powerful Kree warrior sent to spy on Earth. But shortly after arrival, he vows to protect the planet and assumes the identity of Captain Marvel. As a result, he becomes an enemy of the Kree, particularly of Yon-Rogg, who is played by Jude Law in the movie.

Like the film, Mar-Vell becomes a mentor to Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. Eventually, an accident occurs that imbues Danvers with Mar-Vell's powers, and the two are forever intertwined, as the new Captain Marvel must carry on Mar-Vell's legacy.

How Captain Marvel ties into Avengers: Endgame

In the movie, Carol receives her powers when she blows up Mar-Vell's light speed engine and absorbs the energy, making her into a powerful hero. By choosing to blow up the engine, she ensures Yon-Rogg can't get his hands on it, and also establishes herself as the new protector of the Skrulls.

It's a nice twist on Mar-Vell's original story and helps better serve the origin of Carol Danvers becoming Captain Marvel.

Higher, Further, Faster

Captain Marvel

A solid, if predictable, balance of action and giggles.

Captain Marvel reaches out to every corner of the Cinematic Universe in an attempt to tie this new character into the whole series so far. But the movie struggles with classic prequel story mistakes while relying on a standard origin story format we've seen so many times already.

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