Back in Civil War, Tony Stark introduced a self-therapy machine which he renamed as B.A.R.F.. Even though he soon realized that he had to rework that acronym, it’s obvious that Quentin Beck was bound to get angry over it. After all, it was his life’s work and we know it for a fact that it was capable of doing so much more than just allowing people to grieve properly. While it fully showed up in Spider-Man: Far From Home after Captain America: Civil War, it was presumed that we’d see a bit of it in Avengers: Endgame.
This presumption was enabled by none other than Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo, who hinted that BARF could play a role in Endgame. All this happened after a briefcase titled “Binary Augmented Retro Framing” (BARF) was spotted in the Avengers: Endgame set photos. Here’s what Joe Russo exactly stated on MTV‘s Happy Sad Confused podcast back in 2018:
“Certainly, there is a five minute sequence in Civil War around a piece of technology that was laid in for a very specific reason. If you go back and look at that film, you may get a hint as to the direction.”
Now it has become clear that the creatives behind Infinity War and Endgame tried to derail our assumptions not once, but multiple times. Last year, they did it by saying that Nova was a part of the Avengers: Endgame battle. And then a few hours later, they said that they meant it as a joke. Every website and company that deals with comic book related stuff spent hours trying to find Nova among 100s of people in the Avengers army. All that hard work was for nothing. But, it’d be fair to say that our theories that tried to answer how BARF would be involved in Avengers: Endgame didn’t go in vain. That’s because before Spider-Man: Far From Home, BARF does actually show up in Endgame for a very brief ‘blink & you’ll miss it’ moment.
When Tony gives Cap his shield back, he also takes out another orange briefcase which looks a lot like the BARF tech briefcase we saw in the set photos. This little detail was spotted by Erik Voss from New Rockstars who has done some remarkable work with his Infinity Saga Rewatch. His finding has allowed us to see Endgame’s Time Heist with a new perspective.
Since BARF was involved, we assume that Tony Stark had probably designed several simulations that’d allow the Avengers to practice their time heist. We’ve seen evidence that the Avengers had planned to go to several different time periods (one being to 2009 and the other being 2988 BC). But if you think about it, to recreate the situation & surroundings in order to obtain the Tesseract and Loki’s scepter with BARF would be easy. That’s because Tony & the other 5 OG Avengers were all there during the events of the first Avengers movie. So we reckon that through a real life simulation that was created by BARF, Tony, Steve & Scott may have practiced what they have to do when they go back in time.
As for the others, we don’t think that they would’ve got to practice their time heists. That’s because even though BARF allows one to create impossible visuals, those visuals still need to be imagined & created by someone. Since no one had been to the Sanctum Sanctorum, or Vormir, or even to the “Temple of the Power Stone” on Morag, it would’ve been impossible to recreate a simulation that is the exact replica of the situations & surroundings of the past.
Since Thor wasn’t in a great space of mind, we believe that he wouldn’t have been of any help to recreate an Asgardian simulation that’d help him & Rocket to extract the Aether from Jane. Hence, the only ones who may have had some practice in the time heist were Cap, Tony & Scott. Remember Cap’s speech that had impressed Rocket right before all the Avengers left for the Time Heist? He said:
“Most of us are going somewhere we know, that doesn’t mean we should know what to expect. Be careful. Look out for each other. This is the fight of our lives. And we’re going to win. Whatever it takes. Good luck.”
“Most of us are going somewhere we know” might actually imply to the mission practice that they did with BARF. Anyway, if you think about it, isn’t it funny that even after Tony got to practice his mission, he still botched it? But that’s gotta be okay because he made up by knowing where he & Cap could get more Pym Particles and the Tesseract at the same time. Eric Voss implies in his video that Tony Stark was able to suddenly remember the 1970s location of the S.H.I.E.L.D. base because he had recreated that location using BARF. But I’m going to differ from his analysis here because the 1970s location was never in the plans. And, we have evidence as to how exactly did Tony know where to go.
This evidence was mentioned in the Endgame script’s page 33, where it was clearly written that there was a photo of Howard, Hank and Peggy at Tony’s cabin. This photo was taken at the S.H.I.E.L.D. base which Cap & Tony infiltrated. This photo may or may not have showed up in one of the deleted scenes, but here’s how it was mentioned in the script:
“PHOTOS crowd a side table: Pepper, Morgan, Tony. Even one of HOWARD STARK, PEGGY CARTER & HANK PYM UNDER A SHIELD SYMBOL.”
Tony knew about this location because of this photo at his cabin. Tony told Cap that he had a “vaguely exact idea” of when Howard Stark and Hank Pym were at the military installation in Garden state. Cap asked “How Vague?” So, clearly, Cap didn’t know about the Tesseract and Pym particles being there. No one else knew about it because it wasn’t in the plans that the Avengers had come up with. Hence, a simulation for it wasn’t designed. It couldn’t have been designed anyway because none of the Avengers were actually there, so they couldn’t have imagined it.
Anyway, it’s really cool that BARF was a part of Avengers: Endgame, and no one spoiled it because it was supposed to play a major role in Spider-Man: Far From Home. It’d be interesting if some future film actually revisits Avengers: Endgame and tells us how exactly BARF turned out to be a major help in the Time Heist.
Directed by Joe & Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Vin Diesel as Groot, Dave Bautista as Drax, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, William Hurt as General Ross, Tilda Swinton as Ancient One and Josh Brolin as Thanos.
How do you think BARF could have come of aid in the Time Heist? Was it able to recreate a simulation for every location? Or did Tony & co only practice in the Avengers tower simulation? Tell us in the comments down below.