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Doctor Strange Already Explained Why The Villains Must Die In No Way Home

Doctor Strange says the villains invading the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Spider-Man: No Way Home must die, and he also already showed why in Marvel's What If...?. The latest No Way Home trailer revealed several secrets from the upcoming film. First, the villains from past Spider-Man movies don't recognize Tom Holland's Spider-Man, definitively showing they are from other universes. "You're not Peter Parker," Alfred Molina's Doc Ock says after unmasking Holland's character. Additionally, Parker wants to save the villains' lives, but Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) insists they are all destined to die fighting Spider-Man. "It's their fate," he says.

What If...? was Marvel's attempt at showing all the various possibilities for MCU stories. The series showed how small changes could lead to massive differences. For instance, in the series premiere, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) took the Super Soldier Serum instead of Steve Rogers (voiced by Josh Keaton). As a result, Peggy becomes Captain Carter and leads the effort against Hydra. In another episode, zombies take over the MCU. Because of this, several characters, including Evangeline Lilly's Hope Van Dyne, Jon Favreau's Happy Hogan, and Emily VanCamp's Sharon Carter, join the undead army.

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Doctor Strange claims the invading Spider-Man villains in No Way Home must die, and What If...? may clear up that point. In What If..? episode 4, Doctor Strange doesn't lose his hands in his tragic car crash. Instead, he loses Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). Doctor Strange learns from the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) that Palmer's death is an absolute point and can't be changed, but he decides to save her anyway. Unfortunately, by reversing Palmer's death, Doctor Strange destroys his universe. Therefore, if Doctor Strange allows Spider-Man to save the villains in No Way Home, it could have similarly catastrophic results.

Absolute points in the MCU weren't a thing until Doctor Strange's episode of What If...?. The episode explains certain events must happen, or the results will be chaos and destruction. With Doctor Strange insistent that the villains need to die in the No Way Home trailer, it makes sense that the deaths are also absolute points. If they don't happen, it could destroy the universe. This would also further explain why Doctor Strange's episode of What If...? introduced the concept of absolute points. Since a version of Doctor Strange helps introduce the idea to the MCU, he'd be the best one to explain it to Spider-Man.

If the villain deaths are examples of absolute points, the end of the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer could be more evidence. In the final moments of the latest footage for the film, Doctor Strange anxiously warns that something terrible is starting to come through to the main MCU timeline. "And I can't stop them," he says. Since Marvel's What If...? explains that reversing absolute points results in chaos, this could be what's happening in the final scenes. But, of course, in the end, all of this could've been avoided if Peter Parker had just followed the Doctor's orders.

More: Tom Holland’s Ominous Spider-Man Quotes Tease Tobey Maguire’s Return

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