We finally know how 'Wonder Woman 1984' was able to bring back fan-favorite Chris Pine and the sequel handled it perfectly

Chris Pine returns as Steve Trevor in "WW84" with Gal Gadot. Warner bros.
Warning: "Wonder Woman 1984" is facing massive spoilers.
Chris Pine repeats his role as Steve Trevor in the sequel to Wonder Woman.
Ever since the trailers for the film dropped, fans have wondered how the character could return since he was apparently killed in the first episode.
Even so, the sequel uses a clever device to bring Trevor back and help Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) graduate and move forward.
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When Wonder Woman 1984 followers teased the return of Diana Prince's first love, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), fans were massively confused.
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How is that possible when Steve sacrificed himself at the end of the first film set in World War I? And how can Steve still look the same even though 66 years have passed since the first film?
Now that "WW84" is in theaters and is available to be streamed domestically on HBO Max, fans have answered both questions.
Director Patty Jenkins told fans at the 2019 Comic Con Experience in Brazil that Trevor's return would not be a gimmick and she apparently kept her word.
Steve Trevor returns in 'WW84' after Diana Prince made him a reality with a magic stone
Diana accidentally wishes Steve back to life. Warner bros.
Are you really waiting? Yup. That's the big secret.
At the beginning of the film, a mysterious but seemingly harmless artifact is dropped off at the Smithsonian Institute to be used by Dr. Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) about to be inspected.
Diana Prince also happens to work at the Smithsonian as an expert in cultural anthropology and archeology. The two women look over the mysterious three-pointed gemstone held in a circular base. Minerva quickly concludes that it is made from citrine, a type of quartz that has been used in counterfeiting throughout history.
While Minerva initially denies its meaning, saying that it is probably worth no more than $ 75, Diana notices a Latin inscription on it telling its viewer that they can grant a wish.
When an employee hears the two of them, he jokingly touches the stone, wishes for coffee and the stone glows. When he happens to get one almost instantly, Barbara and Diana joke about what they would use their one wish for. Diana says she knows exactly what she would want.
Without knowing that the stone actually fulfills a wish for everyone who touches it, Diana silently wishes the return of her former love, Steve Trevor. It is clear from the start that although Diana has got used to life after Steve's death, she still misses her first love at the end of the day.
Steve reappears in the movie about 45 minutes after the sequel, except that it's not exactly Steve as we remember him.
Steve is brought back into the body of a random man
Diana and Steve spend time catching up on his return. Warner bros.
At a party, a man shouts to Diana. As she tries to fight him off, the man recites some of the last things Steve ever said about her moments before flying to his death in "Wonder Woman" in 2017.
Diana then realizes that this is Steve. Although he doesn't look like Steve - the audience can at first see that he is clearly a different man - he has the awareness and memories of her former flame.
Diana tells "Steve" that all she sees is the love of her life and that we, the audience, see the random man as Steve for the duration of the film. However, everyone else is likely to see the man as his real self.
Waiting. So what's wrong with this magical gem? It's a twist on the monkey's paw.
Pedro Pascal's character, Max Lord, describes the stone as "the dream stone" which seems like a fitting name as it fulfills wishes.
Later in the film, Barbara tries to learn more about the stone. If you pause the film at the right moment, an on-screen description will say that the Latin inscription on the stone reads: "Anulo imposito magnum desideri es um invoca". The direct translation is: "Throw only one great wish on this ring."
We then learn that the stone was brought into being by someone Diana conveniently refers to as the "God of Lies".
The Dream Stone is a twist on The Monkey's Paw, the cautionary short story about receiving three wishes, but receiving consequences for everyone as a result.
The sequel handled Steve's return pretty perfectly. It had the opportunity to trick the viewer and instead was open to the fans from the start
Diana can be closed after Steve's death and accepts that it is okay for her to move on and love again after more than 60 years without him. Warner bros.
If you've followed the movie's production closely, some of the key plot points for the sequel came out of test screenings over a year ago, including the idea that Steve would reappear in the movie at a granted request.
My fear on "Wonder Woman 1984" was that Diana would see Steve return, but she would have no idea that he wasn't real. In return, I feared the audience would believe Steve was really back, only to tear him away again at the end of the film and feel betrayed.
Instead, I was shocked that the audience sequel was so respectful that the viewer could instantly find out what they were doing to Steve. Both "Steve" and Diana talked about how he was able to be back and spent time trying to figure out how and why he was in another man's body. And because viewers were warned pretty early on that Steve wasn't going to stay forever, it gave fans realistic expectations for the film's ending.
Anyone who has ever mourned the loss of a loved one could imagine how difficult it would possibly be to find out that that individual was alive again, only to discover later that it never was. It would be inseparably painful to mourn this loss again.
Steve tells Diana that she has to let him go towards the end of the movie. Warner bros.
When the film was released in 2017, I wrote about how Wonder Woman had the courage to do something no Marvel movie did to kill its protagonist's love interest.
At the time, I wasn't convinced the studio would allow Steve to get killed off the show because Gadot and Pine easily share chemistry on-screen, and Steve is a pretty big character in the comics.
Superheroes, too, are usually (at least in part) defined by their romantic interests. Where would Superman be without Lois Lane or Spidey without Mary Jane Watson?
But instead of using Pine as a crutch, "WW84" used him to help Diana come to an appropriate end to his loss. Rather than trying to keep Steve on for a third Wonder Woman entry, Steve admitted that wasn't the right thing to do and that even Diana knew their time together was limited.
His reappearance in the sequel allowed her to find peace, develop her powers further (she can fly now? And make things invisible? Sure!) And move forward without feeling like a gimmick.
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