The fate of Sokovia in the climactic moments of Avengers: Age of Ultron has been a major influence on the MCU ever since a huge part of the country fell from the sky in the battle against Ultron. The Avengers' actions in the European city led to the introduction of the Sokovia Accords which sparked the Civil War dividing the team, setting in motion their defeat against Thanos.
Since then, very little has been shown regarding the current status of the decimated country as Sokovia's most famous hero, Wanda Maximoff, has yet to return to her homeland since her cinematic debut.
The Sokovian-born villain Baron Zemo — who divided the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War — makes his return as the main antagonist of Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Recent trailers have confirmed Zemo will visit Sokovia at some point in the series, and a difference in shots been the two trailers have hinted at the state of the country since it was last seen.
THE STATE OF SOKOVIA IN 2023
Avengers: Age of Ultron took place in 2015, so given the time jump of Endgame, Falcon and the Winter Soldier will take place in 2023. This means the citizens of the country will have had a full eight years to clean up their homeland and return it to its previous state — likely with the help of a multitude of global agencies.
So far, fans have been treated to two full trailers for Falcon and the Winter Soldier, one during the Disney Investor Day, and a second during Super Bowl LV. Despite having much of the same footage, one particular shot seems to have a distinct difference between the two trailers.
Both trailers show the series' villain, Baron Zemo, visiting a memorial statue in Sokovia — likely to those who died during Ultron's attack on the country. As pointed out by Reddit user manbeer0071995, the most recent trailer depicts the memorial to be a lot cleaner and more built-up compared to the original look.
It's unclear exactly what this may indicate for the fate of the Eastern-European country. Zemo is seen wearing the same clothes in both shots, likely indicating this is the same shot, but re-edited with CGI to drastically change the appearance.
A NEW AND IMPROVED SOKOVIA
Given the second of the trailers being the most recent version shown to fans, it can be assumed that the second shot is the one most similar to what fans will see in the series. Is this just the VFX team polishing the shot, or is this an indication that Marvel Studios has decided to portray 2023 Sokovia as a more-established state that has succeeded in rebuilding in the years following Ultron's battle?
As a large amount of time has passed since the original attack, it makes sense that the country would be in a significantly improved state by this point. The events of Captain America: Civil War clearly show that the destruction had a huge impact on the world, meaning many international governments, agencies, and companies, would likely have been involved with the clean-up.
Baron Zemo will finally play a larger role in the MCU in the upcoming series, likely in a more comic-accurate version of the character. The series will offer the writers a full six hours to explore the heroes and villains of the series, giving the perfect opportunity to return to Sokovia to see how much it has changed over the last eight years.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will debut exclusively on Disney+ on March 18.