Warning — This article contains spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984.
Wonder Woman 1984 is now out in the wilds, with thoughts, opinions, and reactions running wild not that the film has released in the US and worldwide.
Much of this early buzz has been positive, praising the film for its performances from its main cast, spectacular action sequences, and emotionally resonant moments. Just prior to the release, an online premiere was held with the cast and crew. Following this, the opening scene was released to give fans a taste of what to expect, including impressive set pieces and a gorgeous score from Hans Zimmer.
With the film officially out there, director Patty Jenkins has discussed its development and production at length. The Wonder Woman director revealed that studio heads forced her to alter the ending of the 2017 film, something that Jenkins ensured did not occur again for WW84. Jenkins has also shifted gears with her idea for a third film in the franchise, which could've been a result of the announcement of her Star Wars: Rogue Squadron film.
Jenkins has teased that there is indeed a post-credits scene that critics were not shown. Now that the film is out, let's dig into its final sequence and what it could mean for the DCEU...
THE WW84 POST-CREDITS SCENE
In Wonder Woman 1984, Diana Prince is shown to be in possession of golden, eagle-like armor that has been previewed in numerous trailers and promotional materials. Diana tells Steve Trevor that the armor previously belonged to Asteria, an Amazonian warrior who had this plating forged from the armor of all the other Amazons of Themyscira. Asteria used the unbreakable armor to defend the Amazons and sacrificed herself to protect her homeland and people.
Or so we thought. The post-credits scene tracks a brown-haired woman through a crowded marketplace. A service pole falls towards a mother with a stroller, only for the mysterious woman to catch the object before it can hit them. The woman is revealed to be Asteria alive and well, played by none other than Lynda Carter, the original Wonder Woman.
Lynda Carter portrayed Diana Prince in the original Wonder Woman television series from 1975 to 1979, instantly becoming iconic in the role.
Carter has appeared in other select DC proprieties, including Moira Sullivan in Smallville and U.S. President Olivia Marsdin in Supergirl.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE DCEU
This post-credits serves as a fun homage to the Wonder Woman who started it all, paying respect to the iconography and legacy of Lynda Carter's performance. It feels only right that Lynda Carter is playing a hero of legend in the world of the DCEU, much as she played a legendary hero on the small screen in the world of our own.
It is notable, too, that Carter not only plays Asteria in this post-credits scene, but also during the flashback sequence with the character. Audiences will be able to briefly see a closeup of her eyes in this scene, allowing eagle-eyed fans to potentially recognize the actress before the grand reveal during the credits.
While Lynda Carter is not playing another version of Wonder Woman here, this inclusion does mark the start of an upcoming trend for the DCEU. The multiverse is DC's future, with numerous Batman actors being brought back for Ezra Miller's The Flash. DC and Warner Bros. seem to be banking on the love and nostalgia for previous DC incarnations, as Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck's Dark Knights will open the door for past actors to reprise their roles.
DC has already started doing this with their TV division, with Ezra Miller reprising his role as Justice League's Barry Allen on the CW's The Flash and Brandon Routh playing a version of Superman during the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event. Therefore, it is very likely that DC will ramp up the cameos and actor returns in future film and television projects, especially with Marvel Studios already hot on their tails in this regard with Spider-Man 3.
Perhaps we could see a return for Danny Devito as the Penguin in The Flash or Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan in the Green Lantern HBO Max series? Maybe Christian Bale could come back as Bruce Wayne, now that he has returned to the superhero sphere with Thor: Love and Thunder? Anything is possible with a multiverse model to on-screen storytelling and fan hunger to see their favorite characters back in-action.
Lynda Carter's inclusion as Asteria could also potentially indicate a plot thread in a Wonder Woman threequel. Though it is most likely that her appearance was just a lighthearted cameo, Carter's willingness to return in WW84 could possibly lead to Asteria and Diana crossing paths later down the line. Asteria seems to have kept busy with her own hero duties on Earth, so perhaps the two Wonder Women could team up together. Or who knows, perhaps Lynda Carter will get the chance to reprise her role as Wonder Woman one more time.
Wonder Woman 1984 releases in theaters and on HBO Max on December 25, 2020.