After countless delays and dramas, the long, overstretched waiting is now over- Wonder Woman 1984 is finally here. Even before the film released, it was already known that the story would see Gal Gadot back as the badass Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman, Kristen Wiig becoming the "apex predator," and Pedro Pascal's Maxwell Lord at the heart of a massive calamity. But rest assured, WW1984 does pack its fair share of surprises and that includes a nostalgic cameo aptly added to the story. And if our deductions (as well as the desperate hopes) are right, it's slated to be so much more than just fan service.
(The following article contains major spoilers from Wonder Woman 1984. Turn away now if you haven't seen it yet)
Earlier in December, director Patty Jenkins had shared with Collider how the mid-credits in Wonder Woman 1984 would serve as a "button" to the movie. But it's not merely there to conclude the film, as the credits scene includes none other than the original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter who played the superhero for the first time back in 1975! The best thing is that Jenkins didn't opt for Marvel's trending multiverse trick- Carter doesn't appear as an alternate version of the Amazonian princess from another universe. She is introduced as Asteria who died decades ago, long before Diana left Themyscira. But she is, in a way, still Wonder Woman.
Who was Asteria?
As Jenkins wanted Carter as the big reveal of Wonder Woman 1984, not many details were dished about the character. In a brief scene, a resurrected Steve comes across a shiny gold armour in Diana's house and inquiries about its origins. In response, Diana narrates the story of Asteria, the bravest Amazonian warrior. Eons ago, after the warriors got into a battle with mankind, they had no choice but to find safety on the island of Themyscira.
But as mankind was dead set on killing them, Asteria volunteered to hold back the attackers to allow her fellow warriors to flee. To give her a fighting chance, every other warrior gave up their armour so a strong and durable armour, the Golden Eagle armour, could be fashioned for Asteria. Her sacrifice paid off and the remaining warriors fled to the island but they never forgot her and even held their annual games in her memory.
Diana shares that in the years that passed since the events of the first film, she searched for Asteria, hoping that she would have survived the countless attackers and was now, simply living amongst humans. But all she found was her armour. Towards the end of the film, Diana does don the golden armour as seen in the trailers (though why she decides to wear it in the first place is not revealed) in her deadly face-off against Cheetah.
As for Asteria, it appeared that the attack she willingly subjected herself to save her people was too massive to survive. Also, as Diana never found a trace of her in the years she spent searching for her, it felt safe to assume that she died and was only mentioned to give an origin story to the golden armour.
Well, wrong answer.
Asteria is alive.
Turns out, despite Jenkins' aversion to mid and post-credits scenes, WW 1984 does have one. In the brief scene, we see a woman clad in a blue long coat walking on the street when a heavy pole starts falling. It would have crushed a woman as well as her child but the said mysterious lady stops it in time, that too with just one hand. The grateful woman runs after her to relay her gratitude, only for the figure to turn and drop three big revelations- first is obviously, "OMG, that's Lynda Carter! Yep, the speculations of the fans were dead on- she didn't appear on WW 1984's DC FanDome panel just for the sake of it.
She goes on to introduce herself as Asteria who obviously survived and wait for it...has been subtly saving humans for "a long time." So, even though, Carter ain't Diana Prince here, she is still the first Wonder Woman and that's all that counts.
It's possible that this is just a cameo to pay an ode to fans of Linda Carter's original run as the superhero. But as WW1984 doesn't set any other plot arcs that set up a third film, maybe the actress' appearance is more of a hint at the cinematic adaptation of the multiple Wonder Women that exist in the comics in the next instalment. We definitely wouldn't mind a second Amazonian warrior, especially when it's the fan-favourite Linda Carter herself! Wonder Woman 1984 is currently streaming on HBO Max after a limited theatrical release.