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[Rules Reminder] **UPDATE 27 APRIL 2021**: The spoiler policy calls for spoilers to be kept out of headlines and properly concealed for six months after release

With the release of the current round of Disney Plus MCU shows, this seems like an appropriate time to remind everyone about the rules regarding spoilers. As writ, the rules call for a six month window where spoilers are kept concealed; plot developments should be kept out of titles, and properly obscured within bodies. The former is most critical, since it is much harder for someone avoiding spoilers to not catch view of a title while casually reading through the sub.

For spoilers related to "one and done" works (movies, single books, video games, one shot graphic novels, etc.) the date of public release is when the timer starts; films reaching theaters or streaming services, street date for games, and so on. For spoilers related to sequential works (series television, running comic books, books in a series, and so on) the release date for the specific episode/work sets the timer, while one for the work as a whole should go off the final release date. Using WandaVision as an example, the death of Maria Rambeau in the five years of the Blip was mentioned in an episode that came out January 29th, and in turn should be kept concealed until the end of July, while the complete absence of any known Avenger or any of the sorcerers of Kamar Taj from the events of the series isn't fully confirmed until the final episode released on March 5th, and wouldn't be fair game to bring up in the open until September. When in doubt, go with the release date of the final work in the series/franchise.

For putting spoilers in the body, the formatting for desktop uses "> !" (minus space) at the start and "! <" (minus space) at the end, with no spaces between the "!" and the text. It should look like this.

Finally, avoid "troll spoilers". False information designed and framed to look like a real spoiler (Snape was Dumbledore's sled, Rosebud was Keyser Soze all along, the butler did It, etc.) is not a violation of the spoiler rules, but it is a violation of the rules about not being a jerk and will prompt mod action.

UPDATE 27 APRIL 2021: Please keep in mind that revealing that something doesn't happen can be as much of a spoiler as saying something does happen. It's a spoiler for Falcon & The Winter Soldier to say the Dora Milaje show up with an axe to grind with Zemo for his role in the death of their King, but it's also a spoiler to say neither War Machine or Spider-Man show up to intervene in the Flag Smasher assault on the GRC meeting. Both types of spoiler should be obscured as noted above.

[MCU] Are Asgardians a joke when it comes to military power?

In the first Avengers both Thor and Loki consider the Chitauri a very powerful force. But then Rocket claims the Chitauri were “the suckiest army in the galaxy” in a deleted scene, and Nebulla does’t say anything against it. And in Dark World Asgard (save for the “big guns” like Heimdall, Odin, Thor, Loki, supposedly the Warriors Three, etc...) pretty much defenseless against the Dark Elves (who are using the same technology they did thousands of years ago) and Asgard has not been show to be much more powerful than perhaps Earth. So was Asgard in some sort of decline even before Ragnarok?

[Friday The 13th] What would happen if someone managed to decapitate Jason Voorhees?

Would it permanently kill him or not? Could he “survive” without a head?

He also doesn’t have a healing factor, meaning he can’t grow a new head. Can he even do what he does without hearing or seeing anything?

I know that he’s dead, technically making him a zombie. Zombies are killed permanently when they’re decapitated. Would it work for him too?

Also, would the head “survive” while the body “dies”, or vice-versa, or both?

(I haven’t seen the movies yet, so don’t be too harsh if I missed something.)

[Alien]What non-super powered action hero or villain would have the best chance of survival while trapped with an xenomorph on a derelict ship?

Super powered suits and equipment (I.e. Iron Man, Batsuit, Thor’s hammer) are also excluded. The character may find familiar tools or weaponry throughout the ship to assist them in survival. Androids are roaming the ship.

With years left before any hope of outside help, what fictional action hero is best suited to survive, or even defeat, an Xenomorph in a drawn out game of cat and mouse?

[Judge Dredd] What's the shortest sentence a civilian can be subjected to by a Judge? Similarly, what's the most minor offence?
[Marvel] What would happen if Steve Rodgers/Captain America took a second dose of the serum (or maybe the variant distributed in TFaWS)?

Would his powers/abilities double, or is his DNA as saturated with the serum as possible and won’t allow for more growth?

[Alien] Why is the Weyland-Yutani Corporation so invested in the Xenomorphs?

Exactly what it says on the tin. Multiple times (The Nostromo; Sevastopol; Hadley's Hope), Weyland-Yutani has expended billions of dollars and tens, if not hundreds of lives to attempt to obtain a Xenomorph specimen, something which they may not even be able to control. All to inevitably have to brush it under the rug. At what point does the Company decide that it's not worth the cost?

[IT Stephen King] Pennywise lived and slept in the what would become to sewers of Derry Maine. So how over the years did none of the city/sewer workers ever come across evidence of IT?

Like for example bodies/remains, its eggs, or well itself even? I understand it had glamour and other powers but did that extend to while it was hibernating also? It just seems like at some point maintenance or upkeep would attract people to even the deepest part of a sewer sooner or later.

[MCU/ZSJL] why do intergalactic warlords assume Earth is divided, primitive, and small because of brief encounters in secluded areas without further investigation?

Mainly talking about Thanos and Steppenwolf.

With Thanos, right before the portals open in Endgame, Thanos calls the planet little. Then he’s surprised when the hero armies arrive.

With Steppenwolf, when he first summons Desaad, Stepp tells him the world is divided and the people are primitive.

If either of them went to anywhere else in the planet, they’d see what they said, or their reactions to them, were wrong at least for different groups or misguided. So why do they jump to conclusions so fast without more research?

[General] So I found a Money Tree.

Y'all know the type; the fantastical kind that seems to grow leaves made of paper currency and drops pods of coinage as an analogue for seed bearing fruit. I don't know how nobody found it first; it's so conspicuously in an open field that nobody goes to.

This one grows specifically in Sweden, and seems to produce specifically krona. Not sure if geography has an effect on what currency is produced, or if that's determined when it germinates. The tree itself is a little too big for me to pick up and drive around to replant and run tests on without blowing my cover. Hell, I don't think it even reproduces, since just throwing the "seeds" into wet dirt doesn't trigger any changes after observing it for about a week. Don't really want to risk damage by grafting parts of it, since the tree itself is anomalous enough.

Can I actually make use of the tree's money-producing abilities without triggering any red flags? The denominations for the bills are small, with the coins being a random distribution of values.

Should I just report the thing and turn it in? I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get any reward out of it, all things considered.

[Coco] What happens to Ernesto de la Cruz at the end of the film?

We see him suffer the same fate at the end of the film as that which killed him in the first place, namely, crushed by a giant bell. This is poetic bookending and all, but he's already dead; he can't die again, right? The film draws a line under his character as though that's the end of him, but is it ever established that you can 'die' in the land of the dead through any means other than the Final Death?

[Coco] Do only mexicans get to the afterlife?

Because my family certainly doesn't follow mexican traditions such as the whole picture thing and most people all over the world don't either.

At least i speak native spanish, would that be enough?

[Marvel] Is MCU Thanos without the Infinity Gauntlet just a great military leader with superhuman strength and durability?

I get with the gauntlet he's a demigod - to the extent he doesn't need his armour with it. But his 2014 version just seems to be a guy with his own army who's really strong. Is he able to achieve ANYTHING on an intergalactic scale without the gauntlet?

[Star Wars] Why are Twi'lek women so popular as slaves?
[Invincible] If Titan is just creating a layer of stone armor and not transforming his entire body into stone, how does that increase his strength?
  • While I can understand how someone like Colossus's strength increases when he activates his powers, as he is transforming his entire body into metal, I don't understand how Titan's strength increases, as he is not transforming his entire body into stone, but merely creating a layer of stone armor around him.
  • If anything, creating his stone armor should render him unable to move at all.
[MCU] Who/what decided Red Skull's penance? And why? And why only him?

The only clue we have is that the Space Stone cast him out. Okay, makes sense that one stone would connect to another one. But why? Is it because he abused them for power? Lots of MCU villains have done that and been fine. It's not because he directly touched it, because he didn't. There was a cube of something surrounding it. Besides, Jane Foster did directly touch the Reality Stone and all it did was try to kill her. It's not because he wasn't strong enough, either - see Jane Foster. Is it because he tried using it for raw power when its purpose is to move through space? Did it maybe just send him through space because that's what it does, and the Soul Stone did the work? Did anybody else in all of history get judged like this? And how did Red Skull know any of this, anyway?

[[Skyrim]] So. . . Is the Empire fucked?

The only provinces that aren't ether independent or rebelling are High rock, Cyrodil, and Marrowwind.

High rock is always politically bickering with itself, Mowwowind is mostly blown up by red mountain, and this is not even mentioning the shitstorm going down in skyrim.

Worst case scenario is:Dragonborn successfully joined the stormclocks and killed tullius effectively destroying imperial control over another province, both The Penitus Oculatus commander maro and his son are dead, The emperors cousin was butchered on her freaken public weeding, The Emperor himself is A Bloodstain on his own ship! . . . and the blads are just an old guy and a innkeeper who the dovahkiin ignores because he refuses to kill Dragon Mario.

All this with the elves preparing for great war two, So I ask again how screwed the empire is.

[Fallout] How did Bottlecaps become the currency of the East Coast? And why do people use caps in the Mojave wasteland?

So in Fallout 1, we know that the Nuka Cola cap was pegged to a volume of water by the Hub water merchants.

BUT IN FALLOUT 2, in the quest "Typhon's Treasure", we learn that bottle-caps have become functionally worthless in the new wasteland, because the Hub Water Traders have long since abandoned honoring that particular currency.

So what happened, to make Bottle Caps into the primary currency of the Mojave Desert, and the East Coast Wastes!?

The only reason why the cap was ever valuable, was because of a central authority which maintained its value, but there is no equivalent authority at all in the Capital wasteland, The Mojave Desert, or anywhere else to enforce that currency.

So what's going on here exactly? People aren't idiots. They are going to risk their lives for caps, unless they have some reason why they know it's valuable. NCR money is valuable because it's backed by the NCR government. Caesar's money is valuable because it's made of rare/scarce minerals. Is a handful of scrap steel going to have a material value, worth risking your life over?

Someone please help me. I haven't gotten sleep in two days.

[MCU] would Dr Stranges hands go wrinkly if he went swimming?

In the movie they mention Dr strange got serious nerve damage in his hands.

The wrinkles you get while swimming are caused by your nervous system. So would he get these? Or would have to magic them?

[Marvel Comics] Why on Earth has nobody tried to revoke Doctor Doom's diplomatic immunity?

It's explicitly stated that Doctor Doom only gets away with his crimes on account of diplomatic immunity. Why, then, has nobody revoked it?

[Marvel Comics General] Is there any change in average lifespan with Mutants?

Aside from individuals like Wolverine, do they generally live any longer than normal humans?

[Meta] Clarification on 'what if' questions

Several recent posts have been identified by the automod as being more suited for /r/WhatIfFiction, which I don't think is a bad idea at all. Some content is just better suited for a different subreddit.

However, I am confused about what exactly constitutes a "general" question that is better suited for that subreddit. It seems to me that /r/AskScienceFiction is exactly the kind of place where one might ask general questions about a fictional topic, because it is more "AskScience"-Fiction than Ask-"ScienceFiction".

I am making this a meta post instead of just asking the moderators because I think this topic represents an important inflection point for the subreddit and ought to be discussed publicly. Even though there are plenty of places to go to discuss specific details about Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the MCU, for better or for worse "nuts-and-bolts" questions about these franchises have formed the bread-and-butter of this subreddit for some time now without much issue, so obviously being specific isn't a problem. Why should being general be?

Fiction is inherently speculative and plenty of interesting answers have resulted from prompts of the "what if" variety that strictly speaking have no obvious in-universe answer. For example, "What if the Death Star never blew up" could provide great insight into the workings and motivations of the Empire even if it pretty much eschews all the established canon beyond that point.

My concern is that if these "general" questions are pushed onto a different subreddit, and if people start taking their other franchise-specific questions to a franchise-specific subreddit (i.e. Star Trek's excellent /r/DaystromInstitute), where exactly does that leave /r/AskScienceFiction? Mostly I disagree with the use of the word "general" to describe questions that don't belong here, and with the blanket classification of "what if" questions as inappropriate.

"What if the Sun went out" would be a perfectly fine question for /r/askscience and I think similar questions definitely have a place here as long as they can be reasonably answered from a Watsonian perspective with material from the work in question. Otherwise I think /r/AskScienceFiction risks turning into something of a "trivia" subreddit as any question without a concrete in-universe answer would be inherently speculative. Certainly, some types of questions just don't belong here, and I really like how this is handled with the /r/whowouldwin subreddit, because the delineation is very obvious and useful. Surely we could draw a clearer line in the sand on this issue as well.


[Supernatural] Why didn't God absorb the souls of Purgatory to power himself back up?

After failing to seal Amara, God was left severely depowered and dying. The solution to defeating Amara was to collect souls and turn them into a "bomb" strong enough to kill her.

In an earlier season we know Castiel absorbed the souls of Purgatory and temporarily became like "God". So why couldn't God do the same? Between whatever lost souls/ghosts remained on earth, souls gathered by Billie, the souls Crowley could gather from Hell, and the souls in Purgatory shouldn't God have the juice to either kill or seal Amara?

[Marvel] How does Daredevil know when he is in the dark?

Daredevil is a very stealthy character but if he doesn't see light how can he tell if he is in an area of low light?

[Prometheus] As longtime head of mega-corporation, surely Weyland had trusted, competent people he had worked with before, so why did he hire a crew of unvetted strangers for the most important mission of his life?

And what was the reason not to do some prep work and team building before actually getting to an alien planet?

If it's for secrecy, why not have them sign some NDAs or dethaw and train in deep space before proceeding?

[The Nightmare on Elm St: Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge] Did the end scene on the bus happen for real? If not then what sort legal trouble did Jesse face for (apparently) committing at least 2 murders?