Marvel recently announced that a female Thor will be the protagonist of the upcoming fourth film, Thor: Love and Thunder. Natalie Portman is confirmed to reprise her role as Jane Foster, who will be the female Thor. With this announcement, many fans have been reserved for later judgment or popping champagne. Some prefer that Chris Hemsworth’s Thor maintains the title. Others seem to be okay with the change.
It was going to cause an inevitable controversy with the fans and different media having conflicting viewpoints. Where do I stand? Well, neither side. My existence won’t diminish with a female Thor nor will it be enhanced. I find the female Thor to be a pointless inclusion from a narrative perspective.
I’m not stating that there can’t be a female Thor in the future, however, in the current moment; she has no purpose to the MCU. Before I elaborate on why her existence is meaningless, let me address the elephant in the room. Yes, I know a female Thor does exist in the Marvel comics. She took up the mantle of Thor when the original Thor was no longer worthy of the hammer. From what I could find, the female Thor seemed to be well-liked. So, what’s the problem? They are adapting a legacy character that’s going to take up the mantle of Thor in the MCU. Sounds dandy, but here are the problems . . .
Thor Is Still Around!
The idea of a legacy character is that they are descendants or relatives to the previous hero that takes up the mantle. The previous hero could have died, grown too old or is permanently disabled. None of these Kryptonites put down Thor’s superhero career in the MCU. Thor is still worthy of the hammer and is immensely powerful. Sure, he’s gained weight, but he’s not out the game. The MCU still has a Thor, so why is a female Thor needed?
I’m aware that Thor has left with the Guardians of the Galaxy and left Asgard with a Valkry. Does that mean he’s no longer Thor? Nope. He’s still protecting the universe and chilling with Star-Lord. I guarantee you they will still call him Thor in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3. If not, then that would be ridiculous. Why would he drop the name that his father gave him? It’s his name, not a title. In the first Thor movie, he did lose his powers, but he still called himself Thor. His title is the God of Thunder.
It’s His Name, Not A Title
When Captian America picked up Mjolnir, he didn’t call himself Thor. When Vision picked up Mjolnir, he didn’t call himself Thor. If they all called themselves “Thor” then that would be silly and confusing. They can say they wield the power of Thor, but they aren’t Thor because it’s a guy’s name. It’s not a title like Spider-Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman. So, why does Jane Foster get to share his name?
I am willing to give this some leeway because it is fiction. They could use infinite timelines means infinite possibilities so, in a timeline, Thor could have been born as a girl. However, the fourth film isn’t living in that reality. It’s Jane Foster taking the name “Thor”. She can have the title of goddess of thunder, but not Thor. Even she did have that title, I wouldn’t say she’s worthy.
Jane Foster Isn’t Worthy
I do know Jane Foster in the comics became worthy because of her self sacrifice. In the comics, Jane Foster has breast cancer and is slowly dying. She is receiving treatment on Asgard, yet, she shows no signs of healing. This is around the time that Thor became unworthy of Mjolnir and the nine realms had no god of thunder.
Jane Foster knows the nine realms need a god of thunder, so picked up the mantle. Despite having the power of Thor, her breast cancer remained and without constant medical treatment; she was slowly dying while trying to protect the nine realms. I would say that is a character worthy of wielding Mjolnir. She proves that she is a selfless character, doesn’t care for power, and puts the people first. Jane Foster in the movies on the other hand . . .
She hasn’t done anything to prove herself worthy in the Marvel movies. All she did was kiss Thor and temporarily had the reality stone in her. That’s all I can remember her for, other than that, she’s a forgettable character. Why do you think she wasn’t in Thor: Ragnarok? She wasn’t there because nobody would miss her. You could replace her with a blank piece of paper and still achieve the same effect. Her relationship with Thor was holding back the films, so they cut her out. Now, she’s going to be the new “Thor”.
From a story perspective, it doesn’t work. If they took more time to develop her character and hinted at this possibility, it could have possibly worked. The fourth film is going to have to work double-time to convince us that she’s worthy. Everything she does has to fit her character. Which again, we haven’t seen much of. If they just make her worthy without any effort then they created another Captian Marvel.
Sliver Of Hope
There is a chance that this could work because of the director, Taika Waititi. Thor was struggling to connect with the audience. Director Taiki Waititi walked in and worked his magic; now Thor is a household name. I’m hoping Taika Waititi can work his magic again and make Jane Foster a better character. A character that is more compelling and worthy of Mjolnir. As it stands right now, a female Thor is completely unwarranted and doesn’t fit into the narrative.
Thor: Love and Thunder are planned to be released on November 5, 2021.