Infinity War‘s VFX supervisor Dan DeLeeuw revealed to Inverse that the Power Stone was responsible for the infamous “blipping” that turned the Mad Titan’s victims into dust. When you see how that purple rock ripped apart flesh and manipulated matter in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, it makes sense that the Power Stone was the one Thanos used to instantly incinerate his victims.
But if one specific stone in the gauntlet had one specific job during
the “Snapture,” what were the others doing? How did each one
contribute to Thanos’s grand dusting? Based on what we know about the
abilities of each Infinity Stone, and what took place in the moments
after Thanos snapped his fingers, here’s how we think they all
contributed to the film’s conclusion.
Mind Stone (yellow)
The final stone Thanos got his giant hands on when he ripped it from
Vision’s head was the Mind Stone. It gives its user powerful mental
capabilities, including reaching a higher plane of consciousness and
controlling the minds of others. When Thanos placed it in the
Gauntlet, he transcended his mortal existence and became a literal god
with the power to create and destroy life at will. This was also how
he made his dusting arbitrary–the stone determined that for him.
Perhaps this is the same concept as god being omnipotent but also
giving Adam and Eve free will.
He needed the Mind Stone just as much for its other ability though.
Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo have said Peter Parker
took longer than the others to vanish because he was fighting his
demise. Without the Mind Stone it’s possible some would-be victims
would have been able to survive for a lot longer, if not entirely.
Time Stone (green)
Thanos told Doctor Strange it would be “mercy” to kill half of all
life in the universe in an instant, but with planets separated by
billions of light years that isn’t possible without the Time Stone.
The Mad Titan can freeze time everywhere, regardless of relativity, so
all of those deaths happened at roughly the same exact moment.
This might seem like the most obvious use of any individual stone, but
we know from the end of Doctor Strange that using the Time Stone on
such a grand scale runs “contrary to the natural order of things,”
which is why it is probably the only Infinity Stone that needed
another one to counterbalance it.
Reality Stone (red)
Thanos showed off the power of the Reality Stone on Knowhere when he
tricked the Guardians, and he relied on it multiple times during the
fight on Titan. It’s so powerful the VFX team considering using it as
the reason for the actual “dusting” (along with the Soul Stone). But
when Thanos snapped his fingers, he didn’t change reality in the same
manner as he did earlier in the movie. He just made the reality we
already knew worse.
The Reality Stone’s major contribution is counteracting the Time
Stone. By freezing time everywhere, Thanos destroyed the natural
order, which would have had unintended consequences if not for the
Reality Stone. He did create an entirely new reality, one where he
could manipulate the entire universe at once.
Space Stone (blue)
The Mad Titan’s plan involved the entire universe, but… :checks
notes:…space is big. That’s not an issue for whomever wields the Space
Stone though. It lets its user be anywhere in an instant by opening up
a portal. That’s how Loki brought the Chitauri fleet into New York
During the snap the Space Stone allowed Thanos to not only stop time,
but to be everywhere at once. The Power Stone normally needs to on a
planet or in close proximity to its victim, but the Space Stone let
its powers spread across the universe.
Soul Stone (orange)
Most of what we know about the Soul Stone still comes from Marvel
comics. It can manipulate all living souls, and that’s why it exacts
such a price to possess it. The entire point of collecting all of the
stones was to kill half of all lives in the universe, but while the
Mind Stone took his victims’ will to live, and the Power Stone took
their bodies, the Soul Stone took something else entirely.
What did it do exactly? The Russo Brothers confirmed the Soul Stone
allows its user to trap souls in a pocket dimension, which is where
Gamora went. Was that where she was when we saw her as a young girl
(in an orange world) after he snapped his fingers? Could that be where
the rest of his victims also went when they turned to dust? That’s the
most important question we still need answered, but Red Skull did tell
Thanos the Soul Stone has a certain wisdom.