In Thor: Ragnarok, our titular hero (Chris Hemsworth) is cast off Asgard by the goddess of death Hela (Cate Blanchett). He becomes a prisoner on the strange planet of Sakaar where he’s enlisted to participate in a series of gladiatorial fights. His first opponent: The Incredible Hulk.
But how, the God of Thunder wonders, did the Big Guy (Mark Ruffalo) wind up on Sakaar? The film offers little explanation. When asked how he became Sakaar’s champion and how long he’s been on the planet, Hulk simply mimes a ship crashing.
It seems that Hulk has been there for awhile: Previously, the Hulk never spoke. But on Sakaar, the scientist Bruce Banner has lived as his muscled alter ego long enough that he’s now developed a toddler’s lexicon. “Because he’s been the Hulk for two years now, he has the vocabulary of a two year old. So we have a speaking Hulk,” Ruffalo said at San Diego Comic Con.
As to how Hulk got there, Ragnarok offers one clue. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the evil robot Ultron tries to kill Hulk and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) by shooting at them from a ship. The Hulk doesn’t take too kindly to this since his alter ego, Bruce Banner, and Black Widow have developed feelings for one another.
Hulk saves Black Widow before jumping onto Ultron’s ship and throwing Ultron down to earth. Once Ultron is defeated, Black Widow contacts Hulk on the ship and urges him to land the plane. She explains that the Avengers cannot track Hulk while the plane is in stealth mode. For reasons that go unexplained, Hulk turns off his video chat with Black Widow. He then presumably flew for a long, long time until he landed in Sakaar.
We see this Black Widow video again in Ragnarok. In fact it’s Black Widow’s voice that helps the Hulk turn back into Bruce Banner.
But Sakaar is supposed to be across the universe from earth. How did Hulk travel so far? Ragnarok production designer Dan Hennah briefly explained Hulk’s arrival in an interview with Cinemablend: “He hit one of those wormholes, and he ended up here.”
Don’t think about it too much. Just be happy that the son of Odin and Big Green Dude are back together.