While it seems as though the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced the S.W.O.R.D. organization during the post-credits scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the space station where we saw Nick Fury operating alongside a crew of Skrulls was never officially given a name. This could very well have been a S.W.O.R.D. operation for all we know, but the real introduction to S.W.O.R.D. in the MCU arrived more than a year later, with the debut of WandaVision on Disney+.
On the surface, S.W.O.R.D. may not seem all that different from S.H.I.E.L.D. They're both government agencies that deal with situations beyond the norm. However, like in the comics, S.W.O.R.D. deals more heavily with extra-terrestrial issues, and things that might alter the state of reality, like the Hex. While speaking with Screen Rant, WandaVision director Matt Shakman explained what sets S.W.O.R.D. apart, and how they went about creating the new MCU organization.
"Oh, it was a super exciting opportunity to build a whole new agency," Shakman said. "We started where we start pretty much anything when we design it; we say, 'What would it be in the real world?' So, we looked at Cape Canaveral, we looked at the history of the space agencies, and what those worlds looked like and felt like. Then we worked with our production designer, Mark Worthington, and concept designers and storyboard artists, and started to build out the world of S.W.O.R.D.
"But we really wanted it to feel grounded and real, to contrast with the sitcom reality inside the hex. We looked at films that I think do that really well - movies like Arrival, for instance, and the temporary base that they built around their extraterrestrial anomaly was a great reference point for us. We imagined that S.W.O.R.D. is exactly the right agency when you have a radioactive anomaly; that they're used to going into foreign planets, very difficult terrain. So, that pop-up base that we built was based off existing radiological and biological chemical response units that are out there."
Just because S.W.O.R.D. exists doesn't mean that S.H.I.E.L.D. can't make a comeback in the MCU at some point in the future. As long as Nick Fury remains, that will always be a possibility.
What do you think of the MCU's depiction of S.W.O.R.D. in WandaVision? Let us know in the comments!