It’s So Peter Parker That His Last Words to Tony Stark—Both Times—Were “I’m Sorry”
I’m one of the few people (apparently) who actually enjoyed the relationship between Tony Stark and Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The father and son-esque relationship helped me to love Tony in a way I hadn’t prior to Captain America: Civil War, and maybe part of that comes from the fact that Peter Parker is my favorite Marvel hero.
Whatever the actual case is, I love the dynamic between Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. So, there are moments in both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame that I thoroughly enjoy, and then moments that tear my heart in two. Let’s talk about the heartbreaking ones.
Yes, I love when Father Tony Stark yells at Peter Parker for sassing him in a space ship, and I love when they’re reunited and hug on the battlefield. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. I’m all about the pain today. Bring on the FEELS!
So, when the Avengers failed and Thanos snapped his fingers, we watched as our favorite heroes started to Voldemort their way out of the world. Fading into dust, most got a quick word to their friends before they fell. Peter Parker? He clung to life out of his own fear, trying to grab onto Tony Stark and stay with him.
As he’s dying, Tony continues to reassure him, as fathers do. He tells Peter that he’ll be okay, even though Tony clearly knows that’s not the case, as everyone else just faded away around them.
But then, as Peter is lying on the ground and talking about how terrified he is to go, he apologizes to Tony.
Why? Well, because Peter Parker is the kind of character who never wants to let anyone down. It’s why Spider-Man: Homecoming worked so well. That movie understands that Peter, fundamentally, is a good kid who just wants everyone to be proud of him, and even though, in Infinity War, he didn’t do anything wrong, he feels like it’s his fault. He had the gauntlet in his hands and lost it (because of Peter Quill), and he’ll take that loss as his fault.
What I never realized was that as Tony is dying after snapping his fingers, the last thing that Peter Parker says to him, again, is “I’m sorry.”
So much of Peter Parker is built around the fact that his life is constantly overtaken by death. His parents, his uncle, his mentor … all dead, and he’s the type to internalize that and make it his fault. Did I just depress myself by realizing that Peter Parker just kept apologizing to Tony, just wanting Tony to be proud of him? Why yes, yes I did, but it’s also why I love Peter.
He’s not the hero to think he’s something great because of his powers. He knows he has them so that he can help the world and do good, and I just love him so much.
But what about the future? Could Tony and Peter end up seeing each other again? During a podcast with Reel Blend (transcribed by ComicBook.com), Anthony Russo brought up the idea of Robert Downey Jr. returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe at one point:
I mean lookit, certainly we’ve always said this and we believe this about stakes have to be real, and if they’re not real, like the audience’s emotional investment in the moment and in those characters in the narrative is only…is contingent upon them feeling like there’s potential, there’s something to be lost. So in all of our storytelling, even though those Marvel movies a lot of the story was difficult, we wanted to commit very hard to that idea. So to answer your question, I think it would be in the context of that. It depends on how he was brought back. It depends on the storytelling, but it is certainly something that has to be earned. It’s certainly something that would shock and surprise audiences, so you can’t simply just bring him back. There would have to be a really compelling, innovative, unpredictable narrative event to find your way there in order for it to be worth it.
Seeing Tony and Peter together again would surely be emotional, but I do agree with Anthony Russo. It would all depend on the situation, so for now, Peter’s last words to Tony (twice over) will remain “I’m sorry.”
(image: Marvel Entertainment)
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