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Here’s a Heartbreaking SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Uncle Ben Theory

With great power comes great responsibility, and with a great movie comes a great amount of overthinking it by fans. By all accounts, Spider-Man: Homecoming was a pretty great movie, so it’s no surprise that legions of MCU fans have cooked up their own fan theories about the latest iteration of Peter Parker. This particular fan theory is among the most heartbreaking I’ve encountered to date and it may change the way you view not only Spider-Man: Homecoming, but Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War as well. If you thought Peter didn’t feel so good after the Snapture, then buckle up because your heart might next.

Now, for those of you who have been living under a rock, Uncle Ben was Peter Parker’s father figure and the impetus for Peter becoming a superhero rather than a low-rent professional wrestler. In the comics, Uncle Ben was originally killed by a burglar who broke into the Parker family home. As it turns out, the burglar was a fugitive that Peter could have stopped on his way home from a television appearance. He let the man go and that decision had catastrophic results. Outraged, Peter Parker decided to use his newfound powers to do not only what whatever a spider can, but also what a superhero could: make a difference.

In the Raimi movies, though, Uncle Ben’s demise is similar but distinctly more tragic because Peter gets a face-to-face farewell with his dear uncle. After defeating Bonesaw in an epic wrasslin’ match, Peter is cheated out of his winnings by the promoter. When a thief steals the promoter’s money, Peter has a chance to stop the criminal in his tracks, but lets him get away in an attempt to stick it to the promoter. When the criminal makes his way outside, he steals a car and murders the driver. That driver? You guessed it: none other than Uncle Ben. The tragic death that Peter could have stopped coupled with Uncle Ben’s fateful words—”With great power comes great reponsibility”—would be the only motivation Peter Parker needed to become your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Okay, so back to the theory. First posited by redditor ScoobyQuinn23, (via Express) this theory puts forth that while we have yet to see Uncle Ben in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker carries his late uncle’s memory with him in a very clever, very subtle way. Remember all of those “really old movies” like The Empire Strikes Back and Aliens that Peter loves to reference? Well, guess who first sat down little Peter to make sure he watched these cinema classics? That’s right—Uncle Ben.

“My theory is that Uncle Ben was a film nut and he loved sharing his favorite movies with Peter,” wrote ScoobyQuinn23. “All the references Peter has used so far are all from ‘really old movies’ that would’ve come out when Uncle Ben was around 20 based on Aunt May’s age. Sure Peter could’ve seen all those movies on his own, especially Star Wars, but I’ve met kids from his generation that have never seen Wizard of Oz or Back to the Future let alone Aliens or Ferris Bueller. So all these movies made an impact on a young Uncle Ben (some of which he may have even seen in the theater with Peter’s father) so he showed them to Peter and Peter loved most of them, but not all of them judging by his remarks on Footloose.”

And just in case you weren’t sad enough already, the theory also imagines that the reason the “A Film by Peter Parker” that Peter is making at the beginning of Homecoming is for an audience of one. An audience that will never actually get to see the movie: Uncle Ben. And why did he film it? “Peter found himself right in the middle of the kind of movie Uncle Ben would’ve loved so he just had to film it.” Hoo boy. Mr. Stark, now I don’t feel so good.

Some commenters are taking things a step further, wondering if given Mysterio’s special effects/movie magic background, the villain formerly known as Quentin Beck will strike a particularly emotional chord when Peter suits up to take him down in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. That is, of course, presuming that Peter isn’t just a pile of dirt in a Ziploc bag by then. Laugh through the pain, guys. It’s what I do.

But what do you think? Do you buy this fan theory? Who do you think should play Uncle Ben in the MCU? Let me know in the comments below.

Images: Sony; Marvel Studios

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