One theory from Reddit suggests an explanation for Uncle Ben’s death in the MCU’s Spider-Man, so let’s see if it’s valid or not.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home, currently playing in theaters.
Spider-Man: No Path Home was riddled with theories even before the film’s release, but despite all the speculation, the film managed to produce some great twists and turns. One of the twists and turns was also heartbreaking, as Aunt May was killed by Green Goblin. No way home took the opportunity to deliver Tom Holland’s Spider-Man speech about Great Power Equating Great Responsibility, which was previously absent from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and associated with Uncle Ben.
A Reddit theory from Pietin11 suggests Uncle Ben’s MCU death had nothing to do with Peter, which is why it took him so long to hear the iconic accountability speech. The theory suggests that Uncle Ben was killed during the Battle of New York, causing him collateral damage during Loki’s invasion. This would mean that Peter was bitten after Uncle Ben’s death, which would then explain why Peter didn’t hear his speech when he became Spider-Man.
The theory goes on to suggest that the delay in which Peter learned this important lesson would explain some of his reckless behaviors in the MCU, like giving EDITH to Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home without further background checks or without consulting someone else. Another example is trying to use magic to resolve friends’ concerns about college instead of talking to the admissions jury.
Peter in the MCU undeniably uses his powers with good intentions, though he ends up being a bit reckless and a bit cavalier with the true scope of his abilities. If Uncle Ben died during the Battle of New York, it would have been far enough away from Peter obtaining his powers that Peter was still sad, but the initial grieving process would have passed and this lesson would not have been taken. had no impact on his way of acting. like Spider-Man.
Uncle Ben’s death is cited as one reason Peter didn’t tell Aunt May he was Spider-Man in the first place. Peter tells Ned in Spider-Man: Homecoming that after everything May has been through, he cannot add his powers to his burdens. So that would explain why Peter didn’t get the lesson of responsibility from her sooner. By the time she figured it out, not long after, she and Peter were kicked out. It turned Peter’s iconic lesson in responsibility for a five-minute origin story into a multi-movie character arc.
While this theory makes a lot of sense, there just isn’t enough evidence within the MCU to confirm its validity. Uncle Ben could just as easily have died in a car crash, had a heart attack, or really any other reason before or after Peter became Spider-Man, and the same evidence listed in the theory would still apply.
However, even though the theory cannot be explicitly confirmed, it is compelling. No way home ends with Peter Parker living alone, poor and without a support system in New York City, pledging to be the friendly neighborhood protector we all know and love. Essentially, the MCU turned Spider-Man’s generally brief origin story into a six-movie epic, queuing up all potential sequels to follow in stages more similar to the previous films. The theory may not be confirmed canon, but it fits the MCU’s version of Spider-Man in saying that Uncle Ben’s death was not Peter’s fault.
See if this new theory lines up with Spider-Man’s latest film, No Way Home.
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