Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) was our first MCU hero who we loved watching over the ten years since Iron Man was first released, which made it even more heartbreaking when he died after saving the universe in Avengers: Endgame.
Despite the fact the movie came out more than six months ago, we’re still learning new things about the film, especially since Walt Disney Pictures posted the script online for Awards Consideration.
Now, we’ve found out Stark’s final thought before he died and it’s seriously heartbreaking.
It happens after Rhodey rushes to Tony, then Peter Parker tells him, “Mr. Stark…Tony…it’s okay, it’s okay…Mr. Stark, we won. You did it, sir.” In the final cut of the film, Tom Holland also says, “I’m sorry, Tony.”
Peter leaves and Pepper Potts kneels down and says, “Hey.” And Stark’s final spoken words onscreen are, “Hey, Pep.”
Friday then tells Pepper that his life functions are critical and she tells him, “Tony, look at me. We’re going to be okay…”
In the film, Stark doesn’t respond, but in the script it reads, “He stares at her, tears welling. I’m sorry.“
“I’m sorry,” is his final thought as noted by the italics in the script and now I’m crying.
Pepper tells him, “You can rest now,” and gives him a kiss. The script notes, “When she pulls back she sees his eyes, fixed and glassy. Everything goes quiet. All around, OUR HEROES GATHER, the full weight of what’s happened dawning on them. Tony Stark is gone.”
Earlier in the film, Stark tried to leave the superhero game behind and live a normal life as a husband and father, so there’s no doubt that his unspoken, “I’m sorry,” was for Pepper and their daughter Morgan, who he loved very much.
Unfortunately, the Endgame writers felt that Stark had to sacrifice himself and die, while Steve Rogers AKA Captain America (Chris Evans) had to finally get a life, as Stark himself once told him.
Speaking with Vanity Fair, Stephen McFeely, who co-wrote the script, explained the reasoning behind Stark’s death, “We realized over the course of the movies that Cap and Tony were on crossing arcs. Cap, who had started as completely selfless and was jumping on grenades willy-nilly, was becoming more self-interested. Not to say selfish, but if you watch Civil War, particularly, he’s making decisions based on what he wants, even if it breaks up the Avengers.
“And Tony started as the brash billionaire playboy, and the stakes are growing for him, the responsibilities growing for him. We realized at one point, late in 2015, that for Steve to be his best self, he was going to have to get a life, and for Tony to be his best self, he might have to lose his.”
Co-director Joe Russo also explained why they couldn’t kill both Stark and Rogers in an interview with Empire, saying, “Once you kill a beloved character like [Tony], you’ve got to have hope at the end of the movie in some regard, and the only person to give you that hope is the other co-lead.
“Had we killed both the leads, I feel like people would have been walking out into traffic after the film. The intention is not to destroy people, it’s to hopefully tell a complex and dimensionalised story in a way, that makes them feel a varied range of emotion.”
Stark learned how to be selfless over the course of the MCU and made the ultimate sacrifice for the universe when he snapped Thanos and his army away.
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