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Warning: major spoilers for Captain America: Civil War are ahead!
Captain America: Civil War kicked off Marvel’s Phase Three with a bang recently, and there were a lot of action-packed material during its 147 minutes, from the chase scene between Bucky Barnes, Black Panther and Captain America to that epic airport fight. In the midst of these scenes were also plenty of emotional ones, including the revelation that Bucky killed Tony Stark’s parents in 1991 while brainwashed as the Winter Soldier. It’s this moment that ranks as Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige favorite moment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far.
As one of the many entries in Empire’s list of Captain America: Civil War secrets, Feige mentioned that revealing how Bucky was connected to Tony’s past represented how he and directors Joe and Anthony Russo wanted to make the movie different than its MCU predecessors. He said:
I think it’s my favourite moment in 13 MCU films. The whole movie was building to that, and it’s amazingly executed by the Russos. It goes back to conversations we had years ago about how to make it different and how to have as many characters as any Avengers movie, and yet have it end in a very different and personal manner.
Howard and Maria Stark’s deaths were originally attributed to a car accident in 2008’s Iron Man. However, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Arnim Zola implied that HYDRA actually ordered their assassination. Given how Winter Soldier’s photo was included moments before Zola stated this, many fans suspected that he was the who did the deed, and that was confirmed in Captain America: Civil War. At the beginning of the movie, Winter Soldier was seen attacking a car to retrieve a version of the Super Soldier Serum, which would later be injected into other Winter Soldiers. It was only when Steve Rogers, Tony Stark and Bucky Barnes (and Black Panther, secretly) went to Siberia to stop Helmut Zemo that it was revealed that Tony’s parents were the occupants of the vehicle, and after securing the serum, Winter Soldier brutally murdered them.
Although Tony Stark had been clashing with Steve Rogers throughout Captain America: Civil War, by that point he’d made peace with him and Bucky after learning that Zemo was the mastermind behind recent events. Unfortunately, Zemo showing them the unaltered footage of his parents, along with learning that Steve knew Howard and Maria’s deaths weren’t an accident, sent Tony into a hot rage, and he tried to kill Bucky and Steve. This was the moment that truly damaged Steve and Tony’s relationship, and despite Steve offering an olive branch of sorts in the final minutes of the movie, it’s possible they’ll never fully reconcile. We’ll find out when those two reunite with the rest of the Avengers to battle Thanos in the Avengers: Infinity War movies.
Captain America: Civil War is now playing in theaters, and if you haven’t already, head over to our spoiler-filled discussion page to provide your thoughts on the movie.