It's been a great week for trailers. DC kicked off the wave a few days ago with the new Justice League trailer, and now Marvel has followed suit by giving us a brand new look at our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man's (Tom Holland) upcoming solo movie. The Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer has officially debuted online, and one very specific moment from the new preview shows Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) preaching a lesson that he learned during the events of Iron Man 3. He specifically says:
If you're nothing without this suit, then you shouldn't have it.
Harsh words, right? Although it sounds like Tony is a tad overprotective of the young Peter Parker, the quote also shows the evolution of Mr. Stark over the course of his tenure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. During the events of Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and The Avengers, Tony was almost never in a scenario where a handy flying suit was more than a few moments away. In Iron Man 2 he even went so far as to say that "the suit and I are one." Then Iron Man 3 happened. Tony became dependent on his suits while dealing with his PTSD following the Battle of New York (quite literally retreating into his shell) and that dependency turned into a major weakness during his fight against The Mandarin (Ben Kings- er... Guy Pearce) in 2013. The entire thesis of Iron Man 3 is the idea that a hero needs to be more than his or her suit, and now Tony is passing along that hard-learned lesson to the young wall crawler.
The ultimate lesson that Tony learned from that incident? Prove that you can let go of the suit to actually earn it.
By contrast to that climactic scene in Iron Man 3, Peter fights tooth and nail for Tony to allow him to keep the Spider-Man outfit. His impetuous nature is showing Tony that he's not ready for the responsibilities of becoming a full-blown Avenger by showing just how much he wants to be an Avenger. Ironic, right? You can see more from the moment in the full trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming.
On a deeper level, this seemingly insignificant comment hammers home how everything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe builds off of what has come before it. Events that transpired (and lessons learned) in Phase 2 continue to have relevance over what's taking place in Phase 3. Marvel has continuously proven its deep-seated commitment to its continuity and using a lesson from Iron Man 3 to directly inform how its youngest hero will evolve and earn his place as an Avenger is a genuinely inspired creative decision. To put it bluntly: we're incredibly excited for Spider-Man: Homecoming.