“One of the things that separates, tonally, the deaths in this movie, from the non-snap deaths in Infinity War, is that they are almost all the heroes’ choice in this movie,” Markus explains on the Endgame commentary.
“In fact, I think they are entirely the heroes’ choice in this movie. Whereas Loki’s death, Heimdall’s death, Gamora’s death, Vision’s death in Infinity War were all done to them by Thanos which is a much greater tragedy.”
“Murders,” adds McFeely. In Endgame, Markus continues, “Here you have that heroic, victorious sadness.”
During the events of Infinity War, Thanos (Josh Brolin) wipes out the planet Xandar before murdering Asgardians Heimdall (Idris Elba) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) aboard the Statesman.
Adopted daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) is later sacrificed by Thanos on Vormir to unlock the Soul Stone, one of the six Infinity Stones needed by Thanos to carry out his mission of erasing half of all life throughout the universe. He wins the final stone, the Mind Stone, when he rips it free from the head of Vision (Paul Bettany) in Wakanda, killing him.
Five years later, in Endgame, those deaths are not reversed. Smart Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) does successfully reverse Thanos’ snap, returning the snap victims to life after a valiant sacrifice from Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) unlocked the Soul Stone.
Thanos and his army are later wiped out by Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), who sacrifices himself by using the six Infinity Stones to halt the battle that assembled all of Earth’s mightiest heroes.
“At the beginning of Endgame, she wants to bring it all back because she feels like it is the strongest emotional connection that she’s ever had in her life,” director Joe Russo says of Black Widow’s death later in the commentary track.1comments
“She’s presented with a choice, which is to give her own life to bring everyone else back, and she does it. Which [is] the single most heroic moment in the history of the Marvel Universe.”
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