Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have come to the defense of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), saying there's "a lot of blame to go around" for the failure to prevent Thanos (Josh Brolin) from obliterating half of all life in the universe.
"He's one of many [who screwed things up]. I don't accept that," McFeely told the Empire Film Podcast when asked if an emotional Star-Lord deserves the blame for botching the Avengers' mission to reclaim the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos during a surprise attack on Titan.
Star-Lord is distraught upon learning Thanos murdered his girlfriend Gamora (Zoe Saldana), who was sacrificed on Vormir to unlock one of the six Infinity Stones coveted by Thanos.
The Guardians of the Galaxy leader springs into an assault on a temporarily subdued Thanos, stirring the Mad Titan awake and preventing Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) from stealing the Gauntlet and its four stones.
"I don't think he screws [it up] — if you are standing in front of your girlfriend's father and find out that he just killed your girlfriend, you're gonna hit him in the face. I mean, there's nothing that's gonna stop you from hitting him in the face," Markus said.
"I just think it's totally emotionally understandable, particularly when you add in the scene where he was supposed to kill her. I mean, it's a pretty big mindf—k to be in a situation where you failed — where your failure was failing to kill your girlfriend — which then made it possible for her father to kill her. And to succeed the right thing you should have done as a good person was to murder your girlfriend. He's under a lot of stress at the moment."
Star-Lord's outburst is just "one of the many reasons why they don't win," McFeely said, pointing to Thor's (Chris Hemsworth) arrogant failure to "go for the head" during an attack on Thanos in Wakanda, and naming the strife between Iron Man and Captain America (Chris Evans) as another major reason for the heroes' loss.
"There's a lot of blame to go around," McFeely said.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo similarly defended Star-Lord after Pratt received backlash on social media over Thanos' victory, in which trillions of lives — including many of Earth's mightiest heroes — were erased from existence.
"There's lots of choices that characters have made throughout the movie that sort of led them to lose. It wasn't simply that moment. If you go back to the end of Civil War, the entire rift between Cap and Tony is sort of a basis for why they lose in this film," Anthony Russo told ET.
"Thor gets the jump on Thanos at the end of [Infinity War], but instead of sort of killing him quickly, he sort of does it in a way where he can draw out his revenge and engage with Thanos in a way that arguably gives him a window to get away. That's what we love about these characters — they're superheroes, they have amazing powers, but what makes them vulnerable is their emotional life and their emotional needs, and that's where things get complicated and that's where the story gets really rich."