The deaths in Avengers: Endgame were maybe considered somewhat relative, though the final moments of Tony Stark still resonate with every MCU fan. It almost seems sacrilege to imagine Tony coming back eventually, something seeming inevitable based on Robert Downey, Jr.’s Dr. Dolittle box office failure.
Those final scenes between Stark and the people close to him are still being analyzed, including the moments with Peter Parker and Pepper Potts. However, it’s the moment Stark has with Rhodey (James Rhodes, that is) creating more interest lately.
Fan boards have been noting that while the emotions were intense between Parker and Potts, Tony’s moment with Rhodey said a lot more. This was mostly due to what wasn’t said over any contrived dialogue.
Looking back to the death scene between Tony Stark and James Rhodes
The above three people were the only ones Tony Stark said goodbye to as he lay dying at the end of Endgame. Most would contend the scene with Peter Parker was the most emotional for the obvious reasons of how Tony had become a surrogate father/mentor for the former.
Having Tony die truly affected Parker’s psyche, something seen played out in the last Spider-Man movie.
For an increasing amount of fans, the scene between Stark and Rhodes has a lot of hidden meaning. What makes it compelling is they don’t say a word to one another, yet still say a lot.
It makes sense the two would be able to convey things without having to say a word. Those who remember the death scene of Tony will remember Rhodey opening his helmet (on his War Machine suit) and merely placing his hand alongside Tony’s head.
Rhodes says nothing, but Don Cheadle projected plenty of emotion just based on an expression.
James Rhodes was the third most important person in Tony Stark’s life
Next to Pepper Potts and Peter Parker (P alliteration being only coincidence), James Rhodes was Tony Stark’s closest confidante. After all, they studied at MIT together and went through numerous perilous moments in prior MCU films.
There was even a reverse situation once where Tony Stark went to Rhodey’s aid when the latter was shot down in his War Machine suit during Civil War. While Rhodey didn’t die, he came close. Stark being by his side to attend to him likely prevented a reverse death scene.
Then there are more personal things like Stark giving Rhodes cybernetic prosthetic legs after the above Civil War incident. The respect between the two was more than evident, and many still wonder if Stark would have wanted Rhodey to be the new leader of the Avengers.
Yes, the silent moment between the two during Tony’s death might have almost been a telepathic message of what should happen next.
Will James Rhodes/War Machine take Tony Stark’s place?
The Avengers are going to need some kind of leader to take over if they show up in future MCU movies. Some hints to this might be coming in the upcoming Disney+ shows.
Many still want War Machine to have his own show to see how he could become a new Iron Man. After all, with Don Cheadle being one of America’s best actors, why shouldn’t he be given a standalone series?
Because Cheadle is usually busy with other TV and movie projects, maybe it’s harder done than said. One can only imagine what was conveyed, though, when Rhodes and Tony looked each other in the eyes in their final moment. According to most sources, Robert Downey, Jr. was the one who suggested he and Cheadle be silent during this scene to create a more powerful impact.
If Rhodey gets his own show, everyone will probably know further how simpatico they were.