The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is Marvel’s second Disney+ installment premiering to rave critical reviews and positive audience reception. The show focuses on the inner lives of its leads — Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). The two must unite to fight a terrorist group known as The Flash Smashers while also handling the newly-appointed Captain America (a man who has no right wielding Rogers’ shield).
Though TFATWS arguably focuses on both lead characters equally, one character’s name had to come first in the title. During an interview with BBC Radio 1, Stan explained why Sam Wilson’s superhero title, Falcon, deserves its primary spot. Let’s just say The Winter Soldier has had had his time in the spotlight.
Sebastian Stan talks about the show title, ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’
During the interview with BBC One, Ali Plumb asked Stan if there were ever any talks about the show being called The Winter Soldier and the Falcon, to which Stan replied:
“You know, first of all, I’ve already had my name in a title of a movie, you know. Arguably, Falcon, we haven’t even really ever learned his backstory, period. I mean, you know, it’s a tough one to argue because I technically have had two movies dedicated to my character…In a way, I feel like it really should be about the Falcon.”
Stan takes the high ground here, while also being sure to note just how much spotlight he has received in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Stan’s Bucky was at the center of the narrative in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and he also was a major puzzle piece in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War — contributing to the deep-seated conflict between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers.
His name comes first in the title, but how much have we really learned about Sam Wilson in ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?’
It was time that Falcon got his backstory. It was time that Falcon got a little attention. And so far, fans have merely met his sister, learned a bit about his childhood, and discovered that his superhero gig doesn’t exactly come with a fat paycheck.
Sam Wilson deserved further exploration in this show, and with only one episode left in the series, it seems like such expectations will not be fulfilled. The show has veered into the character’s conflict with the shield, for he is a Black man living in America. Yet, the show has arguably explored more of Bucky’s mental state than Falcon’s. Falcon has gotten some supporting details and episodic conflicts around his day-to-day, but using the word “backstory” definitely feels like a stretch.