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Op-Ed: What ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Represents

April 26th, 2019 marked the day the world witnessed the culmination of 11 years worth of storytelling with the premiere of Avengers: EndGame starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner as the heroes we grew up with and who we wished to emulate on our lowest days.

It still baffles me to realize just how young I was when this whole ordeal started, an 11-year-old girl watching Iron Man for the first time and marvelling (pun intended) at how just one phrase uttered after the credits changed everything for the entertainment industry. It was the moment after Fury’s “I’m here to talk about the Avengers Initiative” that we knew superhero films would never be the same.

Avengers: Infinity War (Courtesy of Marvel Studios)

No one, and I mean no one who loves superheroes, can deny that when we first saw the Avengers assembled back in 2012 (in that now iconic shot), didn’t feel any sort of chills or thrills, understanding that it was something we had never even dreamt of witnessing before. I think I actually screamed at the sight.

We’ve been invested in these characters and in this universe, for quite some time – many of us half our lives – and to see the end so near to us, realizing there’s an actual real chance of saying goodbye to them forever, well… it’s more than understandable that a few tears might be shed here and there. Heck, even the actors have been emotional, and believe me when I tell you that watching RDJ cry at the premiere made me cry harder in return.

What Marvel Studios has accomplished these past 11 years was surely not an easy task, and something of this magnitude is unlikely to be witnessed again any time soon. This is an event that has truly been building for quite some time, and I’m quite certain that things will never be the same in the MCU after the events of Endgame. After all, it’s the end of an era.

The Avengers (Courtesy of Marvel Studios)

I could spend hours and hours just talking about the impact the MCU has had in the way we see storytelling and story building, and how characters evolve, grow, and impact the way we live our lives. This has changed the film industry, the entertainment industry, the comic industry – everything I can think of. But with this piece, I want to focus on how these characters have impacted us.

It’s likely that we’ll be saying goodbye to characters we love, to characters we’ve empathized with. To Tony, who overcame his past, his own ego, and his entitlement to become the hero he was meant to be; a man who cares so much he became the very heart and soul of the MCU. To Steve, whose body resembles his unbreakable spirit, and who became a symbol of truth and honour, only because he never backed down from fighting for what was right. To Thor, who thought there was only one way to solve problems and understood that, to be a leader, you must see beyond yourself and your beliefs, and think of others and what is right for them.

In one way or another, these characters have influenced our lives, our beliefs and above all, our desire to be good. We all cheer for Tony when he fights, and wish him to be happy for once in his life. Let’s be honest, he’s earned that much. I remember the gasps in my theatre when Thanos stabbed him in Infinity War and it made me realize just how much we all care for him. We all love Steve, how his sense of right and wrong makes him human, as he too makes mistakes for what he believes is right and who we all want to see reunited with those he’s loved in the past. We all cry when Thor cries and laugh when he does. We want him to have a break after what I think is a truly horrible time for him (starting with Ragnarok).

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Chris Evans as Captain America (Courtesy of Marvel Studios)

But it’s not only them who have inspired us after all this time. I still remember how shy Chris Evans was at the premiere for Captain America: The First Avenger and how we see him now – so secure of himself, sure of where he stands, and so full of love and life. He inspires me with his kindness, his sense of humour and with his love for Steve.

The same goes for RDJ, who overcame a troubled past (much like Tony) and whose part as Iron Man made it all possible. Of course, we have to remember Hemsworth and all the original Avengers who started it all, and who have accomplished something that I honestly think will make history. This is bigger than any of us could’ve ever imagined.

Never be ashamed of how you feel about them, or how much you care. This is a story about loss, sacrifice, saying goodbye and we all deal with goodbyes in many different ways. The Avengers have become real, in a way, to everyone who they’ve impacted. Therefore, it’s okay to feel bad that the end is here. We are all going to miss what this all represented in our lives.

Still from Captain America: Civil War (Courtesy of Marvel Studios)

It’s more than okay to be sad, to cry. Heck, it’s more than fine to not want to watch the movie because you don’t actually want to say any goodbyes. We all admire these characters in one way or another, we all care about their fate, we all want to enjoy the Endgame in our own way. We are all part of something bigger than ourselves.

Thank you Chrises, RDJ, Kevin Feige, Mark Ruffalo, and everyone else involved in this amazing journey. You’ve been with us these past 10+ years and what you’ve done and been a part of is something that only happens once in a lifetime. It is all because of you.

I am not ready to say goodbye, believe me, I’m not. But we are not alone in this and, in the end, nothing ever truly ends.

Here’s to the Avengers!

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