Spider-Man: Far From Home will mark the fifth time we see Tom Holland's Web-Head in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it appears as if we're no closer to finding out more about his Uncle Ben than when we began. While we know that the character existed at some point, there seems to be a reluctance to give the legendary character the time of day in this cinematic universe.
It's a decision that has baffled many and caused a great deal of debate among purists and longtime Spidey fans. After all, Uncle Ben is crucial to Peter Parker's arc, as it was his tragic demise that inspired his nephew to become the web-swinging superhero we all love and cherish. Let's face it: Without Ben Parker, there would be no Spider-Man.
Speaking to CinemaBlend, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige addressed the absence of Uncle Ben in the MCU. "The truth is, we want audiences to [fill] in those blanks right now," said Feige. "They've seen the other films. They've read comics. They can fill that in. That was a very purposeful decision we made to not retread that ground. There are little things that are said here and there that people can read into. What the specific facts are in the past, we haven't revealed yet."
On the one hand, many fans and critics are glad that we weren't subjected to another Uncle Ben death scene in the MCU. We've already witnessed Uncle Ben meet his maker enough times in the last two decades, do we need to see it again?
Much like Bruce Wayne's parents being gunned down in Crime Alley, we get it: It was a transformative experience. But like Feige said, it would be retreading familiar territory. In fact, if you think about Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man and its initial reviews, one of the biggest criticisms was how it spent so much of its screen time rehashing Spidey's origin and his uncle's fate. Judging by what we've seen in this new film series so far, Sony -- in partnership with Marvel Studios -- took the complaints to heart and decided to do things a little differently this time around.
In the case of Uncle Ben, he's been alluded to in several ways. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, there were a few throwaway lines about him, and we saw Peter using his suitcase -- with the initials B.F.P. -- in the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer. All this confirms he was a part of the MCU once upon a time, even if he hasn't been mentioned by name.
Still, we can't shake the feeling that Peter and Aunt May are fine with him being gone. It's tough to pinpoint the actual time frame of his death. However, considering comic book canon and Peter being 15 years old in Spider-Man: Homecoming, it's likely that his uncle's passing occurred a few months before we met him in Captain America: Civil War (unless the MCU radically alters this).
Look, time does heal all wounds, but May, especially, looks all healed up. While she's obviously different from her comic book counterpart, she has gleefully flirted with Tony Stark and Happy Hogan on several occasions. It's a far cry from the widow who was devastated by the loss of her husband and best friend for decades.
Additionally, Peter's role model is no longer his uncle, but Tony. While it's an interesting dynamic, and makes sense if you consider Peter's love for science and Tony's achievements, it tries too hard to erase Uncle Ben's impact in the youngster's life. Heck, if Tony meets his end in Avengers: Endgame and Peter spends his time mourning him, you'll know just how much the MCU values this relationship over Peter and his uncle's.
So, with great power comes great... avoidance. That should probably be the MCU's new motto as it wipes away the traces of Uncle Ben from its Spider-Man stories. While change isn't always bad and can reinvigorate characters, it does feel like Uncle Ben got the short end of the stick here. His influence in Peter and May's life has diminished drastically, as if he's merely an afterthought in the storytellers' eyes. It's entirely possible that this could change in future films, but for right now it's a Ben-less MCU.