Tony Nebula shouldn't have been the one to wield the Infinity Gauntlet, and if Nebula had killed Thanos in Avengers: Endgame
The writers of Avengers: Endgame They recently revealed that Nebula almost wore the Infinity Gauntlet in the blockbuster at Marvel Studios, but the scene was removed from the script in the early stages because they felt it undermined the climax of Tony Stark. Despite his explanation, the way this series of events unfolds is not entirely in line with proper storytelling techniques and he feels too forced to finally be successful.
It is clear that the writers worked backwards in designing the last two Avengers movies. They knew it had to end with Tony Stark's sacrifice because he was the character who launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and because Robert Downey Jr.'s contract had ended and they had to get him out of the movies. It seems they were writing towards a destination and allowing the plot to dictate the character, rather than allowing the characters to lead the plot. Doing the latter would have led them to the inevitable conclusion that it should have been Nebula who wielded the Infinity Gauntlet to defeat Thanos.
While Thanos has been around in the early UCM since his mid-credits appearance in The Avengers, he had no real connection to the Tony character's journey. Nebula and Gamora were the characters that really had a direct relationship with Thanos. Nebula was a lackey to Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy, but his character had a greater evolution in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 As the public learned more about her fight with her abusive father. She deserved the opportunity to complete her story arc and be the one to finally end Thanos' reign of terror.
In Avengers: EndgameNebula has the opportunity to sacrifice herself, a moment that very well exemplifies her growth as a character. However, while she kills her past to preserve her future, that doesn't give her a real close with the Crazy Titan, who literally turned her into a killing machine. He had also finally developed the relationship with his sister that he had been longing for most of his life, and then Thanos murdered Gamora in her search for the Soul Stone. Nebula had the most personal motivation to kill Thanos. She wants to stop him not only because it's the right and heroic thing for the universe as a whole, but because of the horrible things he had done to her personally. She deserved the right to be the one to wield the Infinity Gauntlet instead of Tony.
In addition to making narrative sense within the UCM, Nebula wielding the Gauntlet would have been an appropriate tribute to the original comics of The Infinity Gauntlet from 1991. In that series, Nebula takes Thanos's Gauntelete to defeat him. While not everything in the comics necessarily makes sense for the movies, and the UCM "adaptations" of the comic book stories, this is a plot twist that would have been perfect to be adapted.
Killing Tony was clearly the film's overall intention. Pepper says Tony would never be able to rest and retire if there was any chance that he could make the world a better or safer place. All of this is absolutely true, and he is certainly an admirable and vitally important hero. However, he has already completed the character arc that would require him to die for the cause in Avengers.
In the first team movie, an unimpressed Captain America tells Tony that when the time comes, he would not be the one to go to bed and sacrifice himself for the greater good. At the end of the movie, he does exactly that and proves Steve is wrong when he intercepts the nuclear bomb and drives it through the wormhole, not even hesitating when he can't contact Pepper for a proper goodbye. He did not literally need to commit suicide to prove himself a hero, because thematically this heroic arc of personal sacrifice had already been completed before, in addition one of the conditions that Tony puts on the table is that he would not lose what he achieved, so what sense does it make to sacrifice and do just Otherwise, at that point it would not have been more logical to do as in the story of the original material, make the snap back to the end point of Infinity War, reverse the effects of Thanos without anyone remembering what happened and have the opportunity to start over with Peeper again, retire with his family, and have a chance to make a brief cameo in the future. This ending would surely have solved the problem of what they call the span in future UCM movies.
By writing towards a specific plot point rather than following the characters' logical conclusion, the Avengers: Endgame writers stole Nebula's legitimate closing opportunity. Instead, they were clear that Tony Stark had to be killed, so they wrote a character arc that Tony had already gone through to reach a specific ending. Tony's ending was really heartbreaking and he performed brilliantly, but this ending would have been so much better with Nebula.
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