Spider-Man: No Way Home was the third movie in Tom Holland’s Spider-Man Trilogy. But it also provided plenty of opportunities for previous versions of Spidermen to come back and tie up any loose ends.
Both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire’s Spidermen have sizable roles in the movie, and they are crucial in the climatic fight. Moreover, there are plenty of references to their own movies. But ultimately, they act as mentors to Holland’s Spider-Man.
However, it must be said that their own characters do also evolve in the movie. But even then, it’s clear that Andrew Garfield’s Peter received the most development.
Even though Maguire’s Peter had to deal with the death of his best friend, Spider-Man 3 at least ended with Rosemary Harris’ Aunt May and Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson by his side.
But Garfield’s Peter didn’t have such good luck. In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Gwen Stacy died in front of him, and he always felt that he had her blood on his hands. This took a toll on his psyche too.
Garfield says that his version of Peter Parker “stopped pulling his punches” in Spider-Man: No Way Home. This suggests that maybe his hero slowly developed a mean streak.
Now, Garfield’s Spidey can’t change what has already happened. But No Way Home gave his a psyche, redemption, and closure.
Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker didn’t have any Avengers on his earth. But he still fought villains with whatever he had.
In his last solo appearance as Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), Garfield’s Peter wasn’t able to save Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy when she fell from the clock tower.
Now, 7 years later, his Spider-Man successfully caught Zendaya’s MJ when she fell from the Statue of Liberty.
In an interview with Variety, Andrew Garfield praised No Way Home’s team for redeeming his Spider-Man through Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. Here’s his quote on the matter:
“To heal the most traumatic moment of [The Amazing Spider-Man’s Peter Parker’s] own life through doing it for his younger brother (Tom Holland’s Peter Parker). Making sure that he didn’t have the same fate, there’s something cosmically beautiful about that. It meant getting a second chance at saving Gwen [Stacy].”
Andrew also applauded Zendaya’s performance as MJ and said that she had that unique spirit of Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy. His quote on the matter is:
“You know, the spirit that Zendaya brings to MJ is so heartfelt and pure and loving, and Emma brought that similar unique spirit to Gwen.”
Garfield rightly hints at the fact that this scene wasn’t just a callback. Assuming that his Spider-Man aged in real-time, he has been living with the guilt of his girlfriend Gwen Stacy’s death for the same amount of time.
After all, Gwen’s death comes a little after they graduate high school. This means that Garfield’s Peter has been carrying this psychic burden for almost a decade.
As such, giving his character redemption and closure for Gwen’s death after he became a bitter and mean hero was indeed “cosmically beautiful.”
Moreover, this scene prevents Holland’s Spider-Man from going through the very same horror and heartbreak that Garfield’s hero went through.
Even though No Way Home ends with MJ forgetting about Peter Parker, at least the MCU’s web crawler will be able to sleep in peace knowing that she is safe and alive.
And for Garfield to go into this scene of saving MJ with a sort of big brotherly sense of responsibility adds another unique layer that will surely make audiences emotional.
You can watch Spider-Man: No Way Home in theaters now.