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The Wild Aunt May Theory That Changes Everything About Spider-Man: No Way Home

The following article contains major spoilers for "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

Spider-Man is a hero defined by his choices. He's often given impossible decisions to make, and regardless of the route he ends up taking, he often winds up suffering one way or another. Few heroes have gone through as much loss as Peter Parker, but it's still rare to see him go through the wringer as much as in "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

Peter (Tom Holland) suffers immensely in the film. First, he gets in trouble with the law after his secret identity is revealed. He then has to fight multiple villains from other universes, and as if that wasn't bad enough, Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) dies during Peter's battle with Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe). But before she passes away, she gives Peter the iconic "With great power" speech that's stuck with the character, regardless of medium, throughout the last few decades.

In essence, Aunt May has taken on the role traditionally held by Uncle Ben in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's through her loss that Peter learns to be the best hero possible and to sacrifice what he wants most so that the world can be safe. Peter asks Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to cast a spell to make the world forget who he is, which will prevent villains from even more dimensions from getting through the barrier. It sets up a strange new reality for the MCU's Peter Parker to navigate, and one Reddit theory makes a compelling case for what could happen next with Aunt May out of the picture.

Uncle Ben can now make his MCU debut

Redditor u/IWouldBeLostVII makes a strong case for why Uncle Ben could still be alive in the MCU. The closest we directly hear about anything related to him is a line in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" where Peter makes a vague allusion with the statement: 'After everything that's happened with [Aunt May]." That's far from confirmation that Uncle Ben is dead, and when you look at everything else, especially in "No Way Home," there's a good chance he's still alive. After all, when we see Aunt May's tombstone in the finale, she's not buried next to a Ben Parker. The Redditor goes on to mention, "We never hear that she's a widow. We don't see any pics of Uncle Ben in the house. He's never mentioned ... because the thing that happened to her wasn't the love of her life dying, it was him leaving her."

In this universe, Aunt May has taken the traditional Uncle Ben role. She gives him the "great power" speech and dies as a result of his actions. So where does that leave Ben? He could just be a non-entity in this universe where we never see or him from him, but u/IWouldBeLostVII has another idea in mind. "What I think will happen is that during the college trilogy he will hit rock bottom, get evicted, lose everything," they elaborate. "He'll have no one to go to except his last remaining relative, Uncle Ben. After some reconciliation and some growing pains ... Uncle Ben becomes fond of Peter and he is the 'MCU Aunt May' figure for Peter. It's simply the laws of the universe. Equality. And imo ... it'd be a nice twist."

It's certainly an option Marvel Studios can take if it so desires. No doubt fans would love to see such a critical character finally have his big MCU break.