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It's Time To Talk About That Spider-Man Rooftop Scene In No Way Home

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

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" is finally here. When it premiered on Friday, December 17, fans finally were able to see one of the most anticipated film releases of 2021. So far, they've absolutely loved it — "Spider-Man: No Way Home" has a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of an incredible 99%. Not to mention, the excellent critics and audience reviews have placed it as the third-best Marvel Cinematic Universe film of all time, following only behind 2018's "Black Panther" and 2019's "Avengers: Endgame," per Rotten Tomatoes. After the release of the official trailer back in November, fan theories were lighting up the internet after we were given confirmations on the return of multiple Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield "Spider-Man" villains.

The film saw Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus, Jamie Foxx's Electro, Rhys Ifans' Lizard, and Thomas Haden Church's Sandman invade the MCU from their respective universes after Holland's Peter Parker interfered with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)'s attempt at making everyone forget he is Spider-Man. Instead, the spell brought those who know Peter's secret into the MCU. Early on it was clear that Holland's Peter was out of his depth, and his attempts to "cure" the villains of their condition backfired in the case of Green Goblin — resulting in the tragic death of Aunt May (Marisa Tomei).

What happened next was something that every Spider-Man fan across the world was hoping for — MJ (Zendaya) and Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) accidentally bring Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's versions of Peter Parker into their universe after an attempt to contact Holland's Peter. As such, the three Peters first meet on a rooftop, and it's now time to talk about that incredibly powerful scene.

Garfield and Maguire reflect on their own trauma

After Holland's Peter loses to Green Goblin and loses Aunt May, he heads to the rooftop that he shared with MJ to avoid crowds at the beginning of the film. MJ and Ned bring the two other Spider-Men to confront Holland's Peter about what just happened. Before Garfield and Maguire's Spider-Men reveal themselves to Holland's Peter, MJ and Ned simply do what great friends do and embrace their universe's Peter as he mourns his loss. The other Spider-Men then appear and are met with hostility from Holland's Peter due to his grief — he insists that they leave and head back to their universes as he is going to give up on helping the villains. He says he doesn't care anymore and they don't understand what he's going through.

What Garfield's Peter and Maguire's Peter do next reflects exactly what it means to be Peter Parker — they empathize. They tell Holland's Peter that he isn't alone, and they reflect on their own trauma, on the times when they lost someone close and felt like they couldn't go on. Garfield's Peter starts by recalling the loss of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) as seen at the end of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," noting that he went down a dark path, becoming cruel and brutal by not holding back his punches. Maguire's Peter follows suit, recalling the night he went after the man who he thought ended up murdering his Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson), seeking vengeance and wanting to kill him. He got what he wanted by accident and it didn't make him feel any better.

Overcoming unimaginable pain through empathy and hope is what makes Peter Parker who he is, and this scene begins by so perfectly showing that through each version of Peter.

With great power comes great responsibility

The rooftop scene between all three Spider-Men also managed to effectively connect each Peter through the phrase that they were each told by someone special in their life that "with great power comes great responsibility." The line has served as the turning point for Peter in not only embracing his role as Spider-Man, but also embracing his coming of age. For Holland's Peter, we see this line finally recited to him in a unique fashion from Aunt May just before she dies from her wounds. Holland's Peter recalls this to both Garfield and Maguire's Peter, and they both are visibly shocked, as they were both told the same thing — in their case from Uncle Ben before his death rather than Aunt May. Maguire and Garfield's Peter noted that they both heard it at some point on the day that Uncle Ben died.

As seen in 2002's "Spider-Man," Uncle Ben said this to Maguire's Peter in the car just before he dropped him off at the library while discussing his fight with Flash Thompson (Joe Manganiello). For Garfield's Peter, it was when he forgot to pick up Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) gave him a lecture about the philosophy of Peter's father. Both versions of Uncle Ben died later that evening. In the case of Tom Holland's Peter, it was reinforced by Aunt May in regard to helping the villains. Either way, the death of whoever says it to Peter is the consistent result.

However, it is once again pain and grief such as this that is required to nudge Peter Parker toward who he is. It pushes him to become Spider-Man completely, to hold those values close to the vest and always lead everything he does with an empathetic and hopeful heart.

The rooftop scene may have influenced the final decision of Tom Holland's Peter

After a brutal hand-to-hand with Green Goblin where Holland's Peter nearly beats him to death — Ned, MJ, Doctor Strange, and all three Spider-Men are able to finally defeat the Goblin with the injection of the cure, returning him to Norman Osborn. However, the cost is too great with the broken spell from earlier, and the only way for Doctor Strange to prevent more people from invading the universe was an idea from Holland's Peter — everyone has to forget he existed.

This was an utterly selfless idea from Holland's Peter, and to make that decision would take immense amounts of bravery and recognition of what's best for the world and his best friends. Only a Peter Parker who has come to recognize the responsibility that he has would make a decision like that. It's highly likely that Holland's Peter thought back to not only Aunt May, but the conversation on the rooftop where Garfield and Maguire's Peter both confirmed that they were told this as well by the people they hold most dear.

It's no question that the rooftop scene where each version of Peter meets is a turning point in the film. Maguire and Garfield's Peter help Holland's Peter through his grief and give him the confidence to make the right decision because it's what Aunt May would want, but more importantly, it's who Peter Parker truly wants to be.

With the world not knowing who Peter Parker is anymore in the MCU, it will be interesting to see how he might be reintroduced to Doctor Strange, MJ, Ned, and the rest of the Avengers. Hopefully, he'll finally read that note to MJ.