Warning: spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home below!
Spider-Man: Far From Home has a lot of things going for it — the crackling chemistry between Peter (Tom Holland) and MJ (Zendaya), some epic fight scenes, Jake Gyllenhaal's face — but most importantly, it has humour. A lot of humour, which all MCU fans are in dire need of after sitting through Avengers: Endgame. The lighthearted tone of the film, like Homecoming, gives the sequel the sheen of a teenage rom-com, even as Peter Parker is swinging around Venice, Italy, and risking his life to fight the Elementals. One of Far From Home's funniest (and most bittersweet) scenes happens to be its first.
The film opens with a slideshow tribute from Peter's high school TV station to the Avengers who lost their lives in the fight against Thanos in Endgame. From Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" playing in the background to the cloud artwork and watermarked Getty images that are interspersed with photos of Tony Stark and Natasha Romanov, we couldn't have imagined a better, more tongue-in-cheek way for the film to pay homage to its fallen heroes. A surprise to some fans might be the photo of Steve Rogers that pops up in the montage as well.
As a reminder, at the conclusion of Endgame, Steve volunteers to travel back and return the Infinity Stones to their original timelines as Hulk, Sam, and Bucky wait for him. When he doesn't come back in the designated few seconds, however, the men panic. Then, Bucky notices a lone, much older man sitting on a bench nearby — it's Steve! Only he's now about 100 years old (if not more). He explains that he used his last time jump to go back and live out the rest of his life with his one true love, Peggy. They got married and lived happily ever after, which is why he's more than ready to hand over the shield and Captain America mantle to Sam.
The last we see of Steve in Endgame, he's alive, so why is he included in the tribute at the start of Far From Home (which picks up only eight months later)? Did Steve die at some point in between the events of the two films? Is he gone for good?
There are two ways to read this. The first being that yes, Steve has died from old age off screen. The second is that no, he's still alive, but maybe he's decided to live out the rest of his remaining years in private. Since no one in the current timeline would expect Captain America to be an elderly gentleman, it's kind of like the perfect disguise — he's hiding in plain sight. Perhaps the Avengers decided to tell the public that Steve also perished in the fight against Thanos so he could be completely free of his duties.
At this point, it's still unclear which scenario is the truth. But that being said, does it really matter? Steve has valiantly closed his chapter — er, phase — in the MCU, and we're excited to see how his successors (like Peter, Carol Danvers, and the rest of the young heroes) carry on the legacy of the Avengers.