I was just rewatching the first Iron Man movie and something stood out to me
When Tony wakes up in the cave and the terrorists come in to tell him to build the Jericho missile, Tony’s immediate response was “I refuse.”
No hesitation at all. It was clear and steadfast refusal. And even after they WATERBOARDED him multiple times, he still wasn’t willing to do it.
People say Tony Stark was just an arrogant womanizing jerk before he was Iron Man, yet even before he was the man in the armor, when faced with threats to his survival, Tony refused to build weapons that would be used by terrorists to hurt people.
Yes perhaps Tony was ignorant and naive to the reality of what his weapons could be used for or fall into the wrong hands, but his weapons manufacturing was never about the desire to hurt people but rather the desire to protect. His father built weapons for the government to help end wars and save lives, and here he is trying to continue that legacy of smarter and better weapons that would strike out enemy targets that don’t end up with collateral damage.
He had no idea that the man who helped raised him, a man he trusted, had all this time been double dealing behind his back and using him – he had no idea Obadiah was making deals with terrorists – yet the moment Tony found out his weapons were falling into the wrong hands, he put an immediate stop to it with no care about how it would effect his wealth or the fact that they were now suddenly a weapons manufacturing company that makes no weapons. What mattered more was not allowing his weapons to harm any more innocent lives.
“I saw young Americans killed by the very weapons I designed to protect them.”
The real tragedy of Tony Stark is that he cares, he cares so much, yet that care and desire to protect can also be the thing that drives him to the extreme that allows something like Ultron to come into being.
Ultron wasn’t just born out of Tony’s fear, it was also born out of Tony’s desire to save and protect lives, which is incredibly sad and tragic, that someone who has so much care and love for people, who tries so hard to protect lives, always end up creating the things that did more harm than protection.
Even in Civil War, in trying to protect the team, in trying to keep them all safe and together, the harder he tried, the more the team crumbled and broke.
Tony Stark has always wanted to save lives, to protect people, yet it almost always never goes his way, it almost always fall apart and he’s left standing in the wreckage tying to rebuild and try again because that’s all he knows how to do.