I still don’t understand why they ended Steve Rogers story the way they did. I understand why they ended Captain America’s story line that way, but not Steve’s. It was time for Captain America to retire, pass the mantle on, and there was no better candidate than the Falcon, someone who actively fought by his side and would uphold the title with Honor and the Right amount of Rebellious Respect that embodies the ideals of the American people. Sam Wilson was and still is the perfect candidate, and I understand that, which makes him someone I can and do expect to be an amazing Captain America.
But Steve Rogers. Steve Rogers was someone who literally came from nothing in a time were people like him were not only disrespected for being less able, but also being seen as a detriment to society for his lack of ambition/motivation for seeking to “take advantage” of his situation. Bucky said it himself, “you are about to become the most eligible bachelor in New York,” meaning he will have full access to date around and find a partner of his choosing with no shortage of options. He doesn’t do that though, he wants to join the war and stop the bullies. He wanted to do it for his friends, he wanted to do for those he cares about, he wanted to do it for Bucky. Through out the whole series of Steve Rogers portrayal of Captain America, his central most ￼goal of his actions were for Bucky. He join the war to protect Bucky, he disregarded orders and invaded enemy territory to save Bucky (aka Became Captain America in both name and authority), he fought against Hydra and vowed to “take down every last one of them” to honor Bucky (because he thought he was dead. He also made it a personal mission rather than a duty bound mission to end Hydra at this point because at first he was doing it because it was morally right, but at this point he was doing it to avenge Bucky. Huh, the title First Avenger makes since now). That’s just the first film.
In the sequels Steve is introduced as if he is trying to find his purpose and feels as though he doesn’t wish to serve anymore because “it’s just not the same.” He isn’t here for the same reason anymore, Bucky isn’t there so what’s the point? Than we all discover that Bucky is in fact Alive and unwell, much to Steve’s shock. Steve than pursues to find Bucky and convince him to stop, however he specifies that he couldn’t take Bucky down even if he was but into a situation of life or death, to Steve he would choose Bucky over both of those options. Bucky ends up saving his life despite that being against his brainwashed mind’s set mission from Hydra which they supplanted in him after over 75 years of conditioning, and Steve is left alone on a river side as Bucky leaves in confusion. Steve later vows to find him and help Bucky, gaining both Black Widow and The Falcon as fellow Avengers and friends who will assist him in his search.
In the third and as of 2020 final Captain America film with the portrayal of Steve Rogers, Steve is leading the Avengers in missions and defending “the little guy” (his intial reasoning for joining the army) and things go wrong. The Accords aka proceedures of what the Avengers are allowed to do and who will dictate their missions and how, and of course our favorite Rebel Rouser Steve Rogers states he refuses to sign because than they will be a world government entity, without any say in what they are doing and where they are going (which did not end well in the second movie because he was told to follow instructions he found morally objectionable and did not follow them. Obviously, as one does) and Steve made it very clear that if that was the case than he was quitting. He later gets a lead on Bucky after discovering Bucky was at the scene of the crime when the Wakandin King was killed. Once found, Bucky explains it was not him and is unbrainwashed right after being captured only to break free again. Steve finds him, snaps him out of his Hydra trance, and goes to get more information as to what is going on to clear Bucky’s name. Later on it is discovered that when he was under Hydra’s control he killed Tony’s parents, which resulted in Captain America fighting against Ironman, his fellow Avenger and Friend, to save Bucky. After the fight Tony demands Captain America’s Shield, and he drops the Shield as if to concede his right to his title in order ensure Bucky’s safety. Later the pair escape to ￼Wakanda ￼together and began to help Bucky heal.
In all these films, Steve’s central focus is Bucky. His goal is to keep Bucky safe, healthy, and to some degrees happy. His goal is to protect his friend, his family.
And than we get to the Avengers series. Most of them reference Peggy, who was introduced in the first film. She is a strong character on her own and even has her own series (which I sadly will never watch). However in the Avengers films she is reduced to only being portrayed as being Steve’s love interest. She certainly did have feelings for Steve, and Steve seemed to share them to some extent, however by the time the most recent Avengers movie End Game comes out, she hasn’t been mentioned in at least 2 Captain America movies as anything other than a friend (who dies in the 3rd Captain America film). However, in the end of End Game Steve abandons Bucky in the future and goes back to Peggy with no explanation given other than it was time for Steve to be selfish?
That… that doesn’t make since at all. It is against his character motives and basically ever established film in his franchise. It goes against what he fought for, it goes against previous design of Steve Rogers as he was originally written. It is understandable to say change has occurred, however when a creator/writer does this to a character there needs to be a clear depiction of why these changes happened, but that was never addressed in the final film he was in. It’s confusing, it’s a let down, but worst of all it shows a lack of character examination/study, which is terrible because the director/writers should understand all t characters they are putting on screen through and through. Steve would not leave Bucky behind, not because he doesn’t care for Peggy, but rather because it has been demonstrated that Bucky is Captain America’s first priority. For the writers to completely ignore previous film history of a character and change his goals with no clear explanation given shows poor story telling and pathetic directing skills of those who were involved with deciding the end result of this character.
That’s why I hate the Avengers End Game and why I will never watch a Marel movie again, because they botched the biggest superhero film in history, and they have the audacity to call it good. No amount of fake pro-feminism will take my eyes of poor character endings and I will never let that go.