WandaVision’s dueling line was used to justify Scarlet Witch’s actions in Westview, but it also explains why Star-Lord was not at fault in Infinity War.
By WandaVision The last two episodes finally cleared up one of the most emotionally charged debates of Avengers: Infinity War: the question of Star-Lord’s guilt. Vision’s beautiful line about pain being “persevering in love” was easily a highlight, but it should also work just as hard for Star-Lord as it does for Wanda. And that it is used to apparently justify Wanda’s victimization of Westview residents means that the same excuse should be given to Peter Quill.
Quill already had an easily accessible starting point for the debate, because his interference was a necessary part of the one reality the Avengers won (thus, Doctor Strange did nothing to stop him). But that didn’t end accusations that Star-Lord single-handedly ruined the heroes’ ability to prevent the Mad Titan from snapping his fingers. In fact, it became as much a part of the post-launch speech as the question of whether Thanos was right to wipe out half the universe.
Star-Lord’s actions weren’t his, and more importantly, Vision’s infinitely quotable meditation on the nature of pain adds much-needed discussion to his story arc. Because if Wanda’s actions, bordering on illogical, can be interpreted as pain amplified by traumatic love, so can Peter Quill’s. Romances, after all, are not vastly different in their hearts and Quill deserves some of the same justification.
Like Wanda, Star-Lord’s life was a catalog of trauma. His father was an absent megalomaniac who gave his mother cancer and killed her like a loose end, was bullied at school, robbed by space pirates, and forced to live a life away from all family. He then reunited with his father, saw the truth revealed, and realized that his real father was the pirate who kidnapped him only to watch him die as well. And then the love of his life, who saw him for more than his reputation and forgave his faults, was killed. However, Quill’s inability to avoid hitting Thanos with painful rage at the discovery of Gamora’s death was taken as the avoidable actions of a fool. The double standard, considering that Drax, Zemo, and T’Challa were presented as justified in their pain in other MCU arcs, was always confusing.
But aligning Star-Lord’s actions with Wanda’s under the empathic umbrella of Vision’s pain assessment changes that perception entirely. And it corrects an injustice that painted Star-Lord in a cruel light considering that his love for Gamora had not only been completely believable but also comforting to him. Both were effectively orphans but united by their experience of abusive parents, both united by the rejection of the families that were imposed on them. Quill’s actions were impulsive and reckless, but they were nothing more than a persevering act of love. I only drink WandaVision to make sense of them correctly.
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