The recent release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 marks the conclusion of the beloved crew’s time together. The film’s fitting end comes as nothing new for fans of the franchise, since bittersweet goodbyes have become its norm over the past 15 years. Whether it be Erik Killmonger’s death or Steve Rogers’ retirement, the MCU is full of heartbreaking last quotes from great characters.
Many fan-favorite characters stay immortalized in the MCU through their final living quotes. Some lines are deeply upsetting, while other quotes give fans hope for the future of the franchise.
This article contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
10 “It Isn’t” – Steve Rogers/Captain America (Avengers: Endgame)
Steve Rogers/Captain America helped form the backbone of the original Avengers with his heart and heroism. His integral role and leadership of the original team made his chosen retirement in Avengers: Endgame all the more upsetting. While his final words were tragic, they also gave fans hope as he passed on the Captain America mantle to Sam Wilson.
Steve’s passing of the shield and his reassurance ensure the continuation of his legacy, while proving him to be one of the wisest Avengers members due to his worthy choice. Steve’s conviction in his decision, its implication for the future, and the weight of the moment make it one of the best final lines for an MCU character.
9 “Keep Your Heart Open” – Jane Foster (Thor: Love And Thunder)
Jane’s love for Thor helped transform him from the arrogant god he was at the start of Thor to the open-hearted Avenger he becomes. Even with Thor: Love and Thunder turning Jane into a Wonder Woman-like character, she still retained the unabashedly loving quality that defined her up until the very end.
Jane’s last line highlights the healing powers of kindness and love. The quote is more than a direct reflection of the film’s final message; it’s also a warm reminder for viewers and encourages people to move forward with positivity and love, even in the direst of circumstances.
8 “I’m Damn Lucky You’re My Boy” – Yondu (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2)
While the first Guardians film touched on Yondu’s character, it wasn’t until Vol. 2 that viewers saw a deeper exploration of his character and his relationship with Quill. Despite his faults, it’s clear that the Ravager did the best he could to protect and care for Quill, making Yondu one of the best MCU dads.
Yondu’s final quote is an emotional moment that both gives his character the redemption he deserved while also giving Quill some closure. Having spent his entire life searching for a father, Star-Lord realizes that he had Yondu as a dad all along. This heartwarming revelation taps into the series’ themes about found family.
7 “Sky” – Lylla (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3)
Lylla leaves a lasting impact on audiences, even with her all-too-brief screen time in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Her gentleness toward others and contagious hope for a better life establish her as one of the most amicable new characters. Unfortunately, the High Evolutionary abruptly murders her. In her final moments, Lylla says “sky” as she drifts off into the afterlife.
Lylla dreamed about one day seeing the sky with her friends, so this line makes her passing all the more heart-wrenching. Yet, it also showcases Lylla’s strength and empowering optimism, as she turns her painful death into a moment of fulfilling her dream.
6 “Death Is What Gives Life Meaning” – The Ancient One (Doctor Strange)
The Ancient One’s exploration of new superpowers in Doctor Strange helped elevate the MCU origin movie, with her mentorship transforming Strange for the better. Her many years of life established her as a seemingly indestructible source of power, which made her passing all the more tragic.
In her final moments, The Ancient One emphasizes how death’s inevitability makes life worthwhile. By then stating how she is stretching time out just so that she “can watch the snow,” The Ancient One showcases how death is difficult to grapple with. The Ancient One’s final quote is candid and insightful and one of the MCU’s finest.
5 “I Bet We Were Fun” – Gamora (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3)
Since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 serves as the conclusion to James Gunn’s trilogy, there was a lot of speculation about which of the Guardians could die in their final film. As a pleasant surprise, none of them needed to, and they all had fitting and wholesome arcs to wrap up their characters.
This is especially true for Gamora, who – unlike fan theories suggested – did not end up falling back in love with Peter, but she still found her forever family with the Ravagers. Her last lines to Quill offer a heartfelt recognition of their journey together while also acknowledging its definite end. As a perfect encapsulation of the Guardians’ adventures, Gamora’s goodbye is one of the MCU’s best final quotes.
4 “Don’t Waste Your Life” – Ho Yinsen (Iron Man)
Ho Yinsen served as the unsung hero of Iron Man. Although his time on-screen was incredibly brief, his impact on Tony Stark was everlasting and kickstarted the entire MCU. Yinsen and Tony were both captives at the start of the film, but Yinsen’s sacrifice allows Tony to take down their captors.
Yinsen’s last words to Tony tell him not to waste his life – something the latter takes to heart as he uses the Iron Man mantle. Yinsen’s selfless death and resonating words inspire Tony to be better than the arrogant playboy billionaire he is. Instead, Tony transforms into an admirable hero. Through his heroism and strong message, Yinsen’s last words helped mold the MCU into the beloved franchise it has since become.
3 “I Am Inevitable” – Thanos (Avengers: Endgame)
The entire Infinity Saga followed Thanos’ building threat until he triumphed in Avengers: Infinity War, so the Mad Titan is undoubtedly the most important MCU villain to date. Because of this, his eventual demise in Avengers: Endgame is all the more rewarding, especially when considering his last quote.
Having presumed himself to be the victor, Thanos prematurely declares himself to be “inevitable.” At first, the quote gives a sense of dread, which quickly turns into relief as Iron Man annihilates him with the snap. A symbol of the Titan’s power, his lasting legacy, and the eventual triumph of good over evil, his misspoken last words are some of the most memorable.
2 “Because They Knew Death Was Better Than Bondage” – Killmonger (Black Panther)
T’Challa’s underestimation of Erik in Black Panther proved to be one of his greatest failures. However, even more unfortunate for T’Challa was the too-late realization that Killmonger had some merit behind his actions.
Although he went about it the wrong way, Erik’s passion and dedication toward the Black community were inspiring. It empowered T’Challa to pair Erik’s good intentions with the correct actions. Erik’s final quote before dying not only establishes him as a sympathetic villain, but it also reminds viewers of the real-world truths behind his words and their ever-relevant message.
1 “I Am Iron Man” – Tony Stark (Endgame)
After an arduous battle against Thanos and his army, Tony Stark’s possession of the Infinity Stones serves as one of Avengers: Endgame‘s most shocking and profound moments. In true sarcastic fashion, Tony’s words take a jab at Thanos’ “I am inevitable” quote.
Iron Man’s words also offer a full-circle callback to his first film, along with re-establishing Tony’s importance as he becomes the one to take down the supervillain with his ultimate act of heroism. Through its many layers, emotions, and epic context, Tony Stark’s final living quote offers an epic sendoff to the MCU’s most defining character.
NEXT: 10 Best Ant-Man Quotes In The MCU
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