I had to get that out of the way before I started talking sensibly – sorry about that. But seriously – DID YOU ALL JUST SEE THAT?!
To say that this was awesome would be lowballing a little, don't you think? I'll give you all a few seconds to recover.
Okay, so now that you've got your breath back, I invite you to read on. The topic of this post is one of the more obvious things from the trailer, and one of the many things that can be drawn from its two-and-a-half minutes of glory. The question at hand, though, is indeed: is War Machine going to die in Captain America: Civil War?
The evidence available to us at the minute is somewhat overwhelming, and unfortunately, it backs up this theory. Honestly, the chances of me going way off topic in this article are similar to the chances of The Hulk beating Superman (so very likely), so for both of our respective sanities I'll make this a simple post by breaking it down for y'all.
Yeah, I know you just watched it. And yeah, I know you probably just watched it like three times, but there still might have been a couple of things you didn't notice. Heck, there are probably so many easter eggs in the damn clip that the directors of the film itself probably didn't notice all of them either. However, a pretty prominent shot was, to begin with, this one:
So, in this shot, the Winter Soldier is attempting to claw out Iron Man's arc reactor using his metal arm. As far as stating the obvious goes, I think I'm doing pretty well. However, let's look at (probably) the most devastating shot that the teaser had to offer. Specifically, this one:
Here it's again pretty clear what's going on. This scene is obviously the result of the airstrip battle (also shown in the trailer), as you can see what appears to be a smoking airport/cargo bay in the background, a clear runway to the right of Tony.
What appears to have happened to War Machine here, despite having been at least knocked out, is also worth noticing. Firstly, the face plate has obviously been forcefully removed, as you can see clearly damaged hinges around where the piece of armor should join on. As well as this, there are obvious chips in the paintwork of the suit (probably caused by bullets), but these were present in the thumbnail shot of the trailer, shown at the top of this section.
This either indicates that the airstrip battle is not the first fight that Rhodey lands himself in, or that the shot is taken midway through the fight. This still scene in the middle of the battle would make a lot of sense, as it pretty much translates directly into the graphic novel. During a large fight at a chemical plant (instead of an airstrip), Iron Man stops the fight and offers Cap a way out. he wants to explain to Cap the damage being caused by the Civil War, and so holds out his hand for a handshake.
At this point, Cap decides to be, well, a bit of a d*ck, really, and attaches an electron scrambler to Iron Man's hand, temporarily disabling his armor for a period of time. Seeing as the only plausible way that Cap and Winter Soldier could take down someone as heavily defended as War Machine is with a tool like this, I wouldn't be surprised if a similar scene took place in the movie, but this time with Mr. Rhodes carrying out the negotiations and ending up on the bad side of things.
The most notable damage to the suit, however, is the lack of the arc reactor. It's pretty clear that it was removed with brute force, as there are damaged hinges and bolts in the center of War Machine's chest around where the tech should go. The only thing I can draw from this is that it was probably the Winter Soldier, as he tries the same technique on Stark himself later in the film (shown above). This will undoubtedly do the movie a few favors, as it will create a reason for Tony to not only dislike Cap, but also to hate his best friend Bucky.
So while it's implausible that a hero would directly kill another hero, it's pretty likely the the Winter Soldier dealt some serious damage to War Machine, although not the only option. If War Machine is actually dead in this shot, then it's either likely that the movie's villain Baron Zemo (or someone of the kind) arrived on site and finished off the already damaged tin can warrior, or that a hero on Cap's side accidentally killed him.
The only thing that disagrees with the whole Winter-Soldier-ripped-out-his-arc-reactor thing is the fact that Iron Man is holding Rhodey's body in a freshly made crater, indicating the US Marine fell from the sky. The only theories that makes sense to me, when we take this into account, are that he was either remotely hacked and his arc reactor was blown up mid-flight, causing a fall to the ground, or he was shot down, knocked out, and the Winter Soldier found him on the ground and ripped out his chest piece.
EDIT: It has been made known to me by other fans there is an equally as plausible, if not more plausible theory that would make this shot make sense. In the trailer, we see Cap's team running across a runway, and see Scarlet Witch actually fly in the background.
It is, then, pretty likely to assume that the damage dealt to Tony Stark's best buddy will be at the hands of the flight-capable Scarlet Witch. It makes a ton of sense, and what's more, Scarlet Witch has already performed this type of move in her last film, when she used to here powers to rip out Ultron's 'heart'.
End of edit. Thanks go to my readers for spotting this for me!
All together, there's an overwhelming amount of evidence in the first trailer alone that War Machine isn't in for the best of times.
War Machine Was Rumored to Die in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
While this was only a short point, there was a big market for "OMG WHO'S GONNA DIE" type articles prior to the release of the second Avengers film, and it would be a waste of millions of articles to not at least reference them once or twice.
There were a ton of rumors circulating, some suggested they were all going to die (and then return to life somehow), while others suggested minor characters like Maria Hill, Nick Fury or (not surprisingly) War Machine would get removed from the MCU.
While this isn't much of a reason for him to die in Captain America: Civil War, there was a lot of valid reasoning for him to bite the dust in the last film, and I'll assume that some of that reasoning probably still stands.
It's Beyond the End of Don Cheadle's Contract
This is probably an equally strong reason for him to die in the upcoming movie. A large reason for fans speculating he would meet his match last time he appeared on screen in Avengers: Age of Ultron is because that was the last film he was signed on for. When he first signed with Marvel he stated he would be appearing in "several" films. He's already done several (Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Avengers: AoU) and survived, so his appearance in Civil War is not only his last signed film, but goes beyond his original contract obligations.
It's probable that he's signed another contract, though, otherwise he wouldn't be appearing in this film. Whether that contract is a single-film deal, or guarantees him a place in a few more pieces of Marvel cinema, we just don't know. But what we do know is his time could be up any minute.
But what do you guys think? Will War Machine finish his run in Captain America: Civil War? Or will he live to fight another day? Leave your thoughts in the comments (your feedback always helps me out), or take the poll!
Until next time guys :)