‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ contains a big ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ continuity error

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by Keane Eacobellis

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is easily the most ambitious Spidey movie to date. Not only does it wrap up the Homecoming trilogy, it links back to both previous iterations of the franchise, too. As made clear in the marketing, characters from both the original Sam Raimi trilogy and Marc Webb’s duology return for the threequel.

By colliding with these other universes, No Way Home creates more room for continuity errors to slip in as it doesn’t just have to uphold the canon of the MCU but that of two different timelines, as well. Sure enough, No Way Home contains a major continuity glitch when it comes to The Amazing Spider-Man. Warning: full spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home beyond this point.

The error has to do with a key quote from Spidey lore that is misattributed as appearing in the 2012 reboot. Yes, the iconic phrase “with great power comes great responsibility” finally makes its MCU debut in NWH, as Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is told it by his Aunt May before her tragic death at the hands of the Green Goblin. Upon meeting Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s webheads, Holland repeats the quote to them. Here’s where the problem comes in.

Maguire and Garfield share a look of recognition at the phrase and they tell Holland that their Uncle Bens told them the same thing. While Maguire has definitely heard these words of wisdom before, though, they shouldn’t be so familiar to Garfield as his version of Ben never actually said them to him.

The closest TASM‘s Ben comes to saying it is when he tells Peter off for forgetting to pick up his Aunt May from work. Ben informs Peter that his father “believed that if you could do good things for other people you had a moral obligation to do those things. That’s what at stake here… Not choice, responsibility.” So it wasn’t even Ben’s own philosophy in this continuity but his brother Richard’s.

To hammer home the emotion of the scene, it’s fair enough that Spider-Man: No Way Home fudged the canon a little here, but it does create confusing plot hole in the process.