Here’s Why Martin Stein Had To Die In This Year’s Arrowverse Crossover


This year’s Arrowverse crossover that united SupergirlThe Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow has to be the best one yet, with tons of excitement and superhero action packed into the four-part miniseries. But it also had a lot of unexpected emotion, too. By the end of the crossover, long-running character Dr. Martin Stein had met his end. Though we knew that actor Victor Garber was leaving the franchise, his death still came as a massive shock.

So, why did the writers make the decision to kill off Stein? Was it just to give the crossover another big gimmick or headline-generating watercooler moment? Not according to Arrowverse exec producer Marc Guggenheim, who told Cinema Blend that it all came down to figuring out what kind of exit for Stein would have the most emotional resonance.

Here’s his in-depth explanation about why the tough decision was made:

“To be honest, we always gravitate towards the things that have the most emotional resonance as well as the things we’ve never done before. Certainly killing off Martin as opposed to writing off Martin just had a lot more emotional resonance. For me, the high point of the whole crossover is that scene where Martin dies. You wouldn’t have gotten as much emotional resonance out of the scene where Martin just says goodbye. And then also one of the very first things we talked about when we talked about the crossover was we wanted to do something that we’d never done before in a crossover and that was to kill off a character.

Continuing on, he said:

Not as a stunt or a gimmick but again, as writers, there are certain tools you have in your toolbox for how to get at those deeper, more emotionally resonant and killing off a character happens to be one of them. We had never done that on the crossovers before, and this was our fourth crossover. We were looking at ideas that would up the emotional stakes but also do so in a way that we hadn’t done in previous crossovers. In many ways, it’s awful because it’s so emotionally gut-wrenching and it’s so emotionally gut-wrenching because it’s awful.”

Well, Guggenheim and his team can consider their aim to eke out as much emotion from Stein’s departure a complete success. If you ask us, Martin’s final scene with his Firestorm other half Jax has to be the most heartbreaking moment of the whole Arrowverse combined. And it’s not like these shows have been short on death before now.

With Stein’s loss also meaning Jax has left the Waverider crew over on Legends of Tomorrow, the character’s death should have major consequences for the Arrowverse going forward – and we’ll get to see what those are when the four shows return in February.