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The reason for Bucky Barnes’s backpack in ‘Civil War’ will make you cry

The contents of that dorky bag are surprisingly upsetting.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw


Posted on Mar 14, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 2:24 am CDT

In the weeks leading up to the release of Captain America: Civil War, we can all agree on one thing: Bucky Barnes’s backpack is extremely important.

Seriously, though. Thanks to a few seconds of footage in trailers for Civil War, that backpack has become weirdly popular in MCU fandom. First of all, the fearsome Winter Soldier uses a sensible chest strap like a total dweeb nerd, which is quite frankly adorable. But aside from that, there’s the tantalizing question of what’s in the backpack.

Fans have speculated about the contents of Bucky’s backpack (guns? Snacks? Spare eyeliner for that raccoon makeup he wears under his Winter Soldier mask?), but finally actor Sebastian Stan has given us the real answer. Fair warning: it may make you cry.

In response to this question from Instagram user coleisadreamer, Sebastian Stan wrote:

“Dead Cole, in his backpack there are a dozen notebooks that compose the scattered memories dating back to as far as he can remember which somewhat piece together a scattered life. In a similar way to Alzheimer’s, he’s written things down, for fear of losing his memory again. He was prepared, were something to happen, to walk away with nothing but that backpack, which is why it’s the only thing he takes and knowing full well that not everything those pages contain is pretty. I hope everything is well with you too!”

In a film that was already guaranteed to be deeply tragic, this information is a goldmine of new opportunities for misery. And this story becomes all the more upsetting when you consider that Stan’s performance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier was partly inspired by his own stepfather, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Please remember to hydrate before watching Civil War. You’re probably going to cry. A lot.

Screengrab via Marvel

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*First Published: Mar 14, 2016, 3:33 pm CDT