In Iron Man, after Pepper Potts uncovers Obadiah Stane's previous attempt to have Tony Stark assassinated by the Ten Rings, Obadiah reacts by immediately going to Tony's house and stealing his Arc Reactor, leaving him to die. He then uses the Arc Reactor to power his own suit and goes on a rampage with it, attempting to kill Pepper Pots and several government agents who were coming to arrest him.

But what was his actual plan? It sounds like he's trying to cover up the evidence of his guilt, as he tells Tony "Too bad you had to involve Pepper in this, I would have preferred that she lived.", but his actions after that point are far from subtle. Mounting an armored power suit and killing several government agents who were already coming to arrest him seems like it would only create more evidence of his guilt, so what was he hoping to achieve by that?

  • 3
    Probably bugger off to some country with no extradition and sell the design.
    – IG_42
    Apr 28, 2018 at 16:12
  • 8
    If you kill all the witnesses, there are no witnesses. Then your court case becomes an argument between lawyers and experts.
    – Valorum
    Apr 28, 2018 at 16:23
  • 3
    "...The claims that my client was the individual piloting the Iron Man suit that killed all those people is preposterous and the state has failed to meet its burden of proof in this matter..." - (Obadiah's lawyer at the trial)
    – Odin1806
    Apr 28, 2018 at 16:34
  • 1
    Not sure how this question is "new" again, but I had always thought that when SHIELD arrived and Obadiah realized his plot was uncovered, he had simply gone insane. Because you're right - by the time of the final battle there is no resolution possible where he "wins". Obadiah actually "loses" when Pepper leaves the office with Coulson after getting the data Tony wanted, several scenes earlier.
    – tbrookside
    Aug 26, 2019 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


Obidiah’s plan was always “a new world order” as he said. Remember he left a resignation letter with Tony before taking his heart-reactor. That was the alibi. Later, in a power suit he was in the arc reactor room when the battle began, and they cracked the containment glass. The reactor started to overload.

Tony reminded Stane that “you know when that reactor blows a lot of people will die.” Obadiah does know this, so there was going to be no evidence.

The government was not going to let the Iron Man project go public and Obadiah also knew that - he traded weapons all the time. You recall the Air Force started their cover-up during the aerial fight:

OFFICER1: Get me Major Allen. Scramble the jets!
OFFICER2: Not necessary, people. Just a training exercise.
OFFICER1: Yes, sir.

After Stane died they created a massive coverup alibi, even getting 50 “witnesses.”

You've all received the official statement of what occurred at Stark Industries last night. There have been unconfirmed reports that a robotic prototype malfunctioned and caused damage to the arc reactor. Fortunately, a member of Tony Stark's personal security staff...

So if Obidiah killed Ironman and Pepper everything else was going to be destroyed by the arc reactor. The only thing left would be the power suit, and a government cover-up. Obadiah would be free to sell the technology.

We don’t know if Stane planned to blow the reactor, but he went there for a reason and it certainly worked to his advantage. At that point he wasn’t really worried about leaving evidence. His plan was simply kill all witnesses and blow the whole place to bits, then “some unknown robot suit” would fly away with the resignation as his alibi. It’s a fairly typical arch-villain plan.


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