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Thor : (To Fury) Your work with the Tesseract is what drew Loki to it, and his allies. It is the signal to all the realms that the earth is ready for a higher form of war.

STEVE : A higher form?!

What does "a higher form of war" mean? Could you explain for understanding?

STEVE : I’m sure if he still made weapons, Stark would be neck-deep...

TONY : Wait-Wait! Hold on! How is this now about me?

STEVE : I'm sorry, isn't everything?

Please try and guess Steve's uncompleted line and complete sentence. "Stark would be neck-deep in big trouble" or "Stark would be neck-deep a bundle of paper money (Stark buried in the money)". Which one do you think makes sense?

And Steve said "isn't everything?" What does that mean?

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What that higher form of war means, is even unclear to "Steve". It seems it is meant to be unclear, and maybe "Thor" will get a chance to explain it later on, since "Steve" asks the same question as you.

A higher form usually means a more advanced, nobler, or more complicated version of something. Which, in the case of war could mean a lot of things, depending on who says it.

As for the unfinished sentence, without further context, it seems likely that "Steve" would be neck-deep into anything that he would be into if he were still making weapons. I guess it would be warfare, possibly making money out of the war that they seem to be in. Ask yourself what whoever is making the weapons for this war has a lot of, and that is what Steve would have had a lot of as well :)

The last one is the simplest question, as the answer is right there in the script:

TONY : [..]How is this now about me?
STEVE : I'm sorry, isn't everything (about you)?

Examples occur whenever someone leaves out a verb, a noun or a phrase in order not to repeat it:

The oldest sister is beautiful!
Aren't they all (beautiful)?

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    It might be worth pointing out that there is a shift in meaning (a play on words) toward the end. When Tony asks, "How is this about me?" he essentially means, "How did this conversation suddenly involve me?" When Steve replies, "Isn't everything [about you]?" that's an insult of sorts. When we say, "You think everything is about you," we generally mean, "You are being way too self-centered." – J.R. Apr 12 '14 at 11:09
  • It may be unclear in the specifics but I think the idea Thor is trying to convey is about escalation. A previously unthreatening state gaining the ability to engage you on more or less equal terms. For example, in the nuclear arms race the "higher form of war" would be "complete destruction of the enemy nation in nuclear fire". Another example, the British Empire being the world's unrivaled naval power for a long time until right before WWI when Germany pretty much built a modern fleet to rival them from the ground up. – HamHamJ Dec 22 '14 at 14:49
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I don't yet see a good answer for the 'uncompleted sentence' question, so, I would say that it would be something like:

...would be neck-deep in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secret project to make weapons out of the Tesseract.

Well, he probably would have shortened it to 'this project', because it's understood to be the thing they're talking about.

Steve is suggesting that if Tony Stark and his company were still in the business of making weapons (as it was at the beginning of the film continuity), he would have been deeply involved (hence the 'neck-deep' idiom) in this secret project, rather than just finding out about it now with the rest of them.

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Our way of fighting wars is primitive. The Universe is constantly engaged in wars. There's good and evil, the dark and light side. It is the balance of existence, one cannot exist without the other. So there are species that fight the more advanced, more complicated wars, wars that make our nuclear weapons look like swords and arrows of old.

S.H.I.E.L.D started working with an infinity stone, one of the most powerful source of energy in the galaxy/universe, a powerful stone like this made the rest of the species notice Earth and the potential power it could have if they learn how to wield the stone. Both good and evil knows that someone needs to get there first, and whoever ends up commanding the most influence on Earth, wins the whole world..

What is confusing however, is why Asgard sends the stones to the collector, clearly he does not look trustworthy. Unless Loki commanded them to do so, since he took over the Throne.

  • This seems to be a plot summary, not an explanation of the term "a higher form of war". As such, it doesn't answer the question. – David Richerby Dec 22 '14 at 12:04
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Higher form of war means war against gods or higher beings. We are only mortal humans that's why we are not yet ready to engage in higher form of war. So far, man's achievement in terms of weaponry is the ''atomic bomb''.

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I think it simply implies Thor, and possibly other more advanced aliens, see mankind's current level of warfare capability as relatively primitive. I think Cpt. America's response was continuing with the high level banter the scriptwriters used on this scene (from the time all of the Avengers were influenced by the Tesseract to argue with one another) and the use of Cpt. America's rhetorical question as a bemusement of Thor's above assessment. Coming from Cpt. America, soldier who embodies America's military ability, shows mankind's pride/ego take a hit by Thor's comment.

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