Originally Posted by divan
The Mandarin was less memorable than Stane in my opinion, but again in my opinion he was a more interesting character. And by The Mandarin I'm not refering to Ben Kingsley. I'm not entirely refering to Guy Pearce either. I'm talking about both.
When you think about it, Ben Kingsley's The Mandarin (as in, the fictional character of the videos, not Trevor Slattery) is Aldrich Killian's crysalide much like the Iron Man Armor is Tony Stark's. Both characters show conflicts between the 'Armor personalities' and the 'naked ones'.
The (fake) Mandarin should be considered part of Killian's character. One way or the other, Aldrich created it. It's a non-subtle Supervillain and 'the face of terror' what he had in mind, contrary to his 'naked' persona who still prefered to hide in the shadows much like in he did in Bern all those years ago. Was said creation a parody of Supervillains? Maybe, but I think that him yelling 'I am the Mandarin' was him accepting the fact that he wants to be a non-subtle Supervillain, that he's tired of hiding in the shadows and wants to be the face of terror.
This parallels Stark's journey during the film in which he doesn't know if he's the 'Armored identity' or the 'naked' one (much like Killian, Stark thinks he depends on his 'armor').
In the end both armors are scrapped but both characters accept said part of their identities as part of themselves. Killian loses the face but he's still The Mandarin. Stark loses his toys but he'll always be Iron Man.
Okay, this logic makes me hope that Killian *did* survive, and comes back to lead the Masters of Evil in Avengers 2. . .