While Marvel and Sony made a conscious decision not to include Spider-Man's origin or the death of Uncle Ben in Spider-Man: Homecoming - because we'd seen the story twice before quite recently - both hung over Peter Parker's story, inevitably.
But it was still quite surprising how little Uncle Ben seemed to be a presence in the movie. It was almost like his death was no longer a definitive part of Peter's upbringing and Aunt May even seemed to be open to the idea of dating (or at least flirting), suggesting it was no longer a difficult emotional wound for her. Whisper it, but it seemed a little like the character who had previously been such a mentor to Peter had been forgotten - replaced by Tony Stark.
However, a new theory suggests that if you look close enough, there is reason to believe that Uncle Ben's spirit lives on in Peter, in how much of a movie geek he is. And specifically, how tuned in he is to a very precise time period of movies.
It's a pretty touching theory, as it goes, which suggests that Peter and Uncle Ben bonded over movies and that imprinted on Peter so much that he remembers his uncle through those films:
"My theory is that Uncle Ben was a film nut and he loved sharing his favorite movies with Peter.. All the references Peter has used so far are all from "really old movies" that would've come out when Uncle Ben was around 20 based on Aunt May's age. Sure Peter could've seen all those movies on his own especially Star Wars but I've met kids from his generation that have never seen Wizard of Oz or Back to the Future let alone Aliens or Ferris Bueller. So all these movies made an impact on a young Uncle Ben (some of which he may have even seen in the theater with Peter's father) so he showed them to Peter and Peter loved most of them, but not all of them judging by his remarks on Footloose."
And further, the theory suggests why Peter makes the film he shoots during Civil War and narrates as if there's a specific audience in mind, despite the fact that he has nobody to show it to.
"I think this is also why Homecoming begins with "A Film by Peter Parker" he filmed it knowing he couldn't show it to anyone so I think he was making it for Ben. Peter found himself right in the middle of the kind of movie Uncle Ben would've loved so he just had to film it."