Why Gamora doesn’t need to be a Guardian of the Galaxy anymore

Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.
Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL. /

The MCU fandom has been weeping round the clock since the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 last week. Before switching sides to take over as the creative head of DC Studios, James Gunn inarguably created a tear-jerker of a Marvel movie to end his trilogy.

A master at his craft, Gunn proved that you can write an emotional story and still have a happy(ish) ending. That being said, Gunn didn’t give fans everything they wanted. For instance, let’s look at how he treated the character of Gamora (Zoe Saldana).

SPOILERS for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 below

After being sacrificed by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, Gamora returned to the MCU in Endgame. But this wasn’t the Gamora we knew; that one died in Infinity War. This was a Gamora from an alternate universe who had never met the other Guardians. She’s the one we spend time with in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, picking up with her after she joins the space pirate gang the Ravagers.

As soon as the first trailers dropped, fans started to speculate about whether AU Gamora would be back with the Guardians and even end up with Peter Quill once again. It wouldn’t make much sense, but it would give Quill back the woman he loved and give the audience closure.

However, James Gunn decided to go down a different path, which is exactly what the story needed. Despite Quill’s many attempts at “reminding” AU Gamora of their time together, she remains steadfast in her stance that she was not the person he loved. She is not wrong; she’s from a different timeline and never had the experiences Peter remembers so fondly.

Gunn fights the temptation to slide AU Gamora back into her old role, where the fans are used to seeing her. All it would have taken was one moment of intimacy between her and Star-Lord. And there almost was one, right after Quill detonates the ship with Adam Warlock inside it.

Instead, Gunn lets this Gamora have a different personality; she’s wilder and more angry, which makes sense given that she’s essentially been left all alone in a universe not her own. That said, she still has a softer side, which she shows when saving Rocket from War Pig or sticking with the team for the final battle. Both Gamoras are essentially made of the same stuff, but their circumstances have made them different.

Gamora is her own person in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and the movie is better for it

At the end of the movie, after Adam Warlock saves Quill in a scene that had every fan on the edge of their seat, all the Guardians and their extended found family huddle together in an adorable hug. Gamora stands at a distance, hesitant. We expect her to join as well, but she does not.

Instead, she walks over to her own found family, the Ravagers, and is given a warm welcome by Stakar (Sylvester Stallone) and the others. It is at this moment that we realize that she wasn’t a lost soul in the cosmos and Quill was wrong about her not belonging with the Ravagers. He was speaking out of grief, and he was wrong. Gunn gives AU Gamora a personality and history all her own, which is why she does not need to join the Guardians to give her life purpose and meaning.

One of the best things about the Guardians of the Galaxy series is how the characters have undergone slow but tangible growth over the three movies. Quill is less reckless, Nebula is less bitter, Drax is less destructive, and so on. With Gunn gone, Gamora may or may not be brought back to the squad and even paired back up with Quill. But it is not the arc that the character needs anymore.

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