Karen Gillan Hints At An Unexpected Romance For Her Next Marvel Movie

Guardians of the Galaxy's Nebula may have more of a romantic plot in this next movie.

By Phillip Moyer | Updated

Karen Gillan marvel

The Guardians of the Galaxy series is no stranger to romance, with the relationship between Chris Pratt‘s Peter Quill and Zoë Saldana‘s Gamora spanning the first two movies. While the death of Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War brought about the end of that romantic pairing,  a recent Deadline interview hints at the fact that the next movie will still have an element of romance. This romance in Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3 won’t center around Gamora, but rather her adopted sister Nebula, played by Karen Gillan.

“Now we’re seeing Nebula post the death of the source of her trauma, Thanos. He’s been eliminated from the story, and now we’re seeing her character become a little bit of the person that she should have been had that not happened to her,” Gillan said. “her new family with the new Guardians and letting love in for the first time, rather than the defense mechanism always triggering. Allowing her to be loved and to love.”

Throughout the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films and the latest two Avengers films, Nebula’s character is mostly defined by her relationship with her less-than-functional adoptive family — Gamora and the Genocidal warlord Thanos. Based on Karen Gillan’s interview, it seems like Nebula’s complex character will be more fully explored. However, if she’s going to learn to be loved, there’s a lot of baggage that she has to overcome.

infintiy war nebula

While the original Guardians of the Galaxy had Nebula as a villain, the second film explores the character’s tragic story in more detail. We discover that she and Gamora’s adoptive father, Thanos, forced them to fight each other regularly, with Gamora always winning. Every time that Gamora won, Thanos would replace part of Nebula with machinery in an attempt to improve her fighting abilities.

In a dramatic scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Nebula tells Gamora that all she ever wanted was for them to treat each other like sisters. Gamora’s failure to relent when fighting against Nebula resulted in Nebula losing her eye, losing her arm, and even having her brain removed from her body during her childhood.

Over the course of the second Guardians of the Galaxy film, Nebula and Gamora reconcile, and Nebula ends the film flying off to defeat Thanos. We find out in Avengers: Infinity War that Nebula failed, and Thanos uses Nebula to force Gamora to help him find the Soul Stone — a quest that ultimately ends in Gamora’s death. 

Throughout the remainder of Infinity War and its follow-up Avengers: Endgame, the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers are helped by Nebula in their fight against Thanos as they attempt to stop, and then reverse, Thanos’ genocidal actions. By the end of Endgame, Nebula becomes a permanent member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. 

It’s unclear which (if any) Guardians of the Galaxy character will end up becoming a love interest for Gamora. However, considering the fact that the other options involve a raccoon, a tree, or… erm, Drax, Peter Quill (AKA Starlord) seems like the most obvious choice. It’s entirely possible that the loss of Gamora (or at very least the version of Gamora that Peter loved) will lead Starlord to get close to her sister.

Then again, love doesn’t necessarily mean romantic love. The Guardians of the Galaxy films focus as much on familial love as anything, so it’s entirely possible that the love Nebula experiences aren’t romantic in nature. We’ll have to wait until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 releases on May 5 before we can know for sure.