Warning: Spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to follow!
Thanos may not appear in #GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2, but here's the thing; his presence is ever-felt. The sequel is surprisingly character-rich, and it takes time to explore the character dynamics between every one of the cast — including everybody's favorite sisters, Gamora and Nebula.
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The relationship between the two is a dark and powerful one, and ironically, it's one we almost never got to see; Karen Gillan has revealed Nebula originally died in the script of 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy! But it's not just fascinating for giving us an insight into these two femmes fatales; it's also important because it helps to build up the evil threat of #Thanos...
Get A Load Of That Hate!
For me, the fight between the sisters was one of the most startling scenes in the entire film. Nebula swoops down out of the heavens and opens fire on her sister, making a wrathful attempt on Gamora's life. She's so desperate to commit murder that she loses all sense of self-preservation; when Gamora slips down into some caverns, Nebula actually tries to follow her, ultimately wrecking her vessel in a move that almost kills them both.
That's when things truly take a disturbing twist. Nebula is trapped within the wreckage of her vessel, and Gamora's own bloodlust takes control. She hefts up a fallen weapon and opens fire with the kind of firepower that can literally tear spaceships apart. Just as Nebula was focused on Gamora's death, in this moment, Gamora has her heart set on murder.
Of course, there's more to the story than that, and the bloodlust gradually cools. But it's still a scene that's shocking — both characters, the "villain" and the "hero," become focused on nothing more than murdering their sister.
What Can Cause Such Hatred?
As the film continues, and Nebula and Gamora are forced to open up to one another for perhaps the first time in their lives, we come to understand the fiery hatred that burns within heir hearts. It's all thanks to Daddy Dearest.
Needless to say, Thanos was not the best parent in the galaxy. If anything, he is the most abusive father imaginable. It seems that he forced the sisters to duel as they grew up. Whichever girl lost? They'd lose a body part, replaced by cybernetics. Gamora was the better fighter of the two, and so, little by little, Nebula lost so much of her flesh-and-blood body. I'm pretty sure Thanos won't have bothered with anaesthetics while having these processes carried out, too.
What a horrifically twisted relationship these sisters have. Gamora was desperate to survive, desperate not to suffer, and so fought for all she was worth. Nebula blamed her sister for every injury she suffered at Thanos's hands. To Nebula, Gamora's every victory was an act of selfish pride, a refusal to be defeated, and an insistence that Nebula suffer in her place.
Another Layer Is Added To Thanos's Evil
We may not have seen Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but these scenes add another layer to his character. His motives have yet to be explored, but he clearly believes in power and skill above everything else. He wanted to create daughters he could be proud of; and so he pitted them against one another in brutal matches, twisting their characters to suit his will.
So far, Thanos's motives in the #MCU have remained a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; we #Marvel comics fans have a good idea, of course, but the general viewers don't really know much about him. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has just upped the ante, revealing Thanos as irredeemably evil. After all, how can you possibly redeem a man who would even treat his daughters like this? It's a smart move, and makes Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 a crucial step on the road to #InfinityWar.
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For me, the relationship between Gamora and Nebula was one of the most emotional aspects of the film. Karen Gillan and Zoe Saldana really capture this "twisted sisters" dynamic, and make it work perfectly; the scenes are raw and emotional, filled with passion and fury. And even better; every single moment they're together just adds more depth to the evil that is Thanos...
Which of the sisters do you most want to finish Thanos?
(Poll Image Credit: Marvel Studios)