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Why We Never See Gamora In The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special

Ever since the debut of the titular team in 2014, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise has stood out as one of the more unique entities in the modern superhero landscape. Much of this is due to the specific style that writer/director James Gunn brings to the table, as well as the eclectic personalities of characters such as Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and many more. This continued to be apparent as recently as November 2022, when The Guardians made their way from the big screen to Disney+ for their very own holiday special.

The recent release of "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" brought many fan-favorite Guardians back into the fold and introduced some new instant favorites as well, such as Cosmo. However, one notable member of the ensemble was missing: Zoe Saldana's Gamora. The character's whereabouts have been largely mysterious since her return to the MCU in "Avengers: Endgame." With James Gun confirming (via Twitter) that "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" takes place between "Thor: Love and Thunder" and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," it's worth diving in to take a look at why she is missing.

Gamora is with The Ravagers instead of The Guardians

Gamora's absence from "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" is notable. However, for some fans, it is not necessarily a major surprise. That is because, canonically speaking, Gamora is with The Ravagers at this point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline. This was confirmed in the Summer of 2022 (via Twitter) during San Diego Comic-Con when James Gunn brought the first footage to Hall H, which confirmed that Gamora had become a Ravager following her arrival in 2023.

As many fans will recall, the version of Gamora that they fell in love with in the first two "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies is still dead. She was murdered at the hands of her father Thanos (Josh Brolin) during the events of "Avengers: Infinity War" to obtain the Soul Stone. The version that we will see in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" will be the 2014 Gamora, who traveled forward in time to 2023 to do battle against The Avengers. During the climactic showdown at The Avengers compound in New York, Gamora eventually changes sides to fight against her father. Still, she ultimately chooses to leave The Guardians behind once the dust has settled. From there, fans can assume that she has likely been with The Ravagers ever since.

Gamora will return in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

While Gamora does not appear in "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special," fans can expect to see more of her in Phase 5. When the first trailer for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" dropped, it included a shot of Gamora looking at a polaroid photograph, followed by sporadic shots of her reuniting with her former team. This seems to make it clear that she will (at least temporarily) leave the Ravager life behind to be with her friends.

Of course, while fans know that Gamora will return for the upcoming film, it's unclear exactly what will happen to her throughout the course of the story. In fact, Zoe Saldana has remained incredibly cagey about what the future has in store for the character, even going so far as to hint that this could be her final outing in the role. Discussing the possibility of leaving Gamora behind (per Variety), Saldana said, "I can never say no to anything, but that green makeup? I wouldn't be upset if it didn't happen again. [Laughs] I miss Gamora but I don't miss 3:30 a.m. calls and five-hour makeup sessions and trips to the dermatologist afterwards."

Of course, those remarks do not confirm or deny anything. Fans will just have to wait and see where Gamora goes next when "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" debuts on the big screen on May 5, 2023.