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Here's what Gamora's future in the MCU could look like

Avengers: Endgame co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo say they don't know what happens to Gamora (Zoe Saldana) at the end of the film. The big final dust-up between the Avengers, their allies, and the forces of Thanos (Josh Brolin) brings a time-displaced Gamora to the present day. When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) decides the battle by seizing the Infinity Stones and using their power to wipe out Thanos and his army, we don't see Gamora die… but we don't see her escape either. Just like Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), we're left to wonder if Tony's snap killed Gamora or if she's out there somewhere. 

We won't know for sure until we learn more about the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, though it seems a good bet Gamora is alive. To kill Gamora in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War is cruel enough. To bring back a version of her and kill her right away? Off screen? That's too cruel, even for the guys who made us watch Peter Parker (Tom Holland) turn into a dust devil.

That still leaves us with the question of what Gamora will do. This Gamora has not seen the same experiences as the original. Without experiencing the same road of redemption, could she become a villain as ruthless as Thanos or worse? Or could she be a hero again, just with no connection to Quill or the Guardians? Here are some of our ideas about what Gamora's future in the MCU might look like. 

So happy together

First, there's the possibility most fans are probably hoping for — by the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 we'll see Quill and Gamora reunited, with the emerald-skinned warrior falling in love with Star-Lord just like the Gamora who died on Vormir.

If this happens, it won't be right away. The Gamora from 2014 never traveled to Xandar to take the Orb. Quill never stopped Drax (Dave Bautista) from murdering her or escaped the Kyln with her. She was never saved by Quill outside Knowhere and didn't fight alongside him and the other Guardians to stop Ronan (Lee Pace). All the experiences the original Gamora had with Quill, which helped to foster their love, never happened to her. There's no reason for her to have anything to do with Quill. From what we saw in Endgame, she's not rushing to find out what she's missing. 

If love is rekindled between Peter Quill and Gamora, it will happen slowly. We probably wouldn't see any true caring from both until the end of the film. Unlike the original Gamora, this one has no motivation to be anywhere near Quill or the other Guardians. She probably won't appreciate (what she'll see as) being hunted. Winning Gamora's trust will be a difficult feat for Quill, and even then by the end of Vol. 3, at best they'll probably be where they were in the first Guardians when she pulled a knife on him for his "pelvic sorcery."

Co-workers

Another possible scenario is that Gamora will rejoin the Guardians, but she will want nothing to do with Peter Quill, romantically speaking. 

Our best gauge for what this Gamora is like is what we saw in the first Guardians, and romance did not seem to be at the top her list of priorities, with Quill or anyone else. If she even agrees to work with the team again, it will probably only be because she has a goal that she needs their help with. And her attitude toward them will be cold at best. 

It also won't likely help that Nebula (Karen Gillian) told Gamora that she and Quill had been lovers. She'll know what he'll be after and will fight to keep him away from her that much harder. She may have extra motivation to keep clear of him — knowing that her future self was entwined with Quill may make her feel like she's fated to be with him, and she might not take that well. Having just freed herself from Thanos' shadow, she might bristle at the notion of fate, or anything else, taking away her choices. 

The Pirate Angel

During the resolution of Endgame, we see Thor (Chris Hemsworth) join the crew of the Benatar. There's been no official word as to whether or not Hemsworth is joining the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but if he is joining the Guardians, then Peter Quill's goal of winning back Gamora might be a little bit more complicated. 

When the Guardians rescue Thor from space in Infinity War, Gamora isn't shy about how impressed she is with the Asgardian's physique. Likewise, Thor isn't shy about making moves on Thanos' adoptive daughter, and Quill isn't shy about his spiking jealousy. Gamora may have found Thor attractive in Infinity War, but she was in love with Quill. The closest the 2014 Gamora has gotten to being tender with Star-Lord is hitting him as hard as she could in the most tender spot she could find. 

So in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Gamora may find herself in the arms of a thunder god. Alternatively — whether or not she has any interest in romance — she may find herself as the object of competition between Star-Lord and Sakaar's famous Lord of Thunder. Quill may know this competition is coming. After all, it was Thor's boarding the Benatar that made him swipe Gamora's image out of sight in Endgame

At war with Drax

In the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, Gamora will have something in common with Drax — both may find themselves without purpose. From Guardians of the Galaxy we know that in 2014, Gamora's every thought and action was geared towards freeing herself from Thanos' control and stopping Ronan's plans. Even before the events of the first Guardians, Drax's sole reason for living has always been vengeance, first against Ronan and then Thanos. Ronan and Thanos are both dead, so what's a former assassin and a vengeance-driven warrior to do?

We may see things get bloody between Gamora and Drax. Drax could be looking for a new target for his wrath, and a Gamora who never walked down the same road of redemption as the original might be the perfect candidate. She might even be more of an apt choice if something from Gamora's past — something that showed an involvement in Drax's family's murder — were to come to light. 

That's complete speculation, but it seems like the Guardians are primed for such a revelation. We don't know a lot about what Gamora was like before she turned on Ronan. The idea that she was nothing but a reluctant part of Thanos' destruction seems remote. She's a master warrior, and you don't get that good at something without liking it at least a little bit. It may be that it took a long time and a lot of blood for her to get desperate for redemption. 

Sisters

The second Guardians film opens with Gamora getting along better — not perfectly, but still better — with her teammates… but she still loathes Nebula. In fact, she and the team take Nebula off the Sovereign's hands with plans to turn her in for a bounty. Ironically, when Vol. 3 begins, Nebula will be the only member of the Benatar's crew that Gamora even knows. And while the 2014 Gamora didn't seem to have the same warm fuzzies for Nebula that the original showed by the end of Vol. 2, it appeared in Endgame that the two at the very least had earned each other's respect. 

Gamora and Nebula have more in common with each other than either does with anyone else. They're both deadly warriors who grew up under the rule of the same oppressive, abusive tyrant. With Thanos, Ronan, and the Black Order all dead, Nebula and Gamora may see this as a second chance to be true sisters to one another. If both stay with the Guardians, Nebula may be the only person Gamora has any connection with. Or they could head out on their own, as the deadliest pair of warrior women the galaxy has ever seen. 

Retracing her footsteps

In Avengers: Infinity War, we get a bloody snapshot of Gamora's youth — the day her mother is murdered by Thanos' Chitauri forces and Gamora is taken under the Mad Titan's wing. Thanos and his forces kill half of Gamora's people, the Zen-Whoberi, and later Thanos tells his adoptive daughter that since he visited that world, it's become a paradise. 

In the wake of Thanos' death, Gamora is likely to feel as if she has no purpose. Unlike the original Gamora, the 2014 version never gets to rebel against Thanos and Ronan or to find a new home among the Guardians. In light of that, she may do what we all sometimes do when we need guidance — go home.

We know Gamora's mother didn't survive Thanos' assault, but she could have other family among the Zen-Whoberi. There's also the chance that Gamora could learn Thanos was wrong about the "paradise" he left behind. In the comics, Thanos had nothing to do with the destruction visited upon the Zen-Whoberi, and so it wasn't half of the species that was wiped out — it was all of them. In one version of the story it was a hostile race called the Badoon who slaughtered the Zen-Whoberi, but in another timeline it was a group of interstellar fanatics called the Universal Church of Truth. In both versions, Gamora was the only survivor. So it may be that Gamora will go home only to find an entire race to avenge.

Requiem

In 2018, Marvel Comics opened the line-wide event Infinity Wars with the murder of Thanos at the hands of a mystery woman known only as "Requiem." Fans soon learned that Requiem was Gamora, and the former Guardian of the Galaxy was the villain of the event. Requiem's plan was to gather the Infinity Stones and do something less lethal — but no less destructive — than what her adoptive father did. Rather than killing half the people in existence, she halved the population of the universe by merging every being into another. So, for example, superheroes Ghost Rider and Black Panther were merged into a single person — Ghost Panther. Iron Man and Thor were combined into the hero Iron Hammer, Spider-Man and Moon Knight merged to become Arachknight, the Hulk and Ant-Man become Little Monster, and so on. 

While we doubt Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would follow this precise plot, the possibility remains that when the Guardians finally find 2014 Gamora, she'll be less Guardian and more Requiem. As we've pointed out more than a few times already, this Gamora didn't get to go down the same paths as the Gamora who died on Vormir. How can any of us claim to know the motivations of a Gamora who never had the chance to betray Thanos as thoroughly as the original did?

Warlock

One of the characters fans have been hoping would show up in the MCU is Adam Warlock. In the comics, the enigmatic cosmic hero has often been integral to conflicts involving Thanos and was one of the founding members of the current iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The character was blatantly referenced in one of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's mid-credits scenes. While James Gunn has said Warlock's involvement in Vol. 3 wasn't confirmed, he's a popular character whose demand is high enough that fans were irked when it was announced he wouldn't be in Avengers: Endgame either. That, coupled with May 2019 rumors that Zac Efron was up for the role, makes the possibility seem high that we'll see the gold-skinned hero in Vol. 3.

And if we do? Well, in the comics, long before Gamora even knew who Peter Quill was, she was Warlock's main squeeze. They were both in Quill's founding Guardians, but they were friends decades before that and began a romance in the '90s series Warlock and the Infinity Watch. Their relationship was still going strong in 2002's Infinity Abyss

If Adam Warlock does finally make his appearance in Vol. 3, when it comes to Gamora's attention there's a good chance Quill will be in competition with more than just Thor.

A-Force

In November 2017, we learned that several of Marvel's leading women — including Tessa Thompson, Scarlett Johansson, and Zoe Saldana — pitched an all-female superhero film to Kevin Feige. The Marvel Studios president is apparently excited at the prospect, telling Vulture in February 2018, "It is all about figuring out when and how." In the meantime, fans of such a team-up got to see something of a preview in the audience-pleaser at the end of Endgame that showed all the film's surviving female heroes standing together against Thanos' hordes. 

Marvel Comics already had this idea and published two series called A-Force, featuring all-female teams of Avengers. Ironically, in the first series Gamora appears as an enemy of the team — as one of Doctor Doom's Thor Corps — but if the film Thompson, Johansson, and Saldana pitched Feige sees the light of day, Gamora's got to be an automatic in. Not only was Saldana among the group who pitched it, but her character's one of the deadliest warriors we've seen in the MCU. An A-Force without Gamora would be a lost opportunity. 

Solo

If Gamora and the Guardians part ways for good, there's no reason that has to mean the end of Gamora's big screen adventures. With the grand slam hits of Black Panther and Captain Marvel, Marvel Studios is learning the benefits of committing to more diversity in their offerings. Zoe Saldana is a talented actress, a woman of color, and she plays a popular hero already established in one of Marvel's most successful franchises. 

Gamora is exactly the kind of no-nonsense hero who sells tickets. While she fights on the side of the angels, she struggles with a dark and mysterious past. She's a physical powerhouse, she's sexy, and she could chop 3 squads of ninjas to pieces before Drax could say "Harbulary batteries." She'd probably need some kind of goofy sidekick to offset that whole grim "I am a warrior, I do not dance" thing, but that's do-able. Really, the only thing to worry about is what the Guardians are going to do next time Drax jumps into an enemy's stomach if Gamora isn't there to save them all.

Let me go

Guardians of the Galaxy begins with a scene on Earth where the young Peter Quill refuses to take his dying mother's hand. He loses his chance to ever hold her hand again, because she dies soon after. Towards the end of the film, Gamora symbolically replaces Quill's mother — after Quill grabs the Infinity Stone and begins to die from trying to contain its power, Gamora reaches out for her teammate. Hearing her voice, Peter turns to Gamora but instead has a vision of his mother on her deathbed, again reaching out her hand for him. This time, Quill reaches back, and so survives the deadly energies of the Power Stone.

With Vol. 3 ending a trilogy, it may be that Gamora will once again be a stand-in for Meredith Quill. In the first movie, Quill had to learn to face what happened to his mother and take her hand. While he faced his mother's death, he clearly still struggles with it. When Infinity War and Endgame co-director Anthony Russo defended Star-Lord's mucking up the battle on Titan, he pointed to Quill's past as the primary motivator. So, with Gamora essentially a brand new person with no attachment to Quill at all, she may need to teach Star-Lord the exact opposite lesson he learned in the first movie — to let go. 

Dust in the wind

It could be that Gamora has no future with the MCU. We could ultimately learn that one Gamora died on Vormir, while the other was snapped away by Tony Stark in upstate New York. 

We really don't think 2014 Gamora is dead. It would be one thing if the Russos showed us the hero getting dusted along with the rest of Thanos' forces, but they didn't. To have her death occur off screen and leave it a mystery? No, for a creative team that's consistently blown us away for years, that would seem a strangely thoughtless and callous move. 

Of course, if Disney's firing and subsequent re-hiring of James Gunn taught us nothing else, it's that when it comes to the real world behind the scenes of the Marvel Universe, you never know exactly what's going to happen. If, for example, Disney and Zoe Saldana were no longer happy with one another and parted ways, then revealing the 2014 Gamora died during Endgame might be the easiest solution to an unfortunate real-life complication. But short of that, we're pretty sure we're going to see Gamora at least one more time.