Somebody(s) will die in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. James Gunn has promised an emotional conclusion to his trilogy and we know that the film is the last ride for this version of the Guardians. Vegas should probably open the betting line on who fans think will die in the film (maybe they already have) and pretty much any death will pack a heavy emotional punch, but there’s one character who should have a lot more gas in the tank in the future of the MCU: Star-Lord. Gamora absolutely cannot die in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Zoë Saldaña is a sci-fi queen. Having held down roles in 3 major sci-fi franchises (Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avatar), Saldaña has become the second highest-grossing female actress of all time and she’s not done yet. With Avatar: The Way of Water and at least 2 more Avatar films after that, Saldaña will almost certainly surpass Scarlett Johansson. While the Avatar films are about as safe of a gig as one could ever hope to land and Saldaña seems to be tiring of the intense secrecy surrounding her Marvel Studios’ projects, the actress could have the option of another decade of MCU projects ahead of her if Gamora were to survive Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. And, should Gamora survive, the opportunity to almost totally reinvent the character into a more traditional representation of the character from the comics certainly presents itself.
Created by Jim Starlin, Gamora earned her reputation as “the most dangerous woman in the galaxy” and “the deadliest woman in the universe” by…being dangerous and deadly. Raised by Thanos as a weapon in the fight against his great enemy, the Magus, Gamora was depicted in the comics as an assassin with a near-endless amount of bodies left in her wake. While Gamora has quite a bit of the same background in the MCU, her character, like the rest of the team, has been modified quite a bit with the Gamora who is now dead having grown less stoic and ruthless over time. The Gamora who now inhabits the prime timeline has had a different set of experiences and none of those have involved her falling in love with Peter Quill, making her a bit of a blank slate when it comes to what’s known about her. She was pulled from 2014 into the post-Blip world of 2023, disappears following the Battle of Earth and is not present with the Guardians during the events of Thor: Love and Thunder. Other than that, nothing is known about her at the present.
Though seen quite a bit in the trailer, Gamora doesn’t seem to be part of the team of Guardians. She’s not wearing the same gear as them and she seems to only be part of their trip to infiltrate the High Evolutionary’s weird space base but not part of their adventures in the first act or so. Like Loki, she’s a familiar character to fans but one who is capable of carving an entirely new path through the MCU should she have a future in it. And should the MCU’s future involve adapting the great stories of Marvel Comics’ modern cosmic age, Gamora, much like Star-Lord and Nova, could play a major role in those adaptations. Additionally, Gamora has a very complicated comic book history with Adam Warlock, who joins the MCU played by Will Poulter in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Should Gamora survive the events of that film, she faces a future full of possible stories ripped right from the comics.
Whether Marvel Studios took the path through Annihilation, Annihilation: Conquest and War of Kings or went wack with some version of Starlin’s Infinity Watch team coming together, Saldaña could suit up as Gamora anywhere between 3-6 more times in the next decade but, in doing so, completely redefine the character. That’s not an option everyone has and it seems that bringing something new to a character actors have played many times is just the type of thing that interests them enough to come back (that and lots of money). Of course all that is up to Saldaña, but from a narrative standpoint, Gamora’s recent death and the transplant of a Variant Gamora into the prime timeline provide way too many potential avenues to explore in the future for the character to die in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.