The Alternate Nebula And Kraglin Scene We Didn't See In Guardians Of The Galaxy 3

The most surprising character arcs in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" trilogy belong to Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Kraglin (Sean Gunn). In the first film, the former was a henchwoman of the super-villain Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), while the latter was a minor Ravager pirate mostly there to give director James Gunn's brother a cameo. They both undergo serious growth in "Vol. 2" and by the trilogy closer "Vol. 3," they're full-fledged Guardians.

"Vol. 3" could be the last time the "Guardians" cast plays these characters, so it's not surprising that Karen Gillan has been open about sharing memories from the shoot. She's shared not just some funny anecdotes — like showing up to a Zoom couples' therapy session in costume as Nebula — but a full peak behind the curtain: "A Week in the life of playing Nebula in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3'," a 25-minute long mini-doc shared on Gillan's YouTube channel.

The video includes Gillan speaking to the camera both in and out of costume (hearing Nebula speak in Gillan's natural Scottish accent is a trip), spliced in with behind-the-scenes footage of the shoot itself. There's even a clip of Gillan and Gunn acting out a moment that didn't make it into the final cut. This moment would have given Nebula and Kraglin an awkward moment together. The cut dialogue unfolds like this:

Kraglin: "Kragula, back in action. That's our couple name!"

Nebula: "What?

Kraglin: "Kragula, that's our couple name. Would you prefer Neblin?"

Nebula: "Yeah, I think my name should be first."

From there, Kraglin asks if this means they're engaged and reveals he's been married 14 times previously.

Kragula or Neblin?

The dialogue is a reference to the type of portmanteau "shipping" names that fandoms use. Some popular ones among Marvel Cinematic Universe fans include "Stucky" (Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes) and "Clintasha" (Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff).

Frankly, I think it's for the best this moment was cut. It's too wink-wink and raises questions: are Nebula and Kraglin supposed to be together? Or does Kraglin just think they are? Even if it's the latter, he's not in the movie much and barely talks to Nebula, so this comes out of nowhere. Granted, we've only seen the dialogue out of context, so confusion is natural. It might be a holdover of earlier plans for the film, with more shared moments between Nebula and Kraglin. However, I'd argue even that would be unearned.

Nebula and Kraglin's only memorable interaction before "Vol. 3" was a funny moment in "Vol. 2," when the former describes her plans of vengeance against Thanos. Kraglin stands in slack-jawed horror and suggests she buy a "pretty necklace" or "nice hat" instead. Not a stirring foundation for a relationship. It's just as out of place because Nebula's arc is about overcoming her past through helping others, not through romance. There's a reason she nips Peter Quill's (Chris Pratt) crush on her in the bud during "Vol. 3." That moment is funnier than this and more rooted in established characterization — Quill's arc in "Vol. 3" is about learning to let go of Gamora (Zoe Saldana) without latching onto a replacement. Sorry Kragula/Neblin, but the movie is better off with you.

"Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3" is playing in theaters. It will be available for digital purchase on July 7 and comes to home media on August 1.