One Of The 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Was Originally Supposed To Die In Vol. 1

Not all of the key players in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 were originally going to return for a second round. One character that was originally going to bite the dust? Nebula (Karen Gillan), the sadistic adopted daughter of Thanos (Josh Brolin) and stepsister to Gamora (Zoe Saldana).

Writer-director James Gunn decided not to kill off a character he's fond of; he'd like to see a Nebula movie. In the end, the altered soldier just barely survived the first movie with only one arm intact.

Gillan told Digital Spy Nebula died in an early draft of the Guardians of the Galaxy script:

I definitely had a feeling that there was room for the character to expand in the future, but she was originally supposed to die in the first movie, I think I remember in the script. She obviously did not die, then I found out that she was coming back in the second movie and then I found out we got to explore all these amazing things about her past and her relationship with Gamora, her sister, so I was really happy.

Almost three years ago, when Gunn was discussing some of the first film's deleted scenes, he hinted the character would return with a different attitude in the sequel, calling her and The Collector the "bad guys in the first movie." Considering Guardians of the Galaxy is about redemption, it makes sense why Gunn wouldn't want to kill off Nebula, who apparently plays a more substantial role in the sequel.

If the character died at the end of Vol .1, it might've felt like a missed opportunity. There's probably more to say about Nebula and Gamora's relationship. It was well handled in the first film, but it wasn't a huge focus point. There was even a good, telling scene cut that expanded on their relationship, but maybe it was redundant in the bigger picture and hurt the pacing:

That wasn't the only scene of Nebula's cut, either. In the end, we were going to see the former(?) villain walkway after the Guardians saved the day:

Nebula's was actually my favorite. Nebula's I really liked a lot because she's lost her arm and she's just pissed off and she's just walking through this field all pissed off with a busted Ravager vehicle behind her. And she's just pissed off and I loved it.

There's more for Nebula to do in the world of Guardians of the Galaxy. I was a fan of character's design – how she looked and often sounded broken – but wouldn't have minded learning more about her. The first film perfectly established its heroes. Now that we know who they are, we can maybe get to know some of the side characters, like Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Nebula, a little bit better.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters May 5.

Set to the backdrop of 'Awesome Mixtape #2,' Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.