Avengers: Endgame Changed The Arc Of Only One Guardians Of The Galaxy Character

By the time Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe reached its climax with "Avengers: Endgame," most of Earth's Mightiest Heroes were either dead, retired, or ready to ride off into the proverbial sunset. As such, Phase Four has focused heavily on the passing of the torch from one generation of superheroes to another, bringing in scrappy newcomers like Yelena Belova and Kate Bishop to fill the spots in the Avengers roster left vacant by the likes of the now-deceased Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton (who is not actually dead, but merely too old for this s***).

That trend will continue in Phase Five with "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," a movie that will close the book on writer-director James Gunn's run with the biggest a-holes in the galaxy. The "Guardians" trilogy is rare among MCU properties in that it more or less represents the vision of a singular filmmaker from the scripting stage on through to post-production (which is not to erase Nicole Perlman's role as a co-writer on the first "Guardians" film, natch). That also extends to Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, and the rest of the crew's roles in other superheroes' movies, including their recent frolic across the stars with the second Strongest Avenger in "Thor: Love and Thunder."

Much of the credit for that belongs to Gunn, who's been highly protective of the Guardians in the MCU, even contributing ideas to "Avengers: Infinity War" to ensure its take on the heroes was consistent with his own. In fact, according to Gunn, the Guardians' arcs have stayed consistent with his original pitch so many years ago — with one big exception.

The Gamora of it all

For all its talk about having the next decade planned out, it ought to be crystal-clear by now: Marvel Studios tends to wing things when it comes to the greater direction of the MCU. That was certainly true of the Infinity Saga, which didn't really come together until after Thanos' first appearance in the post-credits scene for "The Avengers." Responding to a question on Twitter, James Gunn confirmed the Infinity Stones weren't even in the picture for the MCU when he wrote his first script draft for "Guardians of the Galaxy." In spite of this, Gunn said the only main Guardian whose arc has changed from what he initially had in mind is that of Gamora.

Gamora was notable for being one of the few heroes whose death in "Avengers: Infinity War" wasn't reversed by the time "Endgame" drew to a close. Instead, the latter movie introduced a new version of the character from the year 2014 — one who had never met the other Guardians of the Galaxy before and, as a result, hadn't gone through all the changes and growth the other Gamora did over the course of the first two "Guardians" films. There's no way Gunn could have predicted that would happen back when he pitched his trilogy, either, given how much of the MCU's overarching plot has been crafted on the fly since then.

Perhaps when his trilogy is fully over and done with, Gunn will shed some light on what he originally planned for Gamora in the MCU? In the meantime, the Guardians will return for some holiday-related hijinks when "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" premieres on Disney+ in December 2022, prior to "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" hitting theaters on May 5, 2023.