The New Gamora’s Journey Will Examine Love in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3

“I thought I lost you.” That’s what Peter Quill said to Gamora when he found her on the battlefield in Avengers: Endgame. Only, he did lose her. He lost the Gamora who loved him. It’s easy to forget that since Zoe Saldana’s character returned soon after Thanos sacrificed her for the Soul Stone in Infinity War. But that version of Gamora is dead forever. The one who currently exists in the MCU jumped to the future from 2014. She never knew and fought alongside Peter, Rocket, Drax, Mantis, or Groot (either of them). This Gamora was never a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

That won’t stop her from being a big part of the group’s swan song in Vol. 3, though. Star-Lord is still searching for her. No matter how her and Quill’s story ends, though, it will say something poignant about love and what that truly binds us to one another.

Jump to: Which Gamora Is in GOTG 3? // What Do We Know About This Gamora? // What If Gamora and Peter Fall in Love? // What If Gamora and Peter DON’T Fall in Love?

Which Version of Gamora Will We See in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

Gamora holds a poloroid photo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Marvel Studios

An alternate Thanos, his entire army, and all of his children traveled through time in Endgame. They went from 2014 to 2023. The only one from that group still alive in the MCU’s present timeline now is 2014 Gamora. Tony Stark’s snap did not turn her to dust because she wasn’t a part of Thanos’ army at that point. She was already fighting with the Avengers against alongside the original Nebula (who had killed her 2014 alternate self).

What Do We Know About 2014 Gamora?

That was in line with what we knew about the character in 2014. That’s when Gamora was already preparing to betray Thanos. In the original Guardians of the Galaxy, set in 2014, she was trying to steal the Power Stone from Quill to ensure her father never got ahold of it. Gamora knew what the Mad Titan had planned and was conspiring against him.

Zoe Saldana's Gamora in Avengers: Endgame
Marvel Studios

The alternate Gamora never got a chance to do that, though, because the Avengers stopped Quill from finding the infinity stone on Morag during the Time Heist. So while 2014 Gamora was already a good person trying to save the galaxy from Thanos, every single thing we saw the original version of her do never happened to this new MCU Gamora. She never met Quill, Drax, Rocket, and the first Groot. The current version of Gamora in the MCU never escapes prison with the Guardians. She never helped them defeat Ronan, meet Mantis, escape the Sovereign, and save the galaxy from Ego. Nor did 2014 Gamora try and stop Thanos from attaining the infinity stones and beg Peter to murder her so Thanos couldn’t. And, maybe most importantly for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, this version of Gamora never fell in love with Peter Quill.

The Gamora who did love him died on Vormir, and not even the infinity stones can bring that Gamora back. Whether Quill wants—or even can—accept it, the Gamora we all knew and loved is gone forever. She only lives on in the memories of those who knew and loved her.

Gamora with headphones leans in to kiss Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel Studios

Of course, in this fantasy world of superheroes, magic space rocks, and Time Heists, “a” Gamora still exists in their world. She also shares the same caring heart as the person they loved. So what kind of future can that Gamora have with Peter Quill and the other Guardians? We don’t know, but depending on whether they end up together or not, Vol. 3 will offer a meaningful meditation about love.

What Will It Mean if 2014 Gamora and Peter Quill Fall in Love in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

Peter Quill searches for Gamora on his ship's computer in Avengers: Endgame
Marvel Studios

Do we all have a soulmate? Is there one single person out there meant for us? And are we destined to fall in love and be loved by them? Will the universe make sure we cross paths with one another?

These are the questions Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will answer if 2014 Gamora falls in love with Peter Quill. If that happens the movie will be saying love is so strong it spans space and time themselves. It also transcends shared experiences and time spent together. Their relationship will overcome all of the things that inherently keep us apart, and it will do so by not relying on all of the things we believe bring us together.

Quill lies on top of Gamora with an alien animal between them in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Marvel Studios

Vol. 3 would be telling us you don’t have to save the galaxy together to end up together. Simply being who you are—and simply existing—is enough. That’s how strong true love is. It can defeat any and all obstacles, because love is bigger and more enduring than who we are as individuals. Two hearts meant to find one another will do so in the end.

That’s a beautiful thought. And not just about love itself, either. Considering the specifics of this fantasy couple’s story, that kind of ending will also say something about death: it will never defeat love. Alternate versions of lost loved ones won’t travel through time like Gamora, but no infinity stone will ever kill what we shared with them.

So if they don’t end up together, will that mean Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 3 delivers a sad ending? A cynical or depressing one? No, it will still have something beautiful to say about love. It will just be something very different.

What Will It Mean if 2014 Gamora and Peter Quill Don’t End Up Together in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

Zoe Saldana's green-skinned Gamora sits n Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel Studios

Are we pieces on a cosmic chessboard being moved around without agency by some unseen hand? Is the decision for whom we love not actually ours? If so, what does love really mean?

Or is love something we don’t merely find but build? Do the things we do together and the time we spend with one another, the true foundation of the feelings that grow between us? Isn’t love so precious that it needs to be nurtured and cared for rather than being entrusted to something as intangible as fate? Isn’t love and everything it makes us do and feel far too real to be controlled by such nebulous ideas?

If Peter Quill and this version of Gamora—the one he never saved from space, the one he never convinced to fight with him, the one he didn’t find the strength to try and sacrifice to save the galaxy—don’t fall in love, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be telling us that what we do in our lives really matters. It matters to those we care about, just as what they do for and with us matters to us. We are not creatures floating around waiting until we bump into someone. We are individuals who make conscious decisions to give our hearts to another. It’s why when they do the same for us it means so much.

Gamora with her arm held out looks at Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Marvel Studios

An ending like that will be gorgeous and emotional in its own way, too. However, it won’t be the “correct” ending any more than the other one would be. This is just one story with its own thoughts on love, relationships, and everything that goes into making them work. Is it better to imagine the entire universe conspired to make sure you found the person you were always meant to find? Or is it better to absent-mindedly say you’re hungry only to realize how loved you are when that person makes you a sandwich without asking? The fact two seemingly opposite possibilities both seem equally beautiful says a lot about the nature of love, which at its best can feel impossible to describe with mere words.

Maybe both are right. And maybe both are true. But neither will change what Quill and the original Gamora had together. “I love you more than anything,” that Gamora told him before Peter tried to fire a blaster into her heart in Infinity War.

“I love you, too,” he said. It was the last he ever said to her. He still does and always will, no matter what happens with a different Gamora. That love story will never end, no matter how Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ends for them both.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at  @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.

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