Gamora Is Back in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" — With a Major Catch

One of the most devastating deaths in 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War" is the loss of Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), who's sacrificed by her father, Thanos (Josh Brolin), so he can get all the Infinity Stones. However, 2019's "Avengers: Endgame" — which had even more losses of iconic Marvel heroes — undid Gamora's ending. The movie, which involves a complicated time-travel plot, sees Thanos from 2014 come into "Endgame"'s present day (in 2023) with Gamora by his side. That Gamora not only hasn't left Thanos's service, but she's also never met any of the Guardians besides her sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), whom she has a contentious relationship with.

At the end of the movie, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) uses the Infinity Gauntlet to instantly kill Thanos and his army; the action also kills Tony himself. But, somehow, Tony doesn't kill 2014 Gamora, even though she's technically on Thanos's side. Back in 2019 at Comic-Con, the "Endgame" writers said Gamora wasn't snapped because she ran away, per Vanity Fair. Perhaps that's a too-simple explanation, but either way, it seems Marvel wanted to keep her around to meet the Guardians again, especially Peter (Chris Pratt) and Nebula.

We do know Marvel did stop "GOTG" director James Gunn from killing Gamora back in 2017's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2." "I knew from the beginning Zoe only wanted to play the character for so many years, and she's been very honest saying that she's done [after this]. And so I was going to have her die," he told on April 30. He said Marvel head Kevin Feige and producer Louis D'Esposito talked him out of it. Instead, Yondu (Michael Rooker) dies, which Gunn decided was "correct for the story." Gunn added, "I think at the time I was afraid of killing Michael Rooker because he's my friend."

The Guardians appear in 2022's "Thor: Love & Thunder" and "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special," and both times, Gamora is not with them. The groups — but especially Peter — are struggling with her absence in both appearances. Gamora does return in a major role in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," but it's a Gamora who has no memories of her time with Peter and the Guardians or the relationship she built with her sister Nebula outside Thanos's grip of power.

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" is in theaters May 5.