Thanos' MCU Introduction Doesn't Make Sense - Here's How We'd Fix It

Rewrite Gamora's Backstory In Guardians Of The Galaxy

According to Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora is the last of her race, the Zehoberi people; it's implied the entire world was slaughtered by Thanos, leaving her the only survivor. In fact, she claims to have watched Thanos kill her parents right before her eyes before "adopting" her as his weapon. That's a very different origin to the one shown in flashbacks in Avengers: Infinity War, where Thanos claimed to have killed off half the Zehoberi, and believed their world had become a paradise after his culling.

As noted, this issue arose because Marvel hadn't planned out Thanos' MCU motivation at all at this stage. To correct, all that needs doing is an adjustment to the dialogue, with Gamora reflecting that her race was devastated and her parents were killed; the Nova Corps data-file on Gamora would have needed to be changed a little, but that's hardly significant.

Thanos Should Have Been A Character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

According to James Gunn, he wrote the script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 without any considerations for the wider Infinity Saga. As he explained in a special feature on the Blu-ray release:

"I didn't ever have an ending for what Guardians 2 was supposed to be. I didn't have a single story point that was ever discussed with Marvel before I wrote the story... We write our own little story and then it goes off to [the Russos]. And I gave these guys a script very, very early on. And they were, like, 'That's perfect, because that works great for us with where Nebula is, what we want to do with the story.' And it goes off."

Related: How Nebula Changed Across The Guardians of the Galaxy Movies

While it's good that Marvel gives their directors room to do their own thing, the fact remains that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 could have used a little work, especially in a slightly-meandering second act where the primary plot grinds to a halt. One of the highlights of this second act is the dynamic between Gamora and Nebula, centered on a stunning sequence in which the two sisters resolve their differences in brutal fashion. With just a little work, and ideally a flashback sequence that featured Thanos, it could have been even stronger; we could have been shown, not told, of the pair's aggressive history, and in turn got a sense of the false love Thanos alleges to feel for Gamora.

This change does double duty, setting up Avengers: Infinity War in a subtle manner, but also improving the movie at hand. In the released film, the Mad Titan was a strange, indistinct background presence to two key characters. His actual inclusion would have fed into the film's themes - of children who must give up on their parents and choose a new family.

Set Up The Soul Stone In Guardians Of The Galaxy 1 & 2

Benicio del Toro as The Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy

A major hurdle for Avengers: Infinity War is the fact that its Soul Stone twist wasn't set up at all in previous movies. In Guardians of the Galaxy, there's no hint that Thanos is already obsessed with the Infinity Stones, still less that Gamora had been scouring the cosmos looking for them for her "father" before she went rogue. When the Collector tells the Guardians about the Infinity Stones, Gamora seems just as shocked to hear about them as the rest of the unlikely band of a**-holes. This can be explained away as is - perhaps Gamora was acting, given she's only just met the others - but it does look a little awkward in terms of continuity. A single line of dialogue could fix the problem, with Gamora simply telling the Collector, "I've heard of them."

Moving into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, along with the Gamora-Nebula-Thanos relationship, this would have been a much better place to seed the Soul Stone itself. One possibility would have been to actually include the scene in which Gamora revealed she knew the Soul Stone's location to Nebula. However, if Marvel wanted to keep that a secret until Avengers: Infinity War, they could have just had Gamora say she'd been secretly working to subvert Thanos' plans for years. Perhaps she could have told her sister she knew secrets that Thanos must never learn; it would effectively foreshadow the Infinity War revelation.

Page 3 of 3: Making Doctor Strange & Thor: Ragnarok Important To Thanos

Key Release Dates
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
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