Karen Gillan has been a mainstay of sci-fi pop culture ever since her days of being a companion to the time lord on Doctor Who. Her star shone brighter than ever after the actress signed on to play Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy and was an important part of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. During a recent virtual interview for GalaxyCon, the actress revealed what kind of emotional growth she wants her MCU character to go through moving forward. Here's what she had to say about the impending production for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
"She's someone who's dealt with abuse from her father from such a young age...In Avengers, she had to face the source of her abuse and then actually watch him get eliminated from her life.."
The most important relationship that defines the character of Nebula in the MCU is her tortured connection to her father Thanos. The Mad Titan treated Nebula cruelly throughout her life, always treating her as second best to her sister Gamora, and willingly torturing her and discarding her at various points in the narrative.
All this led to Nebula going from wanting Thanos's approval to wanting to kill him with her bare hands. This impulse is what prompted her to go from being a villain to becoming an ally of the Guardians and the Avengers. Now that Thanos is dead, Karen Gillan wants Nebula to finally step out of his shadow and become her own person, as she talked about how eager she is to see future Nebula.
"Future Nebula in the sense of what she's going to be like now that that source of abuse has gone out of her life, how's she going to build herself back up...I'm interested to maybe try and take her to a place now where she starts to rebuild her life."
The first part of rebuilding her life will be to re-establish a bond with the closest thing Nebula has left to a family, her step-sister Gamora. After the events of Endgame, present Gamora is still dead, but the Gamora from the past is now running around in the present, with no memories of her time spent with the Guardians, or the genuine connection she made with Nebula during the events of the second Guardians of the Galaxy film.
This time, Nebula will be acting as a helpmate for her sister instead of actively trying to murder her, and that will provide ample opportunity for audiences to see a new, more caring side to the character, as Gillan wants. For someone who has seen as many horrors and suffering as Nebula, the road to rebuilding her life will not be an easy one, but fascinating to witness nonetheless.
The third Guardians of the Galaxy movie is currently under production, with James Gunn once again helping the project, said to be his last one within the MCU. The entire main cast is returning for the movie, in addition to a certain God of Thunder. Considering how badly Thanos messed up both Thor and Nebula's life, it wouldn't be too out there to see the two finding comfort in each other, romantically or as fellow warriors-in-arms.