• Nebula’s sweet ending in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the perfect vengeance against Thanos for the abuse she endured.
  • James Gunn found a way to give the original team of Guardians a culminating story without any major deaths, including Nebula.
  • Nebula’s decision to become the caretaker of abused star children contradicted Thanos’ view of her as a weapon and allowed her to finally process her trauma.

One particular character ending in Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 5 proved Thanos about a specific thing in the Infinity Saga. Aside from his crusade to bring balance to the universe, another important part of the Titan’s MCU story involved his adopted daughters. Gamora’s backstory in Avengers: Infinity War revealed how she became part of his initial army, and while it was never shown on screen, it’s safe to assume that something similar also happened to Nebula. Thanos’ differing treatment of the sisters resulted in resentment between them, which was the crux of their story in the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films.

Thanos clearly favored Gamora over her sister. While that didn’t mean that she didn’t endure abuse from the villain, Nebula went through worse, having been subjected to emotional and physical abuse. Since getting the courage to get out of the toxic circumstance, her arc had been mostly motivated by her quest for revenge against her father. Unfortunately for her, Avengers: Endgame didn’t have the time to resolve this particular plot line. Nebula didn’t even get to confront Thanos for everything he did to her. However, her sweet MCU ending is perhaps the best vengeance that she could get against him.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3 Gave Nebula The Perfect Ending

Nebula throwing her arms in the air in celebration during a scene from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 marked the end of the original team’s run in the MCU. Burdened by the pressure brought on by the success of Avengers: Endgame, the threequel had to find a way to do a culminating story without being similar to the Russo Brothers’ movie. Gunn figured out how to do an ending without any major death in the squad. In fact, many of them were given great endings, including Nebula, who decided to retire from space-hopping, settle in Knowhere, and became the primary caretaker of the High Evolutionary’s star children.

Whether Nebula still returns to the MCU after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is unclear at this point. Gunn is officially out of Marvel Studios, which means that the next time she or any of the remaining cosmic heroes resurface in the franchise, their stories will be crafted by a different creative team. However, if Marvel Studios chooses to end Nebula’s arc the way Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 left her, it would be the best-case scenario for her swan song.

Related: Marvel’s Skrull Retcon Ruined Endgame’s Deepest Improv Moment

Nebula Finally Proved Thanos Wrong In GOTG Vol 3


Opting to be the carer of abused kids was motivated by Nebula’s own depraved childhood. However, it also effectively contradicted Thanos’ view of her as a weapon. Unlike Gamora, who was being groomed to be the Titan’s successor, he saw his other daughter primarily as a tool. This was the reason why he kept on switching her parts as if he was trying to upgrade her. Nebula walking away from the path that Thanos forcibly set her on and choosing peace would allow her to properly process and finally get past her trauma in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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