Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Reveals Major Upgrade for Nebula (Photos)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Nebula
By Gillian Blum Posted:

A newly released still from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 offers a clear look at a major upgrade for Nebula.

The May 2023 film will be the third installment in the MCU's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. The film will serve as an endpoint for at least some fan-favorite characters, as director James Gunn has said.

Now, as the franchise prepares for its epic conclusion in a few months, fans now have a new look at a few key members of the team - one of them with a noticeable improvement in her gear.

Nebula Powered Up for Guardians 3

A still from May's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 released by USA Today Wednesday gives fans a clearer look at an upgraded arm on Nebula.

Drax, Mantis, Star-Lord, and Nebula (from left to right) stand around a table in a science-fiction-looking room. There is a camera on the table. Nebula sports a new bionic arm made of a chain-looking material.
Marvel Studios

The arm appears less robotic looking than the rest of Nebula's bionic body parts, foregoing the retro-robotic look for a sleek, almost chainlike design.

A close up of Nebula in a science fiction-looking location. She sports a new bionic arm made of a chain-looking material.
Marvel Studios

Fans got a glimpse at the upgrade in the first trailer for the new film, though it is slightly obscured by the camera angle and Nebula's placement on the end of the group.

A close-up of Nebula from the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 trailer. She wears a blue space-suit, and sports a new bionic arm made of a chain-looking material.
Marvel Studios

The new piece of tech differs greatly from the one fans most recently saw in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, implying this new arm was acquired between the events of the two projects.

A close-up of Nebula from The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. She sports an older design on her bionic arm, this one made of a retro-robotic material.
Marvel Studios

Does the Arm Represent More?

Throughout her past appearances, Nebula has revealed a rocky history with upgrades and body modification, having been forcibly upgraded by her father, Thanos, after losing fights with her sister Gamora.

Perhaps the new arm represents Nebula's re-gaining of autonomy over her body, removing a relic of the trauma from her father and replacing it with something she specifically chose. Or, less optimistically, Nebula may have to relive some of that trauma, with someone else forcibly replacing a part of her body.

Either way, fans already know the film will likely be dealing in some way with the effects of body modification, as Rocket Raccoon's backstory will be explored in some detail, as revealed by the trailer. The little already known about this backstory includes the fact that Rocket did not choose to be made the way he was.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will release on May 5.