So far, there have been two teasers and one trailer for the upcoming sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). The teasers premiered during the Super Bowl, and The Hollywood Reporter noticed this fun fact: Gamora (Zoe Saldana) didn't say a word in the minute-long spot. Yesterday, the trailer for the film circulated — lo and behold, in the two minutes and 20 seconds of this trailer, Gamora speaks! (Yes, women can use language and speak and stuff!) Alas, she says all of eight words.
"Is that a rifle?" Star Lord (Chris Pratt) asks in the opening seconds.
"You don't know what a rifle looks like?" Gamora responds. And then, for the rest of the trailer — about two minutes and 13 seconds — mum's the word on the green gal's behalf, save for a battle cry and a hollered greeting at the 1:24 mark. Again, we are forced to pose the question: Why doesn't the main female character speak as much as her male counterparts?
Granted, Gamora gets her eight words in. I wouldn't call that a generous speaking role, but it's better than nothing. It's also worth noting that Gamora isn't exactly the garrulous type. The verdant warrior functions as a straight man to the film's sillier characters, so it's characteristic for her to remain quiet.
However, this doesn't redeem the offense — the fact remains the the main female character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn't have much to do in the trailer besides glare, strut, and look sultry. And, in the three official promotional trailers that have been released so far, Gamora has only these eight words of dialogue. There are other female characters in the film. Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) both enjoy introductions in the trailers, but neither have the distinction of being the lead women in the series.
Far too often, in superhero films, the leading women is relegated to object status. She is there to be loved, to be admired, but rarely to be an agent of the action itself. Gamora is a badass warrior who, yes, can use a rifle. (She also certainly knows what one looks like.) But if she doesn't speak, can she be considered a main role in the film? When does "strong, silent female" become just another object, a part of the film's set?
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 comes out May 5, 2017. Here's hoping Gamora gets a decent chunk of dialogue in the summer blockbuster. We're rooting for you, Guardians! But right now, we're disappointed in the trailer. Check out the full trailer, below.