Although we never see him in the film, Thanos is a vicious character who stands out as an abusive parent, felt throughout the arguments and battles between Gamora and Nebula. Drea explains the concept of Parental Differential Treatment; a common trait within parents to choose favorites among offspring. But when differential treatment happens with abuse in a family, the outcomes have cascading effects. One sibling in particular is targeted, picked on, marginalized, ignored. The other, caught in a bind to obey and "look the other way." Thanos was specifically more punishing with Nebula, who consequently redirected her anger toward a more "suitable" target, her sister.
Rocket Racoon is constantly underestimated, but holds intellectual and emotional wisdom. A result of genetic experimentation, he's learned to be gritty, self-sufficient, self-empowered, and refuses to be victimized. He looks like a pet, but belongs to no one.
Star-Lord (Peter Quill) finally meets his real father, but soon learns the man who has every quality Quill thought he valued--Ego, a powerful Celestial--simply doesn't feel like "family."
Ultimately, Guardians, Vol. 2 reflects the complexities of human bonds, that love without the contingencies of power and control is indeed possible, even found between the most unexpected people.
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