As far as MCU villains go, Guardians of the Galaxy’s Ronan the Accuser was one of the more underwhelming of the franchise. When we learned that his younger self would appear in Captain Marvel, the universe had a chance to add depth to his character. However, now that we’ve seen his role in the movie, Lee Pace’s Kree baddie was just as forgettable as ever.
Ronan only showed up briefly in the third act of Captain Marvel to set off bombs for Carol Danvers to fight off before vowing he’d be back, smirking and calling her “ the woman” (ha good one!) before fleeing the area. There’s actually a pretty good reason why Ronan became an afterthought in the film. In the words of directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck:
While the pair discuss the film on their Blu-ray commentary, they reveal that they decided to hold Ronan’s role until the end of Captain Marvel so it wouldn’t give away that Kree equaled bad too soon. If fans of the MCU saw Ronan interacting with the Kree early on in the film, it would be too obvious of their side in the fight, especially since he is so clearly a villain in his 2014 debut appearance.
Ronan may not be part of the Kree collective in Guardians of the Galaxy, since he broke the Kree/Xandarian treaty in the movie, but his interactions with characters such as Jude Law’s Yon-Rogg are clearly sinister. Yon-Rogg is introduced as Carol’s mentor and friend in the beginning of the film, and as an audience we learn with her the truths she didn’t know. If we were one step ahead of the story the whole movie, it would not have been as compelling of an origin story.
The scenes where Captain Marvel fought off the shapeshifting Skrulls just would not have worked if we knew of their true intentions either. Watching the script flip on us midway through the movie just worked better, but unfortunately Ronan’s role had to be sacrificed in part as a result.
We do wonder what other encounters Captain Marvel and Ronan had between her movie and Guardians of the Galaxy. Did she have anything to do with his turn from the Kree military to work with Thanos on his quest to enact the Infinity War?
Captain Marvel is now available on Blu-ray and Digital HD.