‘What If…?’ Season 2 Episode 1 Summary & Ending Explained: Nebula Saves Xandar

what if season 2 summary and ending

Season 2 of ‘What If…?’ has officially begun with its inaugural episode. Over the next 9 days, viewers can anticipate daily releases of captivating episodes. The alternate universe promises intriguing tales, starting with Nebula as the protagonist. Envision a scenario where Nebula faces betrayal from both her family and colleagues, leading her to embark on a path of redemption by joining the intergalactic police force. This serves as the central theme for the first episode, offering a compelling narrative that unfolds.

Why did Nebula join the Nova Corps?

The alternate Nebula’s history closely mirrored that of Earth-616’s Nebula. Initially a member of the Black Order, she carried out Thanos’ sinister deeds. However, Ronan’s betrayal of Thanos led to his escape with Gamora, leaving Nebula presumed dead. Floating amidst debris after her ship’s destruction, Nebula was fortuitously rescued by Nova Corps.

Having joined the Nova Corps and sworn the Nova oath, Nebula found herself facing a familiar threat. Ronan, seeking revenge, attacked Xandar with the intent of annihilating the Nova Corps headquarters. To safeguard Xandar, Nova Prime activated a special planetary shield, rendering it impregnable for the next 50 years.

Nebula in Nova corps

The aftermath brought isolation to Xandar, cutting off communication, supplies, and any external contact. Nebula recounted how this isolation led to escalating crime levels on Xandar as the planet remained sealed for the next 50 years.

Who killed Yondu?

One of Nebula’s initial challenges involves unraveling the mystery behind Yondu’s murder. His lifeless body was discovered in a secluded alley, and this Nebula variant discloses a personal history with him. Utilizing an audio recording of Yondu’s distinctive whistling, Nebula successfully triggers his Yaka Arrow, which unexpectedly strikes her from the shadows.


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Upon closer examination, Nebula discerns a drive attached to the arrow and manages to project its contents—a green schematic appears on-screen. However, the rest of the Nova Corps remains perplexed about the purpose of this schematic.

Nebula yondu

As Nebula heads to address another urgent matter, Nova Prime contacts her. Acknowledging Nebula’s past connection with Yondu, Nova Prime notes that despite Yondu’s checkered history, he wasn’t inherently malevolent. Nova Prime asserts the same about Nebula, emphasizing how fortunate she was to take a chance on her. Nova Prime then urges Nebula to switch to a secure communication line.

Xandar is in danger of being destroyed before the dawn

Transitioning to a secure line, Nova Prime reveals that Yondu has entangled himself in a perilous situation, meddling with ominous forces. She warns that Xandar might have until dawn before the entire system crumbles. Nebula discloses that she uncovered something Yondu sacrificed his life to protect.

In response, Nova Prime encourages Nebula to trust her instincts and employ any means necessary to unravel the mystery at hand.

Howard the Duck is running a casino on Xandar

Howard the duck in what if season 2

Choosing to probe the epicenter of criminal activity in the city, Nebula directs her investigation to Howard the Duck’s casino. Upon arrival, she interrupts a poker match in progress. Employing straightforward methods, Nebula presents Howard with the schematics, leaving him baffled. However, Korg, in the vicinity, sheds light on the situation. In his laid-back manner, Korg elucidates that the schematics depict an antiquated Xandarian Mainframe Core unit B-42, or, to put it bluntly, some serious stuff.

Further detailing, Korg explains that the Mainframe core houses a myriad of data, ranging from unpaid parking tickets to the source code for the shield generator. The incomplete sentence hangs in anticipation of the revelation of whoever might be involved.

Nebula breaks Yon-Rogg out of prison

Following the fresh lead, Nebula realizes she must infiltrate Xandarian systems. Opting to seek assistance, she visits the prison and specifically requests Inmate X2357, known for expertise in breaching Xandarian systems. To her surprise, the inmate is Yon-Rogg. Choosing to liberate him, Nebula releases all the prisoners to sow chaos. Together, they progress toward the city core, where Yon-Rogg skillfully clears the path.

Yon rogg in prison

Nebula links herself to the city core, successfully downloading the source code. In a strategic move, she deletes it. However, in a predictable turn of events, Yon-Rogg betrays Nebula, inserting a flash drive into her head, causing system overload. While pilfering Nebula’s data, Yon-Rogg inadvertently triggers a core overload, resulting in a catastrophic explosion. Nebula narrowly escapes with her life.

Nova Prime Sold Xandar to Ronan

Nebula narrowly evades the city core explosion and encounters Nova Prime and Yon-Rogg, an unexpected alliance. Their collaboration becomes evident as Nova Prime discloses her plan to stage an invasion on Xandar, aiming to dismantle the planetary shield. In a deal with Ronan, she promises him control of the planet in exchange for retaining her authority.

Nova Prime strategically enlists Nebula due to her cyborg nature, the key to accessing the core. After Nebula completes the task for her, Nova Prime abandons her, leaving her presumed dead, while the remaining Nova Corps personnel…

Nebula reappears before Howard, Korg, and Groot, visibly in a dire state, bordering on “dying.” Swiftly repaired, she readies herself to confront the Nova Prime predicament but requires weaponry. Reluctantly, Howard the Duck agrees to provide her with arms on the condition that she ensures the preservation of his liquor license.

Fully geared up and armed, Nebula, Groot, Korg, Howard, and Miek are on their way to assault Nova headquarters.

What happened to Xandar

what if season 2 episode 1 ending explained what if Nebula joined the nova corps

Nebula penetrates the Xandar Headquarters deploying the Yaka Arrow, but she arrives to find Ronan’s forces breaching the planetary shield that has already begun to open. Swiftly, Nebula utilizes her codes to thwart the shield’s opening, revealing her triple-cross against Nova Prime. Aware of Nova Prime’s nefarious intentions when she urged Nebula to solve the case at any cost, Nebula suspected a breach of the oath.A fierce battle unfolds, with Nebula’s forces prevailing. However, the confrontation escalates as Nebula and Nova Prime take their fight to the rooftop.


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Nebula, gaining the upper hand, shoves Nova Prime off the roof. Clinging to life, Nova Prime is offered Nebula’s hand, but she retaliates, accusing Nebula of ruining everything, and brandishes a blaster. In a shocking turn, Nova Prime shoots Nebula before pushing herself off the roof, meeting her demise. With Nova Prime’s demise, Nebula deactivates the planetary shield, allowing Xandar to bask in genuine sunlight for the first time in ages.

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