‘What If…’ Season 2: Here’s How Nebula Disabled the Planetary Shield

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The inaugural episode of ‘What If…?’ Season 2 featured Nebula’s portrayal as a member of the Nova Corps. The central narrative revealed Nova Prime’s collaboration with Ronan, aiming to surrender the planet to him. Despite possessing the codes to open the planetary shield, Nova Prime’s scheme ultimately unraveled. In a surprising twist at the end, Nebula successfully opened the Planetary Shield, designed to remain in place for 50 years. The lingering question arises: How did Nebula achieve this unexpected feat?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • It’s possible that Nebula modified the shield to open up when she had access to the planetary shield codes.
  • It’s also possible that the shield opened up because it was permanently damaged following the destruction of Ronan’s ship.

Xandar’s planetary shield was its greatest strength

Upon joining the Nova Corps after Ronan’s betrayal, Nebula found that trouble continued to pursue her. Ronan initiated an attack on Xandar, seeking to bring the planet down due to the eternal war between the Kree Empire and the Nova Empire. In response, Nova Prime activated a last-ditch effort to safeguard the planet, enveloping it in an impervious planetary shield that severed all communication with outer space, blocked airspace, and shrouded the world in darkness by preventing sunlight.

Xandar planetary shield

Intended to remain isolated in darkness for 50 years, Xandar faced a surge in negative sentiments among the local population. The isolation and loneliness led to a rise in crime, overwhelming the Nova Corps. The perpetual darkness exacerbated the challenges faced by Xandar’s inhabitants.

Yound died to protect the codes

Yondu’s death proves pivotal as it unveils a nefarious plot linked to the planetary shield, a discovery that Nebula makes. Strangely, Yondu’s Yaka Arrow holds schematics for the old Xandarian mainframe core—an extensive database encompassing every aspect of the planet and city. Korg humorously notes that it houses everything from unpaid parking tickets to planetary shield codes.

This code, as Nebula comprehends, grants the ability to manipulate and, in certain cases, open the shield. The current mainframe core lies beneath the city, prompting Nebula to orchestrate Yon-Rogg’s prison break for access. Nebula discerns that someone is attempting to open the shield, allowing Ronan to seize control—a revelation that points to Nova Prime. Manipulating events behind the scenes, Nova Prime’s clandestine actions are fortunately uncovered by Nebula’s awareness.

Nebula could easily manipulate the code because she is a robot

Upon infiltrating the mainframe, Yon-Rogg and Nebula initiated their plan. Nebula, as a half-machine, easily accessed the data core, downloading and erasing data for protection. Yon-Rogg, however, betrayed her, downloading the data onto a flash drive and escaping the core’s destruction. Fortunately, both Nebula and Yon-Rogg survived. Nova Prime, awaiting Nebula, clarified that she needed a cyborg for such access, leveraging Nebula’s unique machine capabilities.

As for the planetary shield, during the assault on the Nova Corps Headquarters by Nebula, Korg, Miek, Howard, and Groot, the shield began opening, reaching 90% loading. However, it inexplicably started closing again, thwarting Ronan’s advance and Nova Prime’s scheme. Nebula disclosed her triple-cross: modifying the shield codes downloaded by Yon-Rogg. She ensured the shield only briefly opened before closing, trapping or destroying Ronan’s ship.

In the episode’s conclusion, the shield reopens, with two plausible scenarios: Nebula’s code modification or the shield’s irreversible damage from crushing Ronan’s ship, perhaps triggered by the mainframe’s destruction. Despite Ronan’s defeat, Xandar lost its primary defense, raising questions about the consequences, given the shield’s negative impacts.

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