Take a closer look at Ayesha (and more) in new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 pics

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Apr 29, 2019, 6:15 AM EDT (Updated)

In the cosmic wake of this Sunday's epic Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Super Bowl trailer, Marvel has released a batch of official stills and behind-the-scenes pics from the upcoming sequel.

Not only did the new trailer boast a lot of new footage — including just what the doctor ordered: more Baby Groot! — but it also offered our first look at Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, the "golden High Priestess of a genetically-perfect people called the Sovereign," who is apparently "not a woman to be screwed with – she, and her entire world, are extraordinarily deadly."

Guardians 2 will also introduce Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell) as Star-Lord's dad (who was nowhere to be seen in the trailer) -- and, speaking of dads, director James Gunn confirmed the sequel will not feature Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula’s (Karen Gillan) adoptive father Thanos (Josh Brolin). Why? Here’s what Gunn told Collider:

"It's about two sisters. It's not about the sisters and their father. It's about two sisters and what were the sisters' problems with each other? And, you know, some of those things were caused by being raised by the ultimate abusive father. But it really isn't about Thanos, and frankly, I just wasn't inspired to put him in the movie. You know, I kind of go with my gut on these things and it just wasn't what I wanted to do. It wasn't the most fun part of the movie last time for me and I just didn't really wanna do it this time. And again, the relationship with Thanos has nothing to do with it. It's not about their relationship with Thanos. It's about their relationship to each other, and what is that? And that was interesting to me, and I thought that was important to our story, and that was important to our characters. What happened with them in the past — there's a lot of stuff that happened with them in the past that affects our characters presently."

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens on May 5.

(via Comic Book Movie, Collider)