Nova Prime Irani Rael is the commander of the Nova Corps. She led her people to victory with the help of the Guardians of the Galaxy when Ronan the Accuser attempted to destroy her home planet of Xandar with a powerful weapon known as the Power Stone.
Ending the War
Irani Rael joined the Nova Corps and rose through its ranks, becoming the Nova Prime, the highest ranked member, as well as the leader of the Corps. During her time as the Nova Prime, Rael dedicated much of her time to ending generations of bloodshed between the Kree and the Xandarians. Eventually, a peace treaty was signed ending the thousand-year war between them.
Keeping the Peace
Despite the treaty, one Kree radical, Ronan the Accuser, continued massacring Xandarian outposts across the galaxy, slaughtering children and families. Rael appealed to the Kree Ambassador to condemn these actions, but the ambassador refused to help, saying that it was her business and he had more pressing matters to attend to. Denarian Garthan Saal then approached her and informed her that they had arrested one of Ronan's comrades, Gamora, the adopted daughter of the Mad Titan Thanos.
- "All Nova pilots, interlock and form a blockade. The Dark Aster must not reach the ground."
- ―Irani Rael
Several days later, the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Ravagers arrived on Xandar. The Guardians' leader, Peter Quill, informed the Nova Corps that Ronan the Accuser's fleet was on its way with an Infinity Stone which could destroy the entire planet; Quill requested their help in defending Xandar. After consulting Corpsman Rhomann Dey, she agreed to trust them and ordered an evacuation of the city.
Rael ordered Denarian Garthan Saal to lead the Xandarian fleet in a counter attack against Ronan's army. A great battle took place over Xandar. Rael knew their priority had to be to keep Ronan from landing his ship and unleashing the Orb's power upon the planet; to stop this, she ordered Saal and the fleet to form a blockade to slow Ronan's path while Star-Lord's team entered the ship. In response, Ronan used the Orb's power to destroy the Nova Corps' ships, killing hundreds of men including Saal. In the end, Ronan was killed and his army was defeated due to the contributions of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Gaining the Orb
With the battle won, Rael promoted Corpsman Rhomann Dey to the rank of Denarian in the wake of Garthan Saal's death. She then gathered the Guardians of the Galaxy together and gave Star-Lord information about his mysterious father, who, it turned out, was not human but part of a strange and ancient race. She expressed her gratitude to the Guardians for their role in defending her homeworld.
The Guardians of the Galaxy soon left Xandar on the rebuilt ship, the Milano, but before they left Quill gave Rael the Orb to keep it from the wrong hands. Already aware of the incredible dangers such a powerful weapon held, Rael personally ensured that it was locked away deep in a vault within the Nova Corps Headquarters with security present at all times to ensure its protection from anyone who would use its power for evil.
Irani Rael is a strong and stern leader. Having achieved a top position within the Xandarian hierarchy, she proved to be able leading men to battle and does not fear confronting other political leaders like the Kree Ambassador. She is also keen on protecting her people, as she demonstrated by making the evacuation of civilians a priority during the Battle of Xandar. During the same battle, she agreed to work with Ravagers, who Xandarians usually considered dangerous if not enemies, in order to prevent Ronan the Accuser from destroying Xandar, showing that she places the interest of her people above all other consideration. Rael also pays attention to her subordinates' opinion regarding strategic matters, like when she asks Rhomann Dey if he thought Star-Lord could be trusted, and shows gratitude to anyone who helps her protecting the Xandarians like the Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Leadership: As Nova Prime and commander of the Nova Corps, Irani Rael is at the head of an reknown military force she led during the Battle of Xandar, despite not being fighting herself.
- Orb: Following the Battle of Xandar, the Guardians of the Galaxy trusted Rael with the Orb containing the Power Stone so it could be kept away from malevolent use. To that end, Rael sealed the Orb in a high security vault in the Nova Corps headquarters.
- Nova Corps
- Guardians of the Galaxy - Enemies turned Allies
- Ravagers - Enemies turned Situational Allies
- In the comics, Irani Rael was a Rigellian Nova Centurion recruited following the destruction of Xandar. Rael never had the rank of Nova Prime, which was instead originally held by Rhomann Dey before his death.
Behind the Scenes
- Although confirmed in interviews to be named Irani Rael, the character is addressed on screen only as "Nova-Prime", and Glenn Close is credited as such on all official materials.
- James Gunn initially announced that Glenn Close would reprise her role as Irani Rael in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, however the character did not appear in the final cut of the film, suggesting that she was later written out.
- Dani Biernat was a stunt double for Glenn Close in the role of Irani Rael.