For a while now I’ve harboured A Theory about this scene and it’s this: Yondu wouldn’t have killed Peter, no matter what he said next. (We all figure that, right?)

But he would have killed Gamora. What’s she to him? That would’ve neatly solved a lot of Yondu’s problems right there and then: 1) Be seen to severely punish Peter without actually killing him 2) Satisfy the bloodlust of the other Ravagers and 3) Guarantee the crew a huge payday, since Gamora almost certainly has ‘dead or alive’ bounties on her, therefore establishing himself as an efficient leader even if a slightly soft one. Yondu might’ve even been smart enough to spin it in such a way that Peter would then on be “pardoned” for his betrayal since he ended up bringing them such a payout. Win-win.

Except obviously Peter would’ve hated him forever. But from Yondu’s perspective, at least he would be alive.