I think pretty much everyone who has seen Avengers: Infinity War would be in agreement that Thanos, all things considered, is a generally a bad person.
That being said, his character does have clear complexities. We did see glimpses of a near-human side during his storyline, even if they were few and far between.
During that battle on Titan, we see Thanos use the Power Stone, something we have seen be used to destroy ENTIRE planets. Surely a direct hit from that bad boy would most certainly kill at least the Guardians of the Galaxy?
That being said, what if Thanos didn’t actually want to kill them? That’s the theory Reddit user bondoh argues: “When I first saw the movie, I thought it was weird that Star-Lord, Drax, and Nebula were able to take such a direct blast from the Power Stone without dying, especially since the first Guardians movie made it clear that this gem can destroy entire planets.”
They continued: “Now in fairness, Thanos does show he can control the degree of the power and uses it to brush away three people on earth without any sign of using the Soul Stone.
“However on Titan, right after he snapped out of the hypnosis, he was angrier than at any other point of the movie, and therefore seemed to lose control more than at any other time. Throwing the moon being the pinnacle of that rampage.
“But many have pointed out how gentle he was in the second half of the movie, how he seemed to go out of his way to not kill people on Titan or Earth because he wanted the Snap to decide.
“But I think having come close to losing the Gauntlet he lost control and pushed out a blast from the Power gem more than what he meant to.”
They added: “Which is why….directly after he drops the two Guardians and Nebula with the blast from the Power Stone, it cuts to the shot where Iron Man attacks with a blade.
“At the very beginning of that shot, in a blink and you’ll miss it moment, you can see that the Soul Stone is glowing.
“And not just a little bit but clearly activated. There’s no other reason for it to be activated at that moment unless it was to keep those three alive since they fell so limp it looked like he basically killed them.”
It’s not unreasonable to believe that Thanos was actually quite measured in what he was trying to achieve. After all, there are multiple occasions throughout Infinity War where we see him explaining his thought process and justifications for doing what he’s doing.