Guardians of the Galaxy: A Family of A-Holes and the Road to Thanos
Guest Blog by Robert Mills
Now that we’ve had time to watch and digest Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, there are some interesting threads and connections that started with GOTG. These threads and connections help to make a stronger overall narrative for both films.
It’s a Marvel Cinematic Universe within a MCU. The connected universe of the MCU excites fans with a rich environment of easter eggs, shared drama, and interesting connections. The possibilities seem limitless. Guardians is building their own connected universe in space...which will soon collide with Earth’s mightiest heroes. That sort of thing.
This connected universe in space starts with one core element...family. Like the Fast and the Furious franchise or the Avengers corner of the MCU, it’s all about a core group of misfits becoming “family.” Let's look deeper at the element of family in the Guardians franchise.
Family vs. Bloodlines
The traditional “family” begins with a central patriarch. Star-Lord fills that role by the end of Guardians. But, in Volume 2 we explore that relationship in a far deeper exposition. Primarily, we explore Star-Lord’s patriarch - Ego and Yondu. Like everything in the Guardian’s galaxy...it’s complicated (in a good way).
The movie plays with the difference between a “father” and a “daddy," as Yondu puts it. We can look back to the opening moments of GOTG to see that Yondu was always protective of Peter. Yondu is accused of always taking it soft on Quill. This is an early thread that is laid down that ultimately foreshadows Yondu’s true intentions. Yondu gives Peter the framework to be the “hero” becomes in Guardians and to defeat his own “father” in volume 2. Ego on the other hand gives Peter Quill the genetic makeup to be something super human, a celestial. In the end, it is Star-Lord's desire to be the man Yondu helped form though we suspect that he will always be as Star-Lord would put it, "a bit of both.'
Family of Misfits
Guardians 2 builds strongly on the patchwork family of Quill, Gamora, Rocket, Drax, and Groot ...a family that you choose instead of being born into. This plays as a juxtaposition to the themes of the first movie. In volume 2, the guardians not only have to defend the galaxy but defeat threats to their own family. Some of these like Rocket's demons, Drax's forward behaviour, and Gamora and Quill's continued dance.
In the first movie, Quill is a loner who is searching for a place to belong. He ultimately finds that place to belong with Drax (who is an outsider without a family because of Thanos), Rocket (who never had a family), and Gamora (who is essentially without a family because of Thanos). Now, in Volume 2 it becomes a question of what is more important. The connections you make with the people you choose to be with directly oppose the bonds with the family that you’re born into, and you know the safety of the entire Galaxy.
The BIGger Picture
Does this unlock an even BIGGER thread? Drax - without family because of Thanos. Gamora - without family because of Thanos. Could Thanos be directly or even indirectly behind Groot's race being destroyed? He wiped out Gamora's and Drax's family. Rocket's creation and experimentation...Thanos did basically the same experimentation on Nebula. And lastly, what if Thanos pointed Ego to Earth all those years ago when he met Peter's mom? All roads point to THANOS at this point. Someone may be playing an intricate game with more than the Avengers and the Infinity Stones. We don't doubt that Thanos may have even made a hidden appearance in Guardians.
Clearly, the MCU loves to build these long tail threads into their stories. We have been talking about Thanos for five years and roughly ten MCU movies. The Guardians clearly have enough ammunition to provide substantial motives to oppose Thanos. But, could there be an even bigger connection to the Guardians?
Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War
It may not be Peter Quill's "terran" heritage that brings the Guardians to Earth after all. If the past storylines of the MCU are anything we can go on, the MCU loves to bring a family together only to dramatically rip it apart like in Civil War. The Guardians may come into Infinity War after experiencing their own catastrophe and perhaps a bit fractured because of it. Nebula may be an outsider but she has become a part of the Guardians family, except maybe according to Drax.
This might clue us into the final connection for Guardians to the Infinity War. Nebula might actually be the first casualty in the war and bring the Guardians to Earth hunting for their revenge. She would certainly give the Guardians a sense of urgency heading after Thanos. It's a conflict with many layers and might be how the Guardians get further emotional investment in the battle. Since 2012, all roads lead to Thanos.
We'll have to wait and see. Ultimately, this is a series/franchise about family...and they bring it around full circle in volume 2. Where this leads is anyone's guess, tell us yours in the comments on Facebook.