Guardians of the Galaxy came out in 2014 and was very different from the other MCU films we had seen up until this point. I had seen it in theaters while I was out of town and remember having a good time watching it. However, I wasn’t sure what the direct connection was to the other MCU films. It’s still a film I enjoy watching to this day because of the great humor, emotional moments, and overall story.
This film jumps straight into the plot by giving Peter Quill some background before we see the original Marvel logo. Throughout the film we learn more about Peter, as well as the other characters, while listening to some great music. I would highly recommend listening to the full album when you get the chance! There were a few things I noticed within the film that I found interesting or odd. Xandar seems to be a better, more evolved version of Earth but at some point Rocket calls the Nova Core fascists, which seemed to be rooted in some sort of truth. Towards the end of the film, Nova Prime commands to have the city evacuated, but at no point does it seem to be evacuated. When the city is being dive-bombed, it is still fully populated and later we see the citizens watching the final stand-off between Ronan and the Guardians. However, Rocket mentioned earlier that the city had been evacuated, so which is it? Another thing, Ronan named the Guardians in an attempt to mock them in front of these citizens, but then they kept the name. Finally, we see Thanos a bit more in this film, but he continues to sit in his floating chair.
Peter had the most character development within this film. He was just a sweet little boy who lost his momma and somehow ended up on an alien space-ship becoming a Ravager. Later it is mentioned that his father hired them to bring Peter to him, but Yondu decided to keep him instead and raise him. Earth is referred to as Terra, but Peter is only half Terran as we learn that his father was something ancient and mysterious. Peter makes a lot of old references that no one understands, but they seemingly go along with. He is trying to relate what he knows to what is happening now to cope, but it doesn’t always work. As the film progresses, he realizes more and more that they need to do the right thing to prevent millions of innocent people from dying. Also, he has one of the most logical arguments about saving the galaxy: “Because I’m one of the idiots who lives in it!” This made perfect sense and he was willing to die to do the right thing. Finally, him holding the stone and using it to destroy Ronan was a very badass moment.
Gamora did have some character development as well, but I feel that she has more growth in the second film. I think in this one she was simply letting her true self out after having to hide away her feelings for years because of Thanos. She’s trying to betray him and use the orb to start a new life away from everything. In a way, she’s also learning about herself because she’s never had the opportunity to grow, and now she has friends and the ability to be more herself. We do see some interactions between her and Nebula, and we learn that Gamora is Thanos’ favorite daughter, but there is still more to their complex relationship that we learn about in the next film. She also takes things somewhat literally, but not to the extent Drax does.
Speaking of Drax, he too has some small character development as he realizes how his personal vendetta against Ronan isn’t the only path in life. His family was slaughtered by Ronan, but now he has a new family and is grateful for them. He takes things extremely literally because he doesn’t under metaphors. Of course he still wants to take Thanos down, but he learned that he has to be practical about the way he does things and not let his rage blind his actions. He brings a different form of humor to this already humorous film.
Rocket and Groot came in a pair and didn’t have much in the way of growth. Rocket is a very handy and clever individual, and while he did decide that they all were friends and helped them save the galaxy, we’re not fully sure what he was like before this. We only get brief mentions of his life before this but not enough to put together his story. Groot is an incredible character who is very sweet and proud of himself when he does things. I did cry when he died because it was an extremely tender moment, but thankfully he returned as Baby Groot and danced at the end of the film.
This film had some incredible easter-eggs throughout! While there are some extremely small and specific details, I’m only going to mention the seemingly obvious. Stan Lee is seen early-on on Xandar flirting with a younger woman while Rocket is looking around for targets. Now, in the Collectors collection we see a good amount of easter-eggs: Cosmo the Spacedog, Howard the Duck, a Dark Elf from Thor the Dark World, and a Chitauri warrior from the Avengers. There were a few other things in his collection that reference other films, not much else related to Marvel or the MCU. Of course we learn more about the Infinity Stones, and the stone seen within this film is the Power Stone.
Overall, I would highly recommend watching this movie because it is a fully rounded film, with clear plot and humor. It’s somewhat separation from the rest of the MCU means that any viewer can watch and enjoy it, and as I said before the music is incredible!
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