If you have a kid who’s really into superheroes and sci-fi/fantasy then chances are you probably have heard about a little movie called GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2. My son’s friends have been raving about the film and since I’m anticipating he’ll want to see it I wanted to make sure it was kid appropriate but first, as with most comic book inspired films there’s a whole load of history. The films do step away from the comic origins of our favorite space guardians so for this purpose I’m focusing on the films. Where does a mom start? I’ve broken the history and story of the first GotG down for you in this handy little post plus some fun VOL. 2 action since the film opens everywhere May 5th, 2017.
Characters – What is a story without its main characters?
Peter Quill/Star Lord – In the films, Peter Quill is this guy who was abducted by aliens after his mother’s death when he was a child. While his mother was in the operating room he listened to a mixed tape his mother made him entitled “Awesome Mix Vol. 1”. As she’s dying she tries to give Peter a gift and tells him that he is an angel; naturally, this upsets Peter, I mean the kid’s mom is dying in front of him and she wants to give him a gift?! He runs off and at the end of the first film we see what the gift was. That’s why you see mixed tapes and Sony Walkman’s whenever Quill is mentioned as well as most GOTG pop culture references. So this group of space pirates called The Ravangers get Quill and then raise him to be their own. Originally their leader Yondu Udonta (the blue guy with the mo-hwak) was hired by Peter Quill’s real father (we’re introduced to him in Vol. 2) to bring the boy to him after his mother’s death, however, they obviously didn’t follow through with their job. Yondu taught Peter how to survive in outer space and since Peter grew up around aliens he doesn’t realize how fragile he actually is, you know, since he’s half-human/half-alien. After being with Yondu and the Ravangers, Quill is on a mission to steal this ancient artifact called “the Orb”. He does so but runs into a few aliens, who will become the rest of the GOTG gang, later on in the first movie. Quill, along with another character, Gamora realize that the Orb is actually one of the six Infinity Stones (super big deal in the Marvel Universe). You could say that despite his upbringing, Quill turns out to be a hero and brings together the team that create the Guardians of the Galaxy. Certainly there’s a lot more to the story but there is a movie you can get your hands on first before May 5th.
Yondu Udonta – Like I said above, Yondu Udonta, hired by Peter Quill’s real father, decides to raise Peter. Yondu is the leader of the Ravangers and after realizing that Peter Quill has double-crossed him, he decides to help out Peter and Gamora when he realizes the value of the Orb that Peter is carrying. Plus, he does care for young Peter after all. Yondu helps the GOTG defeat the villain of the movie, Ronan, and saves the planet Xandar from destruction. He has a really awesome arrow that responds to his whistle and can change direction.
Gamora – Gamora, in the comic books is an orphan who is raised by the evil Marvel uber villain Thanos. According to her, he killed her parents in front of her, abducted her, tortured her and then trained her to be a weapon as his Galaxy-Class assassin alongside an adopted sister Neblua. In GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 1 villain Ronan wants Nebula to steal The Orb, instead Gamora volunteers. Quill and Gamora have this unspoken love interest, maybe? Gamora is a true warrior and a loner so a lot of that is unsure but hopefully we’ll get to see more in VOL. 2.
Drax the Destroyer – Ronan, the villain in the first GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, killed Drax’s family. This leaves him in a fit of vengeful rage, right? Yes, and because Gamora is hired by Ronan to retrieve the Orb, Drax is hell-bent on killing Gamora. Everyone is locked up together in a prison called Kyln and this is where they all meet and by meet I mean where Drax tries to kill Gamora. Peter Quill convinces Drax to not kill Gamora because she too wants to kill Ronan. Drax complies and joins Quill, Gamora and the raccoon and that large tree (whom we’ll get to in just a wee bit) to become Guardians of the Galaxy.
Rocket Raccoon & Groot – Rocket Raccoon is a genetically modified raccoon who travels the galaxy with his partner in crime, the huge, superhuman strength tree Groot. Groot is from the planet X and only says “I am Groot” because his physiology and heavyweight stature makes him stiff. Peter convinces Rocket and Groot to join forces with him to bring the Orb to safety and away from Ronan. Anyway, Groot sacrifices himself in the last battle the team has at Xandar by creating a protective shell to brace the impact of the ship crashing. Rocket grabs a piece of the shattered Groot and plants it. Groot begins to grow at the end of the first film which is why Baby Groot is in Vol. 2.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 opens everywhere on May 5th
There’s still plenty of time to watch the first film but if you don’t have time hopefully this little recap and introduction to the characters has helped you. What do you have to look forward to in the second film? Lots and lots of action, humor, the same characters plus a few new ones and will we finally know who Peter Quill’s dad is? Be sure to mark your calendar for May 5th.