We have one and a half months left until Avengers: Infinity War premieres. This movie will have Earth’s Mightiest Heroes teaming up with the Guardians of the Galaxy. To prepare you for that film, we take you back to the first film to feature our cosmic team. Guardians of the Galaxy is directed and co-written by James Gunn, who also spearheaded the movie’s sequel. There will be spoilers, so if you have not yet seen the movie, do so now and return to this article later.
We start the film on Earth during a dark night in 1988. A young Peter Quill visits his mother on her deathbed in a hospital. Surrounded by relatives, his mother gives him a gift, which his grandfather puts into the boy’s backpack. Peter’s mother offers to hold his hand one last time, but he hesitates. She then passes, and the boy runs a short distance away from the hospital. Out of nowhere, he is taken away by a foreign space machine.
Supposedly twenty-six years later, we see a current-aged Peter Quill–now referring to himself as a legendary outlaw named Star-Lord–steal an orb on an abandoned planet named Morag. (He plays the song “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone on his Sony Walkman while doing it.) Followers of Kree fanatic Ronan the Accuser–Korath and his group–arrive shortly and attack Peter, but he flees with the Orb on his spaceship, the Milano. He is called by a space pirate, a Ravager named Yondu, who tells Peter he will find him if the Orb is not given to him. Yondu places a bounty on his head for whoever finds and takes in Peter alive.
Elsewhere, on a Kree warship called the Dark Aster, Ronan the Accuser–a so-called “terrorist, radical, [and] zealot”–is visited by Ronan, who reports that the Orb is in possession of “an outlaw who calls himself Star-Lord.” Gamora, one of Thanos the Mad Titan’s adopted daughters, volunteers to fetch the object because she knows her way around the Nova Empire capital, Xandar.
On Xander, two individuals have beaten Gamora to it. Rocket (Raccoon) and a living botanist-organism named Groot–whose vocabulary is only limited to saying “I Am Groot”–try to capture Peter. Peter tries to sell the Orb to a Xandarian named Broker, who refuses to purchase it because Ronan is after it as well. Out in public, Peter is attacked by Gamora, who attempts to take the Orb. Rocket and Groot intercept the two as well. The four are arrested by the Nova Corps and are brought to a high-security prison called the Kyln.
At the Kyln, Peter’s Walkman, the Orb, and everyone else’s clothing and weapons are taken away. They cross paths with Drax the Destroyer. They plan to escape the prison, take the Orb, and sell it to Gamora’s buyer for four billion units.
Elsewhere, Ronan and Thanos are told that Gamora and the group have plans. Thanos sends Ronan and his other adopted daughter Nebula to retrieve Gamora at the Kyln.
Meanwhile, in the prison, Peter, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot gain Drax’s trust and, with his help, they hastily escape together. The latter four leave on the Milano while Peter fetches his Walkman from a Kyln prison guard. He catches up to his ship while the device plays the song “Escape (the Pina Colada song)” by Rupert Holmes.
On the Milano, the group argues over the Orb, and Drax says he does not want any money in exchange for the object. Meanwhile, Ronan and his vessel arrive at the Kyln too late, and at Xandar, Yondu learns more about the Orb from Broker.
The group arrives at a mining colony called Knowhere, which is a severed head of an ancient being called a Celestial and contains highly valuable resources. Groot gives a flower to a young beggar child. While waiting for Gamora’s seller–Taneleer Tivan the Collector–the group drinks at a gambling bar. Peter introduces Gamora to Kevin Bacon as well as his world of music and dancing by playing a song titled “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” by Elvin Bishop. Highly intoxicated, Drax and Rocket get into a fight. Drax leaves the bar while the rest of the group is summoned by Taneleer. Drax sends Ronan a message, driving the Kree and his followers to the group’s location. Taneleer tells the group that the Orb contains an Infinity Stone, one of six objects that were created from six singularities and can only be wielded by powerfully strong beings. His slave touches the Infinity Stone and is destroyed by its power. Her touch unleashes an explosion that ruins the whole building along with a number of Taneleer’s treasures. Gamora closes the Orb, encasing the Infinity Stone.
The group plan to take the Orb to the Nova Corps. Ronan, his followers, Yondu, and his Ravagers arrive at Knowhere and attack the group. Ronan defeats Drax in combat, and Gamora makes it to the outskirts of Knowhere and is exposed to the atmosphere of space. Ronan and his followers leave with the Orb, while Peter manages to save Gamora’s life. Instead of bringing the Orb to Thanos, Ronan and Nebula betray the Titan by using the Infinity Stone inside of it for their personal gain.
The group ends up joining forces with the Ravagers, and they–with the help of the Nova Corps—collude to take the Orb back from Ronan. The group takes down the Dark Aster, and Groot saves the group by sacrificing himself and encasing them in his organic shell. The warship crashlands on Xandar grounds, and Groot has broken apart. Peter distracts Ronan by dancing to the song “O-o-h Child” by the Five Stairsteps while Rocket and Drax reconstruct a device to destroy the madman’s weapon. Peter comes into contact with the Infinity Stone, where he envisions his mother reaching out to him. Gamora, Drax, and Rocket reach out to Peter, and together, the destroy Ronan with the Infinity Stone.
Yondu and the Ravagers take the Orb from Peter, but they find that Peter tricked them by giving them an Orb containing a Troll doll. Now calling themselves “the Guardians of the Galaxy,” the group gives the Infinity Stone to the Nova Corps, who tell Peter that he is half-human and is other half is from an ancient background. Rocket keeps a remnant of Groot in a pot, and the Nova Corps free the Guardians.
Peter opens his gift from his mother (from the beginning scene of the film), and plays a song titled “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. The group leaves Xandar as “I Want You Back” by Jackson 5 plays, and the Groot remnant becomes Baby Groot, who begins to pester Drax.
- In a post-credits scene, Tanaleer is sitting with his two living exhibits: Cosmo the Spacedog and Howard the Duck.
This installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe showed that a lesser-known Marvel property can still be successful, and James Gunn proved this with a good story, an outstanding cast, and a memorable soundtrack. With its jokes and pure emotion, the film touched the hearts of many people. Although we have yet to locate the final Easter Egg of the film, James Gunn did recently reveal–unfortunately–that the remnant of Groot is not Groot himself but rather a seed/child of him.
Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy performed well as the franchise’s first cosmic project. For everything that it is, the film deserves a 9/10.
Do not fret. The Guardians of the Galaxy, Nebula, and–of course–Thanos will return in a month and a half. Avengers: Infinity War releases on April 27th, 2018, and will be the biggest Marvel Cinematic Universe event culminating from twenty-two films and three phases.
Which character is your favorite? What did you think of the film? Let us know! For more Guardians of the Galaxy and Marvel Cinematic Universe-related news and reviews, follow Geek Motivation on Twitter (@GeekMotivation) and Instagram (@geekmotivation).
Written by: John Tangalin