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Gunn's Goodbye to "Guardians of the Galaxy"

By Linda Cheung

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” was a smash hit at the global box office with a cumulative $500 million in ticket sales. Many fans expressed their feelings of despair and excitement when watching the movie, specifically, moments from Rocket’s traumatic past and Marvel’s first use of the F-bomb. Please note that this article will contain spoilers for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”

Reproduced with permission from Wikimedia Commons

Many Marvel fans express sadness about the end of an iconic trilogy.

The film opens with the Guardians on the planet Knowhere, still recovering from the trauma of losing their fellow teammate, Gamora. Peter Quill is particularly affected by her death, becoming a less effective leader and resorting to alcoholism. Adam Warlock, played by Will Poulter, is sent by the High Evolutionary to capture Rocket as he is deemed "proprietary technology" by an intergalactic bioengineering company, known as OrgoCorp. In the process of fighting back against Warlock, Rocket is injured to the point of near-death. The following two hours and thirty minutes chronicle the Guardian’s attempts to save Rocket’s life by traveling to OrgoCorp and deactivating the kill switch, a mechanism inside Rocket preventing the Guardians from saving his life. Throughout the film, the audience sees multiple glimpses into Rocket’s life as a cub, and how he was biologically manipulated and experimented on to become an intelligent, anthropomorphic raccoon.

“I thought the movie was actually well done,” Spanish teacher Ms. Salcedo said. “I like that the characters had a little more screen time, like Groot. The whole thing around Rocket really tugged at my heartstrings. I wasn’t really a fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but this one I really loved.”

James Gunn, the director of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” trilogy, claimed he always knew how the third and final film was going to end. Initially, Gunn did not intend on directing a third movie, but he stated his need to come back to complete Rocket’s story. From the outset, Gunn claimed that he knew where Guardians of the Galaxy volumes two and three were headed, with volume two being centered around Quill’s father, Ego, and volume three being centered around Rocket’s origin story. "To me, Rocket has always been the secret protagonist of the Guardians movies," Gunn said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "From the beginning, it has been rooted in who he is as a character. I think he exemplifies a lot of the traits of all the Guardians. They've had all these traumas, and it brings them together. I just think that his is more extreme than others."

Many students feel that the success of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is more reflective of the work of James Gunn as a director rather than the direction that Marvel is taking in phase four. As the director of all three “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, Gunn maintains an aesthetic unique to the series. Many students have become increasingly dissatisfied by the quality of movies and tv shows produced by Marvel, especially since the start of phase four.

“This whole entire trilogy, volumes one, two and three, are a testament to James Gunn and his work,” junior Melvin Lukose said.

However, the future of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” remains unclear. Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista have already confirmed their exit from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with James Gunn, who has committed to overseeing the DC Extended Universe film franchise. Chris Pratt stated his openness to future MCU projects, as long as Marvel honors Gunn’s intentions."[Filming] started bitter in the beginning cause obviously you're anticipating the end, but I'm just so happy that once again I got to work with great people," Zoe Saldana said according to Entertainment Weekly. "I had an evolution that I witnessed of myself, but also my director and my cast. I just felt very blessed and grateful. It was a very sweet departure, I have to say."

“I think the series is done, the trilogy’s done, this is the last one,” junior Matthew Chun said. “I don’t know who’s going to return out of all the Guardians. I watched the post credits scene, it said Star-Lord will return. I think [that] overall the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy’s done.”

“I think the future of Guardians of Galaxy will be more focused on the individual characters and their own journeys,” junior Gabriela Krawczyk said. “I think by doing that they can continue to create more content for the brand as it seems like it’s trying to expand the characters on a personal level.”

Overall, many NHP students hold bittersweet feelings toward the end of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” trilogy and anticipate the return of some Guardians in the future. The departure of James Gunn from the MCU franchise will change the atmosphere cultivated by the director as he continues filmmaking for the DCEU franchise.


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