No one knew what to expect when “Guardians of the Galaxy” came out 3 years ago. Marvel and Disney were taking a huge risk by introducing a bunch of relatively unknown characters to casual movie-goers.
Their gamble paid off when the 2014 film debuted to rave reviews from fans and critics alike, while roping in over USD773 million worldwide – becoming one of the biggest blockbuster hits in the superhero genre.
The 15th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will see our favourite team of misfits braving through yet another mission in an attempt to save the entire galaxy from cosmic threats. So what else can we expect? The sequel will not only be much more colourful and sci-fi as we’ll also get to see several newcomers to MCU and be treated to a new soundtrack of epic proportions.
The official synopsis for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” reads:
“Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favourite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.”
Here are 10 things you need to know before watching “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”:
1. “Vol. 2” picks up 2 months after the Guardians defeated Ronan The Accuser
Peter “Star-Lord” Quill, Gamora, Rocket Racoon, Drax, plus an all-new Baby Groot are taking advantage of their new-found fame by working as premium rate mercenaries.
“Their legend, and their mythology has grown and spread throughout the universe, because they defeated Ronan and because they were able to hold, Peter, in particular was able to hold an Infinity Stone and not die, which also has spread his legend,” Marvel CEO Kevin Feige was quoted as saying.
The sequel was initially supposed to take place years later, but for character purposes, the producers wanted to emphasise on how the Guardians’ decisions in the 1st film had impacted them in moving forward.
2. Who’s the scary giant tentacle monster?
“And when we first meet them, in the beginning of the movie, they’re on a place called Sovereign, where they’ve been asked to help with these, this giant sort of inter-dimensional beast that comes out and eats their batteries, their power source, and wreaks havoc on the planet, and the Guardians have been asked to come in and dispatch with that thing, and that’s how our film starts,” said Feige.
Who is this terrifying thing? Director James Gunn revealed that it’s called an Abilisk. In the artwork above, we see Star-Lord, Gamora, and Rocket making full use of their large blasters, with Drax diving right at the creature armed with only a pair of double blades. However, the ever-adorable baby Groot doesn’t seem to be taking this fight seriously.
3. Groot wasn’t supposed to be Baby Groot
In the first movie, Groot was a caring tree thing. With his death and re-emergence at the end, Gunn explained that changing the character to Baby Groot was a huge important element in crafting the story for the sequel. “I started out thinking of him as full grown. Then all of a sudden I thought, it could be baby Groot, and baby Groot is very different,” said the filmmaker.
Feige also added that this allowed Groot and Rocket Raccoon to have a role reversal where Groot was Rocket’s protector in the first movie, but for the sequel, Rocket will serve as Groot’s protector.
4. How newcomer Mantis fits in with the Guardians
Mantis, played by Pom Klementieff, is unique, weird, and brings something very interesting to the MCU. “Mantis has never really encountered other people and other humans before. She makes Drax look like the most world-savvy person there is. … She comes into the story along with (Ego the Living Planet),” shared Feige.
Her powers in the upcoming movie are mainly empathy. According to Klementieff, Mantis can “change emotions” and “feels things by touching people”. Knowing the full range of emotions that rage through the team, her abilities will certainly come in handy.
5. Meet Star-Lord’s dad, Ego the Living Planet
Ever since Kurt Russell took on the role of playing Ego the Living Planet, fans have been wondering if the 66-year-old actor would be a massive planet-sized being as depicted in the comics or a humanoid interpretation. Turns out, the answer is both.
Besides revealing that it was Chris Pratt who suggested Russell for the role, Gunn shared how the production managed to pull Ego The Living Planet’s massive planetary form. “We have over a trillion polygons on Ego’s planet. It’s the biggest visual effect of all time. There’s nothing even close to it. Which is cool,” said the filmmaker.
“Ego is a living planet who is able to manifest himself in different ways. He’s been alone for millions of years and he’s learned how to control the molecules around him in such a way as to create avatars of themselves, such as Kurt Russell. I think Ego was a very lonely character out there by himself and went off in search of love and perhaps found it in Quill’s mother,” Gunn previously said.
6. The big bad is Ayesha
Ayesha is the main villain in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”. She is clad entirely in gold and surrounded by more people with golden skin. When asked to described the character, Gunn said, “Ayesha is the golden High Priestess of genetically-perfect people called the Sovereign. She’s not a woman to be screwed with – she, and her entire world, are extraordinarily deadly”.
7. “Awesome Mix Vol. 2” is bigger, different, and more mature
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) February 5, 2017
What was the best thing about “Guardians of the Galaxy”? Groot? Perhaps. Chris Pratt’s washboard abs? Close. The baddies? Absolutely no!
It was the “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” soundtrack, duh. Not only was it integral to the film, it also became a chart-topping success.
“I would say that the other Guardians now know that music is a thing for Peter, so in early scenes, what you see baby Groot here, which he’s just Groot in the movie, but on set we call him baby Groot, he’s setting up these little outer space speakers so that the music can play for all of them, because Quill likes to hear music when he’s fighting. So, it does go more than just his headset, but it’s all based off of ‘Volume 2’, and I would say that a couple of the songs, and particularly 1 song has very unique lyrics that play in much more specific part into the plot, than any song did in the first film,” said Feige.
— Marvel UK & Ireland (@MarvelUK) April 19, 2017
“I think that the soundtrack is an evolution from the soundtrack to the first movie. I think the first movie was made for a child that was a couple years younger than the child that this music was made for. So it’s slightly more complex songs. I also think that we have a wider variety of songs,” Gunn added.
8. Gamora and Nebula’s relationship is essential in this story
“Vol. 2” will not only explore the father-son relationship between Star-Lord and Ego the Living Planet, but also between sisters Gamora and Nebula. Gamora was forcibly taken by Thanos when she was an infant while Nebula resents him for what he has turned her into.
Gunn explained, “First of all, it’s about 2 sisters. It’s not about the sisters and their father. It’s about 2 sisters and what were the sisters’ problems with each other. And yeah, some of those things were caused by being raised by the ultimate abusive father, Thanos.”
“It’s not about their relationship with Thanos. It’s about their relationship to each other, and what is that. And that was interesting to me. And I thought that was important to our story, and that was important to our characters. What happened with them in the past. There’s a lot of stuff that happened in the past that affects our characters presently,” the director added.
9. Thanos won’t appear in “Vol. 2”
Although Thanos is one of the main characters in “Avengers: Infinity War”, the super-villain won’t be making an appearance in “Vol. 2”. Since the big bad is not the main focus this time around, there are also no Infinity Stones in the movie. At this point, 5 of the 6 stones have been revealed. The last remaining one – the Soul Stone – will likely appear in “Thor: Ragnarok”.
10. “Guardians of the Galaxy” will be in “Avengers: Infinity War”
When the Guardians meet up with the rest of The Avengers in “Avengers: Infinity War” next year, there’s going to be tension and clash of egos between the superheroes. Dave Bautista (Drax) shared how directors Anthony and Joe Russo were able to create an authentic dynamic between the 2 groups that would naturally flow from what we know about them.
He said, “When we come onto set as the Guardians, we are the Guardians. Anybody stepping onto set with us has to deal with all of us. There are usually 1 or 2 Avengers. We are the Guardians, we come as that and carry a scene like that and we do business as usual, which is a lot of chemistry, a lot of interaction amongst ourselves. And the Russos were very encouraging of that. I think we’ve established ourselves and we deserve to be right up there with the Avengers. I think we’re just as strong, if not stronger, as a unit, cause we’re a family.”
11. “Vol. 2” will feature 5 post credit scenes
If you’re in the category that usually don’t care for bonus scenes, trust us when we say that you will want to remain in your seats this time around. James Gunn has confirmed that the “Guardians of the Galaxy” will have not 1, not 2, not 3, not even 4, but a surprising 5 post-credits sequences! It’s definitely unprecedented.
Are y’all excited yet?
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” will open in Malaysian cinemas on Thursday (27th April).