When we last saw our Guardians they were, well, they were trying to cheer up Peter QuillI by kidnapping Kevin Bacon and bringing an Earth Christmas to outer space, but before that they had helped defeat Thanos in the Infinity Wars — but not before losing Gamora (Zoe Saldana) in Thanos’ quest for the Soul Stone.
Still reeling from that deep loss, and joined by a variant of Gamora, the team must rally one more time to defend the universe while protecting one of their own. The official synopsis describes this final volume as “a mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.”
“I’m gonna tell you something. I’m Star Lord. I formed the Guardians, met a girl, fell in love, and that girl died. But then she came back — came back a total dick,” states Quill, played of course by Chris Pratt. Karen Gillan’s Nebula confirms that he got the gist right.
The third volume in James Gunn’s trilogy promises to be an emotional journey, focusing on the traumatic origins of Rocket (Bradley Cooper), his history with the new villain the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), and the reveal that Rocket's longtime otter love from the comics, Lylla, will be in the film. The trailer also gives a very brief glimpse at the classic comic character Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), though his role in the film remains rather mysterious.
The death of Gamora in Avengers: Infinity Wars and the emergence of variant-Gamora, who has no relationship with the Guardians of the Galaxy and therefore is not in love with Peter Quill, always posed a question for the two: would she fall in love with him and heal the wounds left by OG Gamora’s loss? The trailer plays on this scenario.
“Whoever it was that you were in love with, it sounds like her,” declares variant Gamora, indicating Nebula. Quill and Nebula balk, but then Quill does look a little closer at the sister of his lost love — and the villain-turned-ally from so many adventures over the years.
Whether Quill will end up with love, or even his life, is undetermined. As James Gunn has moved over to the DC Universe in a more permanent-looking position, it looks like this will be his Guardians swan song. That doesn’t mean the Marvel Cinematic Universe will no longer feature the characters, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll get another standalone film. Any one of them could go the way of other titular characters who have died by now. No one is safe and that means the stakes are high!
Watch the brand-new trailer for Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, written and directed by James Gunn. Only in theaters May 5, 2023.