After nine successful Marvel films using the A-list characters that they had the rights to, the Marvel studio executives decided to take a gamble. Guardians of the Galaxy featured characters that the average movie goer had never heard of, not to mention they seemed pretty weird (a talking raccoon, really?). Yet Marvel knew that with their successful track record people were going to see the film regardless of what they thought, it’s a Marvel movie after all. The film ended up being one of the highest grossing films of 2014.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Score: 91%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 93%

“So here we are: a thief, two thugs, an assassin and a maniac. But we’re not going to stand by as evil wipes out the galaxy. I guess we’re stuck together, partners?”

The Comic Inspiration for Guardians of the Galaxy

The original Guardians of the Galaxy appeared in Jan. 1969. This movie version of the Guardians of the Galaxy is based off of the 2008 team written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. The initial roster consisted of Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Quasar, and Adam Warlock. The film pulls from several different comics to tell the origin stories for each individual guardian. The comics range from Marvel Preview, Strange Tales, and Tales to Astonish. Each character had been in comics for decades before joining together to form the Guardians of the Galaxy. There are slight deviations from the comics (Star-Lord’s mother dying from cancer instead of the alien race, the Badoon or Drax being an alien instead of a human in a new body). But the spirit of each character from the comics is maintained in film.

GotG 2008 team

Summary of Guardians of the Galaxy

The year is 1988. A young Peter Quill is in a hospital where his mother has just passed away, but not before giving him a present. In his frustration he runs outside, there he is abducted by the Ravagers, a group of space pirates led by Yondu Udonta. Flash-forward twenty-six years- Quill is on the planet Morag stealing an orb, until Korath the Pursuer stops him. Quill narrowly escapes with the orb, but when Yondu realizes that he is keeping the orb for himself, he sets a bounty for Quill’s capture. Meanwhile, Ronan the Accuser, a fanatical Kree alien, sends the assassin Gamora after the orb.

At the Nova Empire capital world of Xandar, Quill attempts to sell the orb. There, Gamora ambushes him and steals the orb. Nearby, a pair of bounty hunters- a genetically engineered raccoon named Rocket, and the tree-like creature who only says “I am Groot”- recognize Quill because of the bounty on his head. The two attempt to capture him, and eventually they’re all fighting each other. It doesn’t take long for the Nova Corps to arrive and arrest all four.

They are imprisoned in the Kyln, a powerful intergalactic prison. While there, Drax the Destroyer, a powerful inmate, attempts to kill Gamora because of her association with Ronan, who killed his family. Gamora reveals that she has betrayed Ronan, unwilling to let him use the orb’s power to destroy planets. So, Quill convinces Drax that Gamora can bring Ronan to him. Upon learning that Gamora has a buyer for the orb, the five inmates (Quill, Gamora, Rocket, Groot, and Drax) work together to escape from the Kyln.

Guardians of the Galaxy Line-Up

Meanwhile, Ronan meets with Thanos, Gamora’s adoptive father, to discuss her betrayal. Thanos threatens Ronan that if Ronan doesn’t return with the orb, he shall bathe the stars with Ronan’s blood!


Back at Kyln, the five manage to escape in Quill’s ship, the Milano, and head to Knowhere, a criminal outpost in space. Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot meet Gamora’s contact- Taneleer Tivan, aka The Collector. Tivan opens the orb, and inside is an Infinity Stone, the Power Stone.  It possesses immeasurable power that destroys all but the most powerful beings who wield it. When Tivan’s tormented assistant grabs the Stone, it triggers an explosion that engulfs Tivan’s collection.

While the others were meeting Tivan, Drax contacted Ronan, bringing him to Knowhere. When Ronan arrives, he easily defeats Drax. The others flee by ship as they are pursued by Ronan’s followers and Gamora’s sister, Nebula. When Nebula destroys Gamora’s ship, she floats out in space, allowing Ronan’s forces to capture the orb. Before going out to space to save Gamora, Quill contacts Yondu. Quill gives Gamora his helmet to survive. Yondu arrives and abducts the pair.

As an attempt to rescue them, Rocket, Drax, and Groot threaten to attack Yondu’s ship. Quill quickly negotiates a truce by convincing Yondu that they can recover the orb. After boarding Yondu’s ship, the five agree that they can’t let Ronan use the Infinity Stone to destroy Xandar. Elsewhere on Ronan’s ship, he embeds the Stone in his warhammer. He contacts Thanos and threatens to kill him after the destruction of Xandar. Nebula decides to side w/ Ronan, due to her hatred for her father.

After Star-Lord convinces the Nova Corps to work with them, the Guardians, the Ravagers, and the Nova Corps commence a full-on assault on Ronan’s ship! As they breach the ship, Ronan uses his warhammer to destroy the Nova Corps fleet. While on the ship, Gamora defeats Nebula, and she unlocks Ronan’s chambers. The Guardians find themselves outmatched by his power, until Rocket crashes the Milano through the Dark Aster (Ronan’s ship). The Dark Aster crash-lands on Xandar, and Groot sacrifices himself to shield the group. Ronan emerges from the wreckage and prepares to destroy Xandar, but Star-Lord distracts him by dancing!

This gives Drax and Rocket the chance to destroy Ronan’s warhammer. With the Stone now free, Star-Lord grabs it and shares its burden with Gamora, Drax, and Rocket. Together, they use it to destroy Ronan. After all has settled down,  Quill tricks Yondu by giving him a container that supposedly contains the Stone, but he gives the real Stone to the Nova Corps. As the Ravagers leave Xandar, Yondu remarks that it turned out well that they did not deliver Quill to his father as per their contract. The Guardians of the Galaxy have their criminal records expunged. Star-Lord learns that he is only half-human, his father being part of an ancient, unknown species. On the Milano, he finally opens the present he received from his mother: a cassette tape filled with her favorite songs. The Guardians leave in the Milano along with a twig in a pot which becomes a baby Groot.

“What should we do next? Something good? Something bad? A bit of both?”

“We’ll follow your lead… Star-Lord.”

“Bit of both!”

In the post-credits scene, Tivan sits in his destroyed archive while Cosmo the Space dog licks his face. Sitting close by, Howard the Duck comments on how disgusting that is as he drinks his martini.


Guardians of the Galaxy Best Moment

This movie had so many fantastic moments to choose from, but it has to be the film’s climax where Star-Lord distracts Ronan by dancing/singing “Ooo Child”. After Groot’s “death” and Ronan’s speech of obliteration, the somber tone of the scene did a complete 180 when Star-Lord started busting a move! Ronan’s reaction to it was freaking priceless!

Dancing Star-Lord

Guardians of the Galaxy Stan Lee Cameo

While on Xandar, Rocket is scouting the area and comes across an older man hitting on a young woman. Originally Director James Gunn wanted to showcase Stan Lee in the collector’s archive, but Marvel executives were opposed to this idea and audiences are left w/ Stan Lee playing another Hugh Hefner-like character.

Guardians of the Galaxy One shot and Show Connection

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  introduced audiences to a blue colored alien in its first season. In the episode “T.A.H.I.T.I.”, agent Phil Coulson discovers the blue alien’s corpse in a secret, underground facility while searching for the source of the regenerative GH-325 serum. It was later confirmed by executive producer Jeffrey Bell that the blue alien was a body of a Kree (the same species as Ronan). In the episode “Yes Men,” Coulson asks Sif if she ever encountered any blue-colored alien species. She lists a number of alien species, the Kree being one of them. However, she insists they have never visited Earth. In season 2, it is reveal that the Kree had been on Earth, and they were creating genetically altered soldiers (Inhumans).


Guardians of the Galaxy Review

I loved this movie! It was humorous, heartfelt, and just plain fun. The previous Marvel movies for phase 2 had been somewhat lacking (except for Captain America: The Winter Solider), and this film was unlike any other. Starting off with the characters- Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord was a perfect casting choice. His comedic timing and humorous mannerisms were on point, and he gave stellar performances in the emotional moments in the film as well. Next there is Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana. Her humor mostly came from reacting to what the others said or did. She was the serious member of the Guardians, but she made audiences laugh with her naivety, considering that all she knows is killing since she was brought up as an assassin.

Then there is Drax, played by Dave Bautista, and his character does not comprehend metaphors, so he took everything literally. This kind of character is perfect for a novice actor, seeing as most of his lines are delivered with a deadpan demeanor that anyone can pull off. Drax could have been played by anyone, but I’m glad it was Bautista.

Rounding off the Guardians is the Han Solo and Chewbacca of the film, Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Staying true to the comic book, Rocket is an excellent tactician who loves to shoot things, and his main man is Groot, who only speaks one sentence, “I am Groot”. Rocket is the only one able to understand what Groot is saying based on the different inflections Groot uses. Even though Rocket insults Groot throughout the film, when he believes that Groot is dead, it really hits him hard. The film makes you sympathize with all the main characters.

Guardians of the Galaxy was basically the Avengers in space, except there were five movies building up the characters and leading into the Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy only had one movie to establish their characters and team them up. Granted, there is still a lot about these characters that have yet to be explored, but that’s what sequels are for.


An aspect about the movie I loved was the fact that it took place in space. Of course, it took place in four locations, but audiences got to see interplanetary space travel, something no other Marvel film in the Cinematic universe has done before. This made the movie feel so much bigger, and what the Guardians were doing that much more important. The Avengers saved Earth; the Guardians saved an entire galaxy!

I can’t review this film without addressing an important part of it: the music. The music truly captured the light-hearted enjoyable spirit of this film. It’s something worth noting when a movie’s soundtrack is so popular that it brings back the cassette player!

Cassette player

All in all, Guardians of the Galaxy was a fun summer blockbuster that surprised audience members with how much they enjoyed it. Marvel’s gamble paid off, and this film’s success proved that people will be willing to see anything, as long as there is a Marvel logo on it!

Guardians of the Galaxy’s Impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Guardians of the Galaxy introduced audiences to another infinity stone, the Power Stone. This stone is self-explanatory; it destroys anything that touches it and just about everything surrounding it. This film did show audiences a better look at Thanos in this movie. The last time fans saw Thanos was after the Avengers two years ago.  In this film he’s talking… and that’s about it. Still, seeing Josh Brolin play the big bad of the inevitable Infinity War movies is pretty cool, especially since Ronan feared Thanos. The Guardians had to use the Power Stone to defeat Ronan, and Thanos will not go down as easy. The post-credits scene of Cosmo the space dog and Howard the Duck were probably put in as a joke, but if Marvel ever does decide to make a Howard the Duck reboot, rest assured, people will complain, but they will still go see it nonetheless.

While the Guardians of the Galaxy won’t be in the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron movie, fans will still see them again real soon. This concludes all the Marvel films to date before Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Be sure to check out Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron coming out May 1st.

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