Guardians of the Galaxy is different from the other Marvel movies in many ways. The Avengers, when they are not battling each other, can in some ways be a form of family. However, with many of them having individual films, they feel more like individuals brought together.
The Guardians, in contrast, are inherently tied, as they only exist in the films together. These films allow the characters to grow more in relation to each other, than only focus on one single character arc.
This strengthens the characters’ bonds, really emphasizing the family element. Whereas the Avengers, at this point, are more just a team, The Guardians are really a family. After the events of the first film, the Guardians have grown closer together, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 takes advantage of this, furthering the various familial arcs.
Father / Son
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 majorly focuses on Peter Quill’s relationship with his father, Ego. This is one of the biggest details left unresolved in the first film, and one of the major plot points revealed in the trailers. Despite this significance, Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord) felt a larger connection through Quill’s relationship with Baby Groot, the actor said at a recent press event attended by Hypable.
Pratt says that Baby Groot “is this vulnerable, very lifelike and adorable, but vulnerable little guy.” In the scenes that focus on Quill’s relationship with Groot, Pratt was “thinking about, reflecting upon the relationship I had with the man who raised me.”
As a somewhat new father himself, Pratt said “It’s in that moment I realize that I’ve now entered the chapter of my life where I’m the man raising somebody and I’m going to have to make choices on how I’m going to be, what I’m going take with me; because that’s how I was raised, and also what I won’t do because that’s how I was raised.” He relates it back to Quill by saying: “I think that’s sort of the journey that every parent will take when they have a kid, and I think Quill gets to that by the end of the movie.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has been getting attention for featuring a somewhat significant amount of female characters. Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, says that “there’s lots and lots of great female characters in the comics that we want to bring to life on screen.”
Specifically for Guardians, “it was very important to James [Gunn] to include these characters. And more than just include them, give them their own storyline, and have it be more than just their ability to fight, or romance with a male character.” He says, “that’s why I think Nebula and Gamora are a high point of the movie, and that relationship is one of the biggest arcs of the whole movie, is that sister relationship.”
The Guardians mesh so well together because they are all so unique, from each other but also from most other superheroes, Marvel or otherwise. Zoe Saldana (Gamora) says, “I don’t see the Guardians as these awesome kicking ass superheroes, I see them as these really delicate people that are just trying to get by, day by day, and they found ways by being a-holes; that became a defense mechanism.” This is what makes them family, because “people that survive so many things and they teach you to always give the benefit of the doubt, to keep looking within, because there is a very special person behind all that tough skin and all those walls.”
Saldana loves the Guardians “because whatever color of their skin or fur on their backs is ascribing to you how different they are on the inside from each other. And yet there is this increasing desire to belong and be accepted and be loved and not be abandoned.”
Director and Writer, James Gunn feels similarly about the Guardians, saying “I never feel like I belong, I feel like Rocket, so I think that for me it’s a very personal film.” In building the Guardians as a family, Gunn says “I have always felt like I didn’t belong and fortunately I have some people around me who maybe help me feel like I’m not completely alone in the world.”
Gunn funneled this into his filmmaking, because of the media by which he was influenced, saying “I’ve grown up with some art some movies by people like everybody from David Cronenberg to Steven Spielberg, movies where an outcast didn’t feel so alone.” He says “by listening, hearing music and watching movies I felt a little bit less alone and I hope that’s what Guardians does for people. It’s a movie about outcasts for outcasts and there are people all over the world that it touches and that’s the most rewarding thing by far about making these movies.”