Defending the universe from serious threats never looked — or sounded — so good in James Gunn's unlikely success story, Guardians of the Galaxy. The eccentric and varied intergalactic A-team of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot and Rocket are, thankfully, returning to kick ass and bust dance moves in 2017.

The expectations couldn't be higher, but fortunately all the early signs suggest that the team will be back with a (big) bang in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. You can find Movie Pilot's comprehensive, up-to-the-minute guide to Gunn's next movie below in preparation to the film's release.

'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' Trailer

Ahh, the long-awaited full Guardians of the Galaxy 2 trailer is here, and it's full of everything that we loved in the first instalment. In addition to a quality soundtrack, stunning visuals and well-timed humor, the standout star of the trailer is the adorable Baby Groot. Those expecting less of an impact this time around will be pleasantly surprised.

'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' Release Date: When Is It Out?

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is out now!

'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' Plot: What's It About?

The original Guardians [Credit: Marvel]
The original Guardians [Credit: Marvel]

The Guardians of the Galaxy 2 plot deviates from the rest of the MCU in more ways than one. It was recently confirmed that events in the MCU happen in the same year of release; so Iron Man took place in 2008, Captain America: Civil War was set in 2016. In theory, then, it should suggest Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be set in 2017.

However, Gunn has confirmed that the narrative will follow on two months after the first movie. Following the full formation of the team of unlikely heroes, the clan will attempt to stick together while also accommodating new members Yondu, Nebula and Mantis.

Furthermore, Peter Quill's parentage will become a big thread in the new narrative; especially considering the inclusion of his father, Ego. The dynamic between the two, as well as a look into Ego's mysterious background, will be explored.

'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' Cast & Characters: Who's In It?

Concept art for 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' [Credit: Marvel Studios]
Concept art for 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' [Credit: Marvel Studios]

There were many ingredients that made Gunn's 2014 movie a success. But no amount of aesthetically-pleasing intergalactic shenanigans would be complete without the inter-specie chemistry between the lead characters. Most of the & characters you'll recognise from the first movie, with some extra additions:

  • Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star-Lord: The charismatic and now well-known leader of the group, Quill will have to manage the extra responsibility of being head of the Guardians.
  • Zoe Saldana as Gamora: Trained and raised by Thanos, Gamora is a highly skilled assassin who is attempting to repent for her previous crimes.
  • Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer: As the not-so-subtle name suggests, Drax initially appears brutish and overbearing, but forms a close friendship with the rest of the team.
  • Vin Diesel as Groot: The sentient tree-like creature stood out for his altruism in the first movie. This time he's back, only in much smaller form.
  • Bradley Cooper as Rocket: The genetically engineered Raccoon-esque delinquent who makes up the final member of the original team.
  • Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta: He's the leader of the Ravangers, the group who raised Peter Quill. Although Yondu clashed with the Guardians previously, he will now join them as a full member of the team.
  • Karen Gillan as Nebula: Along with Yondu, Nebula is another new addition to the team, who also clashed with them in the first film. She too was raised by Thanos, and there will no doubt be some conflict with her step-sister, Gamora, while her backstory will also be explored.
  • Pom Klementieff as Mantis: Another new member who was raised by Ego, she is socially inexperienced but will make up for her lack of communication skills with telepathy and combat ability.
  • Kurt Russell as Ego: Although known as Ego the Living Planet in the comics, the character will appear more human-like in the film. As well as raising Mantis, he is also the father of Quill.
  • Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha: Also referred to in the comics as Paragon or Her, Ayesha is the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 villain. Created by genetic engineering, she has the ability to manipulate cosmic energy, something she uses to increase her ability to superhuman levels.

'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' Theories

Could Stallone play Charlie 27? [Credit: Marvel Comics]
Could Stallone play Charlie 27? [Credit: Marvel Comics]

Most of the speculation surrounding the aftermath of the first movie was related to the identity of Quill's father; now that has been revealed by Gunn to be Ego, a lot of those Guardians of the Galaxy 2 theories have been put to rest.

But that's not to say there aren't some potential twists and turns up ahead. A recent Guardians Of The Galaxy theory that gained a lot of traction predicted that the film would bring back the original, 1969 version of the Guardians, pieced together from small bits of information here and there.

The theory speculated Sharon Stone would play Nikki, Sylvester Stallone would play Charlie-27 and Russell would play Starhawk. The news Russell will play Ego puts a dent in this, but it's not to say Stone or Stallone could have surprise alter-egos.

Furthermore, Sean Gunn confirmed that Rocket will face a "crisis of faith" adjusting to his new family in the sequel. That could play into a fascinating theory that Rocket yields power unlike any other, a power that is yet to be revealed. Is it possible that Rocket's loyalty to the Guardians will be tested? Could he become evil?

Where To Watch 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' Online

It'll be sometime until you're able to watch Guardians of the Galaxy 2 online. With a number of months until the film is released into cinemas, expect an additional few months wait until the film is available on streaming services or released on DVD and Blu-Ray.

The good news until then, though, is that Guardians of the Galaxy is available to stream on Netflix.