With Avengers: Infinity War now in production, fans are desperate to dig up all the information they can to uncover the plot of Marvel's biggest film to date. The main source of information we have right now is the cast, which notably includes the Guardians of the Galaxy alongside the Avengers.
A few videos and images from the set of Avengers: Infinity War have actually shown Chris Pratt on the set of the film in full Peter Quill / Star-Lord gear. In addition, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn is an executive producer on Infinity War and working with the Russo Brothers to make sure that the Guardians' full potential is met.
Released concept art has even shown Rocket Raccoon fighting alongside Thor in Infinity War. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, and Pom Klementieff have all been confirmed to reprise their Guardians roles in the third Avengers film. So that should be all of them right? Well, not quite. The cast list is missing one key member of the cosmic team...
Where Is Yondu?
Michael Rooker's Yondu first appeared as the leader of the Ravagers in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, and will join the team as newly pledged Guardian in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 this May. His new-found good side brings the cinematic Yondu closer to his comic book counterpart, as Yondu was not a Ravager in the comics (actually, the Ravagers were something invented by director James Gunn that had absolutely no history in the comics whatsoever).
Yondu was actually a primary member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the alternate Marvel Comics Universe, Earth-691. In this Universe, he had the arching red Mohawk on his head we will see in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and primarily used a bow and arrow to fight galactic threats. Gunn took Yondu from the obscure alternate comics and radically changed him for the film.
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Back on topic, though, Yondu is the only Guardian of the Galaxy not confirmed, or even rumored, to return in Avengers: Infinity War. So why is Yondu not coming back?
One possibility would be that Yondu, who has a pirate background, simply will not feel like being a good guy after Vol. 2. If we look back to his first appearance, he did a good deed by fighting Ronan and his army, but he was motivated by ulterior motives, and chose his own wealth and pride over the safety of the Galaxy. Perhaps Yondu will do this again by retiring from the Guardians of the Galaxy at the end of the sequel, in order to protect his own butt during their impending fight against Thanos.
However, the more likely reason for Yondu not returning in Infinity War is that he will not survive Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Although Elizabeth Debicki's Ayesha will be a villain, we don't know the extent of the antagonistic threat in the sequel. However, if the trailers are anything to go by, there will be a hell of a lot of action and violence. There are countless situations in which Yondu could perish in the next Marvel film, and there's a good chance that we will see one of these situations play out.
It should be noted that, according to James Gunn, Yondu almost bit the dust at the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy. In a Facebook Q&A two years ago, James Gunn explained his original plan for the demise of Yondu:
"In the original script (that I wrote) Rocket had a little bomb...At the end Quill put it in the Orb when he gave it to Yondu. And, as Yondu flew away at the very end, his whole ship exploded."
Killing off Yondu before we got to see explore his heroic side would've cheated dedicated comic book fans, so I see why it was not included in Gunn's final draft. However, it most likely also means that the killing off Yondu has been in Gunn's mind for some time, which would help explain the reasoning for killing Yondu off in the sequel.
Considering that the first Guardians of the Galaxy had a greater on-screen death toll than any other movie in history, it would not be surprising if the franchise killed again in the sequel. While there's a chance he may survive, I do not see it being very likely that Yondu the Ravager will make it out of the next movie alive.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!
Will Yondu die in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2?'
(Poll Image Credit: Disney / Marvel Studios)