The core theme of Guardians of the Galaxy is unity. Brought together by happenstance, the titular group of unlikely heroes have developed a close bond, despite their differences, forming ties that are only set to grow stronger in the sequel. With that in mind, it's hard to imagine any of the key characters leaving.
In what has been a bittersweet development for lovers of the space-based team, James Gunn recently announced that he will be returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (sweet!), but that the instalment will also be the "the end" of the structure of the team as we know it (bitter!), with some drastic changes guaranteed.
When asked by Screen Rant to elaborate on what "the end" translates to, Gunn responded that "it means it’s the end of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy," confirming the current group of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket and Baby Groot won't be here to stay for the long term. But, nothing lasts for ever, right?
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'Guardians Of The Galaxy 3' Will Be The Last For The Current Line-Up
The news isn't completely surprising. Although the chemistry between the key characters and the peculiar way they interact is one of the most alluring aspects of Gunn's franchise, their individual differences may eventually cause too much tension, causing them to fragment into smaller groups in the future.
#GuardiansOfTheGalaxy2 (which is released on May 5 in the US) will focus more on such tensions, as the outcast family attempt to remain united while adjusting to the new members of the team, Mantis, Nebula and Yondu. A number of the Guardians will then join with the rest of the Avengers in their battle against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) — although Gunn has confirmed their role is "not the biggest" but will be "integral."
Gunn also confirmed #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy3 will take place after Infinity War, with a likely release date of 2020. The timing of release will also provide a catalyst for change; the upcoming sequel broke the #MCU's timeline, set months after the first movie, not in the year of release. However, to align with Infinity War and beyond, the third instalment of the trilogy will take place years after Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
Anything could happen in that time. Instinctively, the concern is that a major character could be killed off. But this is Marvel, and more than likely, as they become closer to the #Avengers, the Guardians may begin to join in with the game of superhero musical chairs, opting in and out of different movies.
Either that, or Rocket turns evil and kills everyone. You heard it here first.
Is Gunn right to change the line-up of the team after Guardians of the Galaxy 3?