The climax of Guardians of the Galaxy illustrated the importance of teamwork (and smooth dance moves) in overcoming a seemingly impossible task. The titular team of cosmic protectors, drenched in neon purple and connected hand-in-hand, worked together in a symbol of collective bravery to overcome the immeasurable might of the destructive Power Stone — a feat no mortal had achieved before.
The result was the final erosion of the barriers that separated the band of misfits and losers. As a united front, the Guardians had tackled Ronan, as well as tackling their own inner demons, to become a formidable and unlikely team. This theme of togetherness will resonate even more in #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy2, with a particular focus on family.
As well as the introduction of #PeterQuill's (Chris Pratt) father, Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell), Gamora's step-sister, Nebula, will switch allegiance and join the Guardians. Mantis — who was raised by Quill's father — will also be joining the fold. Back in September, James Gunn expressed the importance of family to the plot, telling Cinema Blend:
"The first movie was really about becoming a family. This movie is about being a family. And what's harder, becoming a family or being a family? I think it's being a family. That's where you really have to deal with each other. And that's what this movie is about."
It's A Family Affair
Reading between the lines, it looks like the director is trying to tell us that, just because of the visually appealing and emotional climax, things aren't going to be hunky-dory in the sequel. In fact, expect a deeper exploration into the emotional background of the characters involved, as well as tensions in the newly formed family.
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Sean Gunn — brother of director James and fellow Guardians star — believes that one particular character may struggle with the transition. In an interview with ComicBook.com, Gunn turned his attention to #RocketRaccoon (Bradley Cooper). He said:
"Rocket has a lot of great stuff to do in this movie. There are a few relationships that are central to the theme of the movie and that really go towards keeping a family, and Rocket has the same sort of crisis of faith about whether or not he belongs in this family."
Due to the temperament of each member of the team, keeping everyone happy will be a challenge. After all, when they first got together, there were thinly veiled threats of what would happen once their collective mission was accomplished, with Rocket even claiming he would consider killing "every last one of the group."
We already know Rocket struggles with his identity, explaining that he "didn't ask to be torn apart and put back together over and over and turned into some little monster." But what if his creation was for a higher purpose? Could Rocket's "crisis of faith" actually be hiding something much bigger under the skin? Literally — the answer could lie under his skin.
Will Rocket's Origin Reveal His Immense Power?
A Reddit theory by user NinjaBreadManOO has spun a different meaning from the original display of unity. Rather than believing that their collective effort and hand-holding was enough to harness the power of the Orb, the theory claims that Rocket alone was responsible for getting the Power Stone under control.
Before Rocket joins in, #StarLord, Gamorah and Drax are already struggling, the force of energy searing through their skin, slowly destroying them. When Rocket eventually holds on, the group then suddenly gain control, not only saving themselves, but turning the purple beam into a powerful weapon.
The theory claims that, Rocket was "torn apart and put back together" by someone who was attempting to create a being who was able to utilize Infinity Stones. Whether he knows it or not, Rocket could be one of the few beings in the galaxy with the ability to do so, giving him unfathomable power. The Power Stone is capable of giving its wielder superhuman strength, and possibly the ability to destroy all lifeforms on a planet with a single touch.
There is precedent for this, too, seen previously in the #MCU with Vision, a robot created by Ultron who has the Mind Stone lodged firmly into his forehead. The theory suggests Rocket is much the same, with an attitude of destruction highlighted by his love of bombs, machine guns and causing havoc.
The Cause Of Crisis
This higher purpose, and potentially unknown level of power, could be the cause of Rocket's crisis, testing his loyalty to his new family. He's already demonstrated a ruthless streak before the forming of the team, and it's not entirely inconceivable he could switch allegiance and become a villain. In some ways, having one member of the team turn against the rest could be more cataclysmic than an outside threat.
Even if the theory isn't correct, it still raises an interesting point about Rocket's purpose. We still know little of his origin, and although in the comics it is revealed he was created to to work as a nurse on another planet, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has already deviated from the source material.
Part of the allure of #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy was its jovial nature, and judging from the teaser of the sequel, that tone will remain. So, perhaps one of the members of the family going rogue and attempting to wipe the rest out is a little too dark. But however the new family adapt, it's unlikely things'll get easier, or brighter, without some turmoil in-between.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is released on May 5, 2017.