Hook up your headphones, raise the volume and get ready to press Play, because we're about to head back into outer space aboard a very blue and orange spaceship. Star-Lord (who?), Drax, Gamora, Rocket and Groot are all back at it again, heading off into adventures that are neither good nor bad but somewhere in-between. However, as tried and true Guardians of the Galaxy, we're betting they'll end up doing more good than bad. But then again, who knows?
The first "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie was a bit of gamble, one that proved incredibly successful. An event all its own that turned a team of B-listers into household names seemingly overnight. It's already been three years since we were introduced to them and now the sequel is almost upon us and, just like everyone else in the entire world, we can't wait for it to come out. So come join us as we take a look at 15 reasons we are beyond excited to see "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!"
15 YONDU: AN OFFICIAL GUARDIAN
For the better part of the first "Guardians" movie, Micheal Rooker's Ravager Captain Yondu was a thorn in Peter Quill's side. Star-Lord was on the run from him and they only teamed-up for the final assault on Ronan's ship so that Yondu could get his hands on the Power Stone. Obviously the movie ended with Yondu duped, but not seemingly too angry at his young friend. Yondu may have been a jackass of a character, but he was the kind you loved to hate.
Which is why we are excited at the prospect of him officially joining the ranks of the Guardians. From what we have seen of the trailers and promotional material, it appears like Yondu is no longer aligned with his Ravagers and instead on the side of the Guardians. Whatever the reasons, we can't wait to find out why and we can't wait to see him interact more with the rest of the cast. As an official and original Guardian of the Galaxy in the Marvel comics, it seems like "Vol. 2" will finally put Yondu where he belongs.
14 MYSTERY ROLES
Ever since the start of production on "Vol. 2," director James Gunn has played things pretty close to the chest. Little information is given away without his direct approval. The result is that we may have seen scenes from the movie in the trailers, but there is actually very little we actually know about the movie's story. But what we do know from interviews, set reports and official announcements is that Sylvester Stallone and Michael Rosenbaum have important roles in the movie.
But what roles do they play? That is something that Gunn simply won't give away. Why keep these things so secret? What could it mean? Such secrecy only gets us more excited about the possibilities of the characters' possible identities and what it could mean for the future of the MCU. Sure, there have been recent rumors that seemingly reveal which role Stallone plays, but we are inclined to stay away from spoilers and won't believe anything we read or hear until we actually see this film.
13 EGO: STAR-LORD'S FATHER
In the Marvel comic books, Peter Quill's father is J'son, the King of the planet Spartax. And yet, interestingly, James Gunn opted to change his main character's lineage drastically when it was announced that Star-Lord's father would be none other than Ego, The Living Planet. As his name suggests, Ego is literally a living planet, with a face and feelings, the movie version of which is being played by Kurt Russell. In the wake of this announcement, almost everyone answered with the same question: a confounded “Huh?”
That revelation was probably made in a bid to assuage the comic book purists, to prepare them in advance and lessen the confusing blow. It's a far departure from the source material, but in a universe as crazy as that of the Guardians', somehow it already makes sense. We will soon find out why Gunn made that change, but one thing is certain: the director has his reasons and he has never given us any reason to doubt him. And besides, we can't wait to see Kurt Russell in this role.
12 CINEMATOGRAPHY AND SPECTACLE
The first "Guardians" movie was a visual delight, filled with space battles and dazzling colors. But it seems that, from what we have seen, James Gunn has doubled down on everything that made the first movie such an exciting space opera. Brief trailers and tv spots have showcased a bevy of beautifully framed shots, hinting at a movie that is chock-full of breathtaking imagery. The cinematography, the composition and the colors used look as artistic as they look iconic.
And not only does the movie look beautiful, it also looks spectacular. Ever since the start of the shoot, we've heard interviews and quotes of how exciting the movie was going to be. We have heard teases of a movie filled with space battles and action the likes of which we have never seen before and we are inclined to believe every single one of them. It might be the hype talking, but with the way the first movie turned out, there is little doubt that this sequel will fail to kick things up a notch.
The Guardians are off defending the galaxy from all sorts of threats in the farthest reaches of space. And yet, an early interview with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed that we would see a glimpse of our very own planet Earth in "Vol. 2." He also specifically said that our characters would not head to Earth, so we can all stop hoping for a crossover with the Avengers right now. But all that does is beg the question of why is the Earth featured in the movie?
The first "Guardians" movie, while taking place in the present day and out in space, did open with a flashback prologue of a young Peter Quill losing his mother and subsequently being abducted by the Ravagers. So could there be more flashbacks in store for the sequel? Could we get a glimpse at a few more moments in Peter's formative years, perhaps some that showed him in need of a father? Or could we see what the Earth is up to in the present day? Whatever the answers, we can't wait to find out.
There are many characters who have been "Guardians of the Galaxy" over the years in the Marvel comics, many creatures, humans and aliens. And while the roster of the team is getting bigger in this sequel, there is only one new character introduced as a member of the team: Mantis. It would have been easy to jump into the sequel by adding many more fan-favorite characters to the team, but Gunn smartly opted to keep that number down to one.
That way, Mantis will actually get a chance to shine and become a member of this very dysfunctional family. We are certain that Gunn will give her a great arc and that her powers will be put to good use, either in helpful manners or comedic ones. We haven't seen much of Pom Klementieff in the role yet, but what we have seen looks spot on and we are very excited to see what she does with the role. In a cast of outcasts, crazy killers, baby plants and music-loving Earthmen, she already fits right in.
9 AN EXPANSION OF MARVEL'S COSMIC SIDE
"Guardians of the Galaxy" gave us a glimpse of just how vast and varied the cosmic side of the MCU was. It took us to the planet Morag, the floating prison the Kyln, the space-port built inside a severed Celestial head Knowhere and the home of the Nova Corps, Xandar. With the addition of Asgard and the Nine Realms featured in the "Thor" movies, we have seen a lot of other worlds and creatures out there. And yet, it seems like "Vol. 2" will take things even further.
From the sight of a tentacled monster to a golden priestess in Ayesha and a sure-to-happen visit to the planet Ego, these are but a few new worlds and characters we will see in "Vol. 2." As mentioned before, we don't know much yet of the movie, but we are certain that we will visit many new locations and be introduced to many more species, all of which will work to further expand the cosmic limits of the Marvel Universe.
8 MORE GUNN-STYLE EASTER EGGS
If there was one thing "Guardians of the Galaxy" was filled with -- besides charm, fun and bright colors -- it was Easter eggs. In fact, there were so many of them that James Gunn has went on record many times to say that not all of these eggs have been found yet, much to the chagrin of the most eagle-eyed viewers. Some of these teases weren't even related to the MCU plans, from Gunn's inclusion of a creature from his previous movie "Slither" to the out-of-left-field inclusion of Howard the Duck in the after-credits scene.
Therefore, we are convinced that "Vol. 2" will feature as many -- if not even more -- Easter eggs for fans to find and maybe even drive completely insane while trying to unearth. But given Gunn's penchant to include the unexpected, the strange and the unthinkable, we look forward to uncover teases that will leave our collective jaws on the floor. In fact, it's a hunt that already guarantees more than a few repeat viewings of a movie we haven't even seen yet.
7 AYESHA'S VILLAINOUS ROLE
In the Marvel comic books, Ayesha went by a few other names, mainly Paragon and Her. She was created by a group known as "The Enclave" to become a genetically superior being, and she went on to search for a match in Him, a.k.a. fan-favorite character Adam Warlock. Neither a hero nor a villain, Ayesha is powerful and only sought to find a superior mate in Adam Warlock. But for "Vol. 2," Gunn went ahead and did what he does best: he subverted our expectations and turned Ayesha into the main villain of the piece.
While we don't know her exact origin in the movie universe yet, it seems a safe bet that Gunn took some liberties and re-imagined the character from the ground up. It will be interesting to see where she comes from and how she is introduced into the story. We can't be sure if she will pose a physical threat to the Guardians or if that will be served by those who answer to her but either way, we are excited to see this female villain join the pantheon of MCU antagonists.
6 NEBULA'S HEROIC TURN
In a movie filled with memorable characters, Nebula was a highlight in the first "Guardians of the Galaxy." Her appearance, role and personal relationship with adopted sister Gamora made her a fascinating villain, one that looks to become even more interesting as an official member of the team in "Vol. 2." We don't yet know the circumstances that lead to her joining forces with her sister and her band of merry outlaws.
Where before we saw her only interact with Gamora, we will now hopefully get to see her trade wits and blows with Drax, Star-Lord and Rocket. Given Nebula's antagonistic and aggressive nature, there is little doubt that these interactions will be very entertaining. But first and foremost, we very much look forward to her personal storyarc, where a former villain, due to unforeseen circumstances, turns into a reluctant hero that will in turn help (we presume) save the galaxy, seeing as that's what the Guardians primarily do.
5 DRAX COMEDY
The trailers for "Vol. 2" have all seemed to focus on what made the first "Guardians" movie work. Music, energy, space battles, heart... and humor. This time around, however, the source of said humor isn't mainly Groot, Rocket or even Star-Lord, but breakout comedic gold character Drax The Destroyer. In the sequel, actor Dave Batista looks even more at ease in the role and seems to be having a hell of a good time -- and that's only from the few scenes we have seen.
Drax was a breakout character back in the first movie when it came to comedy thanks to his failure to understand sarcasm and his blunt approach to friendship and expressing himself. Through his relationship with the other Guardians, Drax grew even more likeable and proved that he was just as able at protecting his friends as laughing at them without malice. It's just the way he is, and we can't wait to see what jokes Gunn and Batista have up their sleeves this time around.
4 INFINITY WAR BUILDUP
James Gunn has not been shy about saying that his new movie is standalone and that, unlike the previous film, it will not feature an appearance by Thanos. This will allow a chance for the movie to stand on its own and have minimal effect on the rest of the MCU as a whole. And while this is all well and good, with "Avengers: Infinity War" only a year away, there is fair chance that this movie will, directly or indirectly, play into "Infinity War."
It might be a few bits of dialogue here or there, or we might have to wait for an after-credits scene to see something that will lead to the next entry in the "Avengers" saga. Whatever the case may be, we will pay careful attention to the details because that is just where some of the hints could lie. After all, with Ayesha being the main villain of the film, and considering her relationship in the comics to Adam Warlock, the owner of the Soul Stone, could the last, unaccounted Infinity Stone finally have been located?
3 JAMES GUNN'S CREATIVE CONTROL
After the massive, interstellar success of the first movie -- both critically and financially -- it was an immense relief for every "Guardians" fan to hear that James Gunn would be returning to the director's chair for the sequel. But therein lied a problem as well, in that Gunn had done his job so well that he had set an uphill battle for himself. With such a beloved movie as a predecessor, there would be a lot of hype surrounding "Vol. 2."
Well, apparently, that didn't faze Gunn in the least. He went on record saying he had much more freedom on this new film than he did the previous. Free of some of the obligatory restraints that bound him to character introductions and origins and meetings, Gunn was able to go into the sequel full speed ahead. If the first incredibly inventive and spectacular "Guardians" movie showed its director following certain criteria, we can't wait to see what he'll do now that his binds are off.
2 VOLUME 2 SOUNDTRACK
The soundtrack to "Guardians of the Galaxy" was one that not only became a best-selling album, it also became synonymous with the movie itself. Gunn's brilliant use of music seeped in '80s nostalgia helped to give the movie its very own style, not to mention heart. It functioned as the backbone of the movie from its first scene, to its climax and ultimately its very ending. The reveal that Quill had a second volume this entire time without him knowing was just as emotionally wrecking as it was promising.
With the sequel, aptly titled "Vol. 2," is it any wonder that everyone is wondering what songs will be featured in the film? The release of the soundtrack may very well precede that of the movie, but we here would rather wait to watch the movie first to be surprised, excited and moved the way Gunn meant us to. We might know every song or we might have never heard some of them before, but it won't matter because, in this movie, they will take on a whole new life.
1 BABY GROOT
To borrow a tagline from the sequel's marketing: Obviously. Audiences everywhere were raving about Groot as an adult, but when he appeared as a very small baby before the credits rolled on the first film, hearts everywhere were melted and won over. The ingenuity was entirely in the design and the approach of the director and his creative team, where a character who only spoke three (okay five) words had turned into the movie's most recognizable, endearing and lucrative.
Now that the sequel is almost upon us, Baby Groot is at the forefront of the marketing of the movie, and with very good reason. Because, while everyone wanted to see more of the Guardians as a team, they also wanted a lot more of Groot. As a baby, the movie will get a chance to explore a more reckless and innocent Groot, one that will surely have as many memorable moments as in the first movie, if not even more. We are already sold on "Vol. 2" and its characters and, just like everyone else, we can't wait to see Baby Groot press all the wrong (right) buttons.
What are you most looking forward to in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Be sure to let us know in the comments!