As fun and satisfying as this year's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was, fans are already champing at the bit for a third Guardians. We know that Guardians of the Galaxy franchise mastermind James Gunn will be back, that he has finished a first draft of the treatment and that the third film will mark the end of the current version of the team. But those are the only details verified by Gunn or Disney/Marvel thus far.
Last week, Gunn was part of the E3 World Building Panel and revealed: “I did something in the first movie of Guardians where it was in the background but it was distinctly there, and people know that it’s there. And I’m like goddammit. Because I have a really good storytelling reason for breaking the canon, and I stayed up last night figuring out if I’m gonna do it or not. I still don’t know.”
As if this comment doesn’t spark enough intrigue, he went on tell fans exactly where to find his continuity conundrum: “In the first movie there is the mugshot sequence where the characters go through and they’re going through the mugshots and having their picture taken. And the Nova Corps has information about each of the characters coming up on their machinery. Those things are something that your average viewer doesn’t see at all. But there’s a lot of background I put into those things about who they’ve worked with, where they’re from, what’s going on. And it’s one of those things that I’m thinking about changing.”
Since there is only so much information in those Nova Corps files that would have any bearing on Gunn’s storytelling, let's address each one, and start with a look at all of the info in the files:
- Origin: Last survivor of the Zehoberei people
- Length: 275 Microbules
- Weight: 168 Grets
- Legs: 2
- Arms: 2
- Enhancements: Cybernetic skeleton, ocular & respiratory implants, enhanced neurological system, enhanced regeneration implant
- Alias: Rocket
- Origin: Halfworld
- Length: 144 Microbules
- Weight: 852 Grets
- Legs: 2
- Arms: 2
- Enhancements: Cybernetic skeletal structure, enhanced phalange & metacarpal bones, genetically augmented cerebral cortex
- Associates: Groot, Lylla
- Criminal record: 13 counts of theft, 22 counts of escape from incarceration, 7 counts of mercenary activity, 15 counts of arson
- Warning: Tendency to bite
- Species: Flora colossus
- Origin: X
- Description: Humanoid plant inhabitant of Taluhnia
- Length: 370 Microbules
- Weight: 4258 Grets
- Legs: 2
- Arms: 2
- Enhancements: None known
- Associates: 89P13, Tibius Lark
- Criminal record: 3 counts of GBH*, 15 counts of escape from incarceration, 3 counts of mercenary activity
- * Grievous bodily harm
PETER JASON QUILL
- Alias: “Space-Lord”
- Origin: Terra
- Length: 304 Microbules
- Weight: 1419 Grets
- Legs: 2
- Arms: 2
- Enhancements: Translator implant in neck
- Associates: Yondu Odonta, Kraglin Obfonteri, The Ravagers
- Criminal record: 1 count fraud, 2 counts public intoxication, 1 count assault, 1 count illegal manipulation of Gramosian Duchess
- Alias: “The Destroyer”
- Species: Unknown
- Length: 203 Microbules
- Weight: 3892 Grets
- Enhancements: Enhanced musculature, impact-resistant skin, augmented cellular regeneration
- Criminal record: 22 counts of murder, 5 counts of GBH
It’s worth noting that Drax’s file was only in the trailer and didn’t show up in the film because he was not booked by Nova Corps at the same time as the rest of the Guardians. So, Gunn is not likely referring to Drax’s file.
Now, the only bit of information that seems to be important in Gamora’s file is the fact she is the last of the Zehoberei people. In the comics Gamora is the last of the Zen-Whoberis. It is possible Gunn wants to retcon the annihilation of this species. However, considering how he explored her familial ties with Nebula and Thanos in Vol. 2, that may be unlikely.
The details given about Rocket establish that he is from a planet called Halfworld and his only known associate other than Groot, is Lylla. In the comics he is from Halfworld and Lylla was his girlfriend for decades of continuity. This is where we think Gunn is stuck. After he made the first film, he disclosed that he was reluctant to bring Lylla into the franchise because he felt a talking raccoon and otter would become “cartoony.” That leaves us with Halfworld. The history of the planet and its inhabitants is pretty silly (even for Guardians), and we could see Gunn wanting to side-step this lunacy and provide a more compelling origin.
It also sets up a new story to tell with the character -- what if it turns out he's an actual raccoon, and part of the story of Guardians 3 is how he ended up in space and became cybernetically enhanced?
Similar to Rocket, Groot’s file states his planet of birth and one associate other than the trash panda. His file actually includes X and Taluhnia, both names for his home world in the comics. While we love the idea of seeing more of Groot’s race and his planet on the big screen, we don’t believe Gunn will go this route. The “other associate” is Tibius Lark, which is not a name from the comics. There is a a female hero that goes by Lady Lark (or Skylark) who was part of Squadron Supreme but she’s never shared a panel with Groot. So, yeah, seems like he would have complete flexibility with a character he created.
Last up, we’ve got the pelvic sorcerer supreme, Star-Lord. Other than improperly inputting his alias as Space-Lord, the only detail of much interest in this file is his “illegal manipulation of Gramosian Duchess.” The Gramosians were a race introduced in 1972's Thor #204. When the Gramosians became desperate for a source of power, they sent their representative Mercurio to Earth to siphon the mystic energy of Mjolnir.
Gunn has made it clear from the inclusions of various planets and races in the Guardians films, that he is not afraid to pull from Thor and Hulk’s cosmic runs. Is it possible that he is planning to include Mercurio and that he wants the Gramosians to be an unknown quantity?
Until the third Guardians of the Galaxy film arrives -- and there's no release date set -- these theories are just that, but feel free to let us know what bit of MCU continuity you think Gunn is considering altering.