What Avengers: Endgame Means for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Avengers: Endgame made some major impacts to the Guardians of the Galaxy going forward. How will this affect the next sequel?
In case the headline didn’t tip you off, this article contains Avengers: Endgame spoilers. We have a completely spoiler free review right here.
Avengers: Endgame leaves the original six Avengers with endings and new directions. Each has found their own peace in some way. But there’s one whose new direction leads him straight to more adventure.
After Thanos’ defeat, Thor gave up rule over New Asgard to his trusted ally Valkyrie and joined the Guardians of the Galaxy as they soar through the cosmos. He’s choosing to live the life he chooses and not the one that’s expected of him. This is great for fans of the moments in Infinity War where Thor got to interact with Peter Quill and friends. Surely, hanging out with Rocket the “sweet rabbit” over the years helped inspire his new life in the stars.
It’s a perfect development for Thor. Even Hemsworth himself seemed bored with the character until Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok gave the thunder god new life and added the right mix of humor, over-the-top comic book style, and pathos. Unless they were doing a resurrected Kid Loki storyline like in the comics, there wasn’t much reason to keep Thor bound to Earth. Let him fly off with the group of characters he’s already shown to have a wonderful rapport with.
At the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, all we really knew to look forward to was the coming of Adam Warlock. Now with Infinity War and Endgame in the past, the sky is the limit.
THE SEARCH FOR GAMORA
Even with Thor and his gut showing up, the biggest development for the Guardians of the Galaxy has been the death and sort of return of Gamora. Thanos threw Gamora to her death in Infinity War as an offering to the Soul Stone. In Endgame, the 2014 version of Gamora showed up in the present and presumably remained there. Sure, there’s the possibility that she got dusted for technically being part of Thanos’ army, but that’s the least interesting direction possible so obviously she’s out there.
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Having gradually become the den mother of the team and the straight woman to a bunch of eccentric weirdos, Gamora seemed to have had the least to do in the second Guardians movie. Now her rubber-banding back to how she was several movies ago makes her the one who stands out. Quill has developed, but she hasn’t.
Where does that leave Quill? Does he try to rekindle what he had with another version of her or is it his duty to leave her alone?
There’s also the inclusion of Adam Warlock. In the comics, one of Warlock’s specialties has been his ability to command the Soul Stone. Sure, the stone itself is destroyed, but does that mean the pocket dimension housing Gamora’s soul is non-existent as well?
STAR-LORD’S TRIP TO EARTH
They kind of buried the lede on a pretty major development in the final battle in Endgame. Stepping through that portal to fight Thanos’ forces was the first time Peter Quill had been on Earth since the 1980s. It’s something that he’s been free to do for years, but he’s refused to out of his own stubbornness. It was the place where his mother died and he wanted absolutely no part of it. His feelings on the matter may have softened after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but this was still a big step to him.
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Quill remained on Earth for at least a couple of days. Long enough for Tony Stark’s funeral to come and go. We might see a flashback or two of what else he was up to, especially with the mild emphasis the first two Guardians movies put on his grandfather. Not only was there a deleted scene in the first movie about him, but he was also shown during the Ego crisis taking effect in the sequel.
Did Quill seek him out or is he still too reluctant to face the past?
REVENGE IN A POST-THANOS UNIVERSE
Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, and Thor were all linked by one obsession: kill Thanos for what he did to them. Drax was the mildest (albeit loudest) of the three when it came to this. He came to the decision to project his hatred of Ronan to Thanos at the end of the first Guardians as a way of keeping his rage in momentum, but he didn’t act on it too much. He still found family as being part of the Guardians of the Galaxy and considering how badly Ronan beat him one-on-one, he was never going to be the one to take out Thanos.
The times he did face Thanos in Infinity War, he was a total non-factor and was barely memorable in the battle on Titan.
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Gamora’s hatred was more extreme. Rather than accept the invitation to join the team, she chose to act on her revenge fantasies and hunt down Thanos. This backfired tremendously to the point that it actually got the ball rolling for Infinity War. Remember, once Thanos had a lead on where the Soul Stone was, he had enough reason to enact his plan to collect all six stones by himself in one go. In essence, she poked the bear.
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In fact, it’s revenge that became one of Thanos’ greatest weapons in Infinity War. Not only did it lead to him going on his quest via Gamora, but the two times he could have been stopped were thwarted by a hero’s anger. Star-Lord angrily punching Thanos in the face is the main one, but there’s also Thor’s decision to go for a torturous, slow death over a quick and efficient one.
The same decision that Thor had to live with because even when he got his second chance, cutting the head off of a weakened guy who had nothing to lose and nothing to be sorry for in his ultimate victory was an empty gesture. When you psych yourself up for vengeance and all you have to show for yourself is a big pile of failure and a hollow kill, of course you’re going to end up in a pit of despair.
When 2014 Thanos resurfaced, none of the three got to be the one to take him down. It’s probably for the better. Now they can all try to move forward together. Drax was already mostly there and Thor seems to be getting better already, but it’s Gamora who will be the most interesting. There is no more Thanos to direct her hate towards. Nobody holding her back from having the family that she always wanted but was too uncomfortable to endure.
THE COSMIC BROTHERS
One of the neat links to Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs was the unspoken idea that John Travolta’s Vincent Vega and Michael Madsen’s Vic Vega were brothers. Tarantino even wanted to give them a prequel movie together, but it never materialized. In the MCU, we have something similar going on with Benicio Del Toro’s Collector and Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster. The characters are brothers in the comics and while it’s never been outright said in the movies, you can basically just assume it’s true here. You tell someone who doesn’t read the comics that those two are related and you’re probably going to get a response of, “Yeah, I can see that.”
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Presumably, the Collector died during Infinity War when Thanos grabbed the Reality Stone and burned his menagerie to the ground. We don’t know that for sure. Similarly, the Grandmaster lost his empire at the end of Thor: Ragnarok. He likely came out of that just fine and may have even finagled his way back on top somehow.
It boils down to simple Saturday morning cartoon logic. The Collector is a Guardians of the Galaxy villain. The Grandmaster is a Thor villain. You put the heroes together and you’re giving their villains reason to crossover as well.
BETA RAY BILL
Beta Ray Bill is one of the more popular aspects of Thor’s history to never really get a real appearance in the MCU. Granted, a sculpture of his head appears in the Grandmaster’s arena in Thor: Ragnarok, but that’s just an Easter egg. I want a full-on horse alien badass showing up in my space opera.
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Bill was introduced in the early 80s as a Korbinite alien super soldier who came to Earth. Thor fought him, thinking him to be an invader. In the scuffle, Bill picked up Mjolnir – showing he was a good guy after all – and got spirited away into some adventure for Odin. At the end of the story, he returned Mjolnir to Thor and Odin created a new worthy-based hammer for Bill: Stormbreaker.
Now you have Thor going into space, where the aliens are, wielding the same hammer that Beta Ray Bill is known for. If that isn’t a setup, I don’t know what is! Then again, maybe they’ll save Bill for Thor: Love and Thunder. We just need a horse headed thunder wielder in our lives!
Gavin Jasper writes for Den of Geek and wants a scene of Quill and Thor happily listening to Led Zeppelin together. Especially if it’s “Trampled Underfoot.” Read more of his articles here and follow him on Twitter @Gavin4L