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In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, audiences are given the opportunity to reunite with some wonderful intergalactic characters, following them on a brand new adventure that takes them to fascinating new reaches of the cosmos and on a collision course with a number of fantastical new beings. Perhaps the best part about it, however, is the way in which it continues the individual arcs of the original heroes and gives them specific motivations -- and to fully grasp that element of the blockbuster, it helps to look back on where they have been.
Reflecting on what we've seen from Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot so far, and analyzing where the story of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 starts up, we've assembled this feature to lay out the primary obstacle that is facing the heroes going into their latest big screen chapter. Let's break it down!
Peter Quill: The Search Continues For His Dad
Peter Quill may walk like a human, and talk like a human, but the reality is that he isn't entirely human. As revealed by Nova Prime, Peter's father is a part of an ancient, uncategorized alien race, which is why he could handle the power of an Infinity Stone (albeit with the help of his friends). This bit of information in Guardians of the Galaxy launched a massive fan investigation into the identity of Peter's dad - and it's a mystery that is very much at the center of events in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Peter isn't specifically looking for his paternal figure when we catch up with him in the new James Gunn movie, but it doesn't take long for them to cross paths. It turns out that saving Xandar has finally made Star-Lord a popular name, and it winds up bringing his father a.k.a. Ego The Living Planet, to him. Not only is that an awkward introduction, but there is also the conflict that it creates between the heroic human and Yondu -- who kept the young Peter away from his dad for decades.
Gamora: She Doesn't Let Anyone Get Close... Especially Peter And Her Sister
Gamora comes across as a complete badass who earns her title from the comics -- The Deadliest Woman In The Universe -- but that personality and those skills comes as a result of a nightmarish life. As we learn in Guardians of the Galaxy, her parents were killed by Thanos when she was young, and rather than killing her as well, Thanos decided to adopt her and raised her as his daughter. She had an excessively cruel upbringing, and it stops her from really getting close with anybody.
As such, being a part of a unit as tight as the Guardians of the Galaxy requires a bit of an adjustment, and it's something that she's going through at the start of Guardians 2. Walls are raised up all around her -- but particularly around Peter, who very clearly has more than friendly feelings about her. Certainly not improving things is the presence of Nebula, a fellow daughter of Thanos who not only reminds Gamora of her terrible past, but also very much wants her dead.
Drax: Can Family Outweigh The Desire For Revenge?
When we meet Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy, he is an individual with a great deal of anger within him -- which has motivated the nickname "The Destroyer." Following the death of his wife and daughter, his entire existence has been dedicated to revenge -- and even after he manages to be a part of killing the individual responsible (Ronan The Accuser), all that he claims changes is his target (with Thanos now in the crosshairs).
Drax brings this baggage into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but finds his thirst for vengeance run into conflict with being happy with the people in his life. He doesn't hesitate to express how much he loves Peter, Gamora, Rocket and Groot, but because of his nature, unfortunately it regularly presents itself in the form of reckless, foolish, and dangerous behavior. Of course, one big part of the sequel is Drax's bond with the innocent Mantis, and it's a relationship that has the potential for a great effect on him.
Rocket: Pushing People Away Before They Do It To Him
If you think back to the big action climax of Guardians of the Galaxy, you'll remember that Rocket wasn't present when the titular team had their emotional moment among Groot's glowing spores. And it's interesting to think about how he might have acted. While Gamora has been shown to occasionally let her guard down, the same can't be said for Rocket -- who deflects all feelings with jokes, callousness, or insults. He's part of something larger than himself at the start of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but the question is how long can he make that last?
Any psychiatrist would have a field day with the fluffy little alien, as he truly wears his psychosis on his sleeve: in fear of being pushed away by those closest to him, he preemptively pushes them away first. As a part of a team with Rocket, the rest of the Guardians certainly must show a level of tolerance and understanding of his broken nature, but still lingers the possibility that he could take one step too far while acting out and could lose the only people in his life who have demonstrated that they care about him.
Groot: Desperately In Need Of A Decent Parental Figure
Groot did an incredibly noble thing at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy -- using his body to shield his friends as they rode Ronan's ship, the Dark Aster, down to the surface of Xandar. Because of this, the tree-like creature restarted his life cycle, and when we catch up with him in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 he is the intellectual equivalent of a two-year-old (with only two months having passed since last appearing on the big screen). Unfortunately, his new-found family completely lacks anybody who can be called a decent parental figure.
While it's true that the group does care about Groot's safety, they hardly make it their first priority -- as they seemingly don't have a moment's hesitation about letting him walk/dance around during a dangerous battle. There's a balance of bad experience and ignorance that is ultimately to blame, but it also means that Groot must learn how to be self-sufficient to a certain degree.