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SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. If you have not yet seen the film, please bookmark this page and return after your screening!
James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 introduces a number of exciting characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but certainly leading the pack is the group of aliens introduced at the very end of the film. While most audiences simply see cool cameos from actors like Ving Rhames and Michelle Yeoh, hardcore fans recognized that the blockbuster was introducing a special team from Marvel Comics: the original Guardians of the Galaxy.
While the team of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot came together in the comics as the Guardians of the Galaxy during 2007's Annihilation Conquest, they weren't the first group to take on that title. Instead, the Guardians have existed in Marvel Comics since 1969 - albeit their adventures initially took place in another universe (Earth-691 instead of the typical Earth-616) and in the future (the year 3000). Like any comic book team, the roster changed a lot over the years, but James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy movies have now introduced us to seven key members: of the unit Stakar Ogord, Aleta, Charlie-27, Martinex, Mainframe, Krugarr, and Yondu.
It's been confirmed that the six newly-introduced characters will be playing a significant role in James Gunn's upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3... but there are still a lot of people who have no idea who they are. Fortunately, we are here to help, as you'll find detailed descriptions of the new characters, but also how it seems they will be adapted into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone)
Of the characters we will be discussing in the article, Sylvester Stallone's Stakar Ogord a.k.a. Starhawk received easily the most screen time in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. In his sequences, we learn that he is a high-ranking officer with the Ravagers, who had a complicated history with Yondu. While they spent years fighting side by side after he saved Yondu from the Kree, they eventually parted ways when Yondu broke a key rule: no dealing in children. Sadly, Stakar couldn't forgive his old friend before his sacrificial death, but it was the loss that motivated the very important reunion we're discussing in this article.
As you can see in the image above, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's version of Starhawk doesn't quite match up with his comic book counterpart aesthetically beyond the level of allusion -- and it is yet to be determined how far other comparisons will go. In the comics he has powers that he shares with Aleta that come about as a result of them reanimating a dormant deity called the Hawk God, and it's unclear if that backstory will be included in the live-action adaptation. Given the liberties that James Gunn has taken with the source material before, we won't be surprised if the characters wind up being radically different, but we'll have to wait until we see more of Stakar Ogord on the big screen to determine just how close it winds up being.
Aleta (Michelle Yeoh)
Marvel entirely ignored the weird romantic undertones between the twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver when they were introduced in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and they may have to do similar dodge work when it comes to developing the pair of Aleta and Stakar to the big screen. Their particular taboo is that they are adoptive brother and sister who wind up falling in love and getting married. That may be shaky ground for Disney folks to walk on... but what still may be viable is seeing the two heroes jointly access the powers of the Hawk God, merge, and become the incredibly powerful Starhawk.
Michelle Yeoh very recently joined another legendary sci-fi franchise when she signed on to play Captain Georgiou in the new Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery, but she is doubling down by also being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We have high hopes that Yeoh's expanded role as Aleta in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will give her all kinds of excuses to kick ass, as she has a long filmography proving that she is really quite good at it.
Charlie-27 (Ving Rhames)
Charlie-27 is a human who was born on Jupiter -- genetically engineered to be incredibly strong in order to withstand the planet's immense gravity. Serving as part of the military, he was sent away as part of a six-month mission, but returned to his home to find the entire planet destroyed and all his fellow Jovians killed by alien invaders. It was while escaping from these aliens that Charlie-27 took a teleporting pod to Pluto and ran into Starhawk and Martinex -- a meeting that would form the core of what would be the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Because humans still haven't colonized Jupiter, it's hard to imagine that the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Charlie-27 will have the exact same background as his comic book counterpart (who, again, lived in the year 3000), but it wouldn't be altogether surprising to hear that he has a similar backstory. We know that he will be played by the always-awesome Ving Rhames, who can be seen in the film wearing what really is a fantastic, realistic adaptation of the character's familiar costume. Rhames joining the Marvel Universe means that he is now part of two of the biggest on-going blockbuster franchises, the other being Mission: Impossible.
Martinex (Michael Rosenbaum)
Hearing about Charlie-27's backstory will make the story of Martinex sound more than a little bit familiar. Rather than growing up on Jupiter, the crystalline hero originally hails from Pluto -- and like the other members of his race is genetically dispositioned to withstand the former planet's intense cold (he can also manipulate energy and project it from his hands) Rather than being a part of military, Martinex was educated in physics and engineering, but also like Charlie-27 was away when his entire race was eliminated.
Again, we can't say how much of this will actually make it into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we did pick up on some details from his brief cameo in Jame Gunn's second blockbuster. He will be played by Michael Rosenbaum (famous for playing Lex Luthor on the television series Smallville), and it looks like he has a very close relationship with Stakar Ogord, serving as his Ravager first officer. While he gets more screen time in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 than most of the characters written about in this list, we still don't know much about him, but we're excited to learn more going into Vol. 3.
Mainframe (voiced by Miley Cyrus)
Lest you forget, the Avenger known as Vision might look kind of human, but he is 100% machine. One need no further proof of this than the version of the character from Earth-691- who, after many generations, eventually evolved into Mainframe. Featured as part of the Guardians of the Galaxy, the character functions as the operating system for an entire planet, even going as far as to control climate conditions. Expect a lot of this not to be included when we get to know Mainframe in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Given the group she appears alongside, Mainframe in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is clearly an old-school Ravager who used to go on intergalactic adventures with Stakar Ogord and Co. -- and we know that she will be voiced by singer/actress Miley Cyrus. Beyond her excitement that her team is back together, however, there is very little we actually know about how the character will be fully represented on the big screen and what her role will be as a full-fledged part of the classic Guardians. Hell, we don't even really know how she gets around at this point, considering she basically just looks like a talking helmet.
Of all the original Guardians of the Galaxy team members introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Krugarr was the only one who wasn't represented by a specific actor, as he remains an entirely CGI character for now. It makes sense given his red, serpent-esque appearance -- but what he lacks in that department he makes up for in the showcasing of his abilities.
During the post-credits sequence, we see Krugarr conjure a mandala with two thumbs up in a show of approval -- and if that gave you flashbacks to Doctor Strange, there's very good reason. In the comics, he encountered Dr. Stephen Strange at some point in the 22nd century and wound up becoming his apprentice, eventually replacing him as the Sorcerer Supreme (you'll notice him wearing the famed Cloak of Levitation in the panel above). Clearly the version that is being featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is also magically inclined, and it should be great to see both the sci-fi and fantasy worlds of the universe collide. One can only hope that there is an event at some point in the future of the franchise -- be it in Phase Four or beyond -- that Krugarr gets some on screen time with Benedict Cumberbatch, simply because that would make the hearts of every Marvel nerd in the world sing.