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Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

With James Gunn currently tied up in the DC side of things working on The Suicide Squad, Marvel fans have at least several years to wait until the director returns to the MCU to make Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. But that hasn’t stopped fans from wondering what we can hope to see in the third (and possibly best) chapter of James Gunn’s Guardians trilogy. One thing though: don’t expect Yondu to come back to life. When asked if he would ever bring Yondu back, James Gunn responded:

Not to life no. If a character dies in my films they will likely stay dead. I think stakes are important.

During a Q&A on his Instagram earlier this week, James Gunn was asked specifically “Will you ever bring Yondu back?” and his answer makes it quite plain that we should not expect to see Michael Rooker’s Yondu Udonta back in the land of the living in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

James Gunn believes that for the most part, when a character dies in one of his films, that character will stay dead. That applies even if that film is a comic book movie where things like resurrection could happen, even though the actor who plays that character is a frequent collaborator and friend, as is the case with Michael Rooker.

The Suicide Squad director generally doesn’t believe in bringing characters back because he wants his films to have stakes. The thought process seems to be that if anyone can come back, then their deaths aren’t as meaningful and all the attempts to avoid death by the characters themselves feel less serious.

Death loses its impact when it is constantly undone, so fans should not expect to see Yondu come back from the dead in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. In fact, some other characters may join him in the afterlife because James Gunn has hinted at some possible character deaths in Guardians 3.

We last saw Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, when the Centaurian sacrificed his life during the battle with Ego the Living Planet to save his adoptive son Peter Quill. It was an emotional death for an incredibly watchable character, and the Ravager was honored with a Ravager funeral which attended by all his brethren, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Sylvester Stallone!

You can understand how James Gunn wouldn’t want to cheapen that moment by bringing Yondu back to life. That said, just because Yondu won’t come back to life in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, doesn’t mean that we won’t see him again. In his response on Instagram, James Gunn provides a major loophole through which Michael Rooker can don the fin once more.

James Gunn’s response indicates that he will not bring Yondu back to life, but that’s not the same as saying that the character will never appear onscreen again. It’s entirely possible that Michael Rooker could reprise the role for a flashback of some sort. I wouldn’t count on it, but a literal interpretation of James Gunn’s response would allow for it.

We don’t yet have a release date for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad opens on August 6, 2021. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see all of the big movies you can look forward to this year.

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