Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Breaks a Surprising Rule of the Franchise

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. eases into darkness with cuts from Alice Cooper and Florence + The Machine.

Marvel Studios

As the end draws near for everyone’s favorite Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios has released the soundtrack accompanying their final outing — and it promises to be equal parts epic and heartrending.

Charging out of the gate of Phase 5 after Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania fumbled with the starting pistol, Guardians of the Galaxy vol 3. seems to be taking a step back from the Kang conundrum currently threatening the multiverse. Based on the trailer and the brief synopsis from Marvel Studios, Gunn is instead setting his heroes on a violent collision course with the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), and finally revealing the tragic truth of Rocket Raccoon’s (Bradley Cooper) origins.

Part of the charm of those first two installments was how well the atmosphere was enriched by the usage of music by James Gunn and music supervisor Dave Jordan. The unabashed goofiness of meeting Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) for the first time as he dances to Redbone’s Come and Get Your Love is perhaps one of the most iconic scenes in the entire MCU, and that free-spirited musical synergy carried on into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. While music will certainly play a big part in the end of the trilogy as well, James Gunn has assured us that it’ll be a lot different this time around.

“It doesn’t start with ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ [like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2],” Gunn told Rolling Stone. “It doesn’t start with ‘Come and Get Your Love’ [like the first movie]. It starts with Radiohead’s acoustic version of ‘Creep.’ And that’s just a much different tone from the beginning than the other two films.”

Saying goodbye to the Guardians is like saying goodbye to family.

Marvel Studios

Now that the full tracklist for the Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 mixtape has made its way online, it’s clear what exactly he means by that. Unlike the upbeat beginnings of the first two movies, this one opens with an acoustic version of Radiohead’s alt-rock classic Creep, setting the stage for the emotionality of the conclusion. Tracks like Do You Realize from The Flaming Lips tease at some potential bloodshed and heartbreak, while others such as Crazy on You by Heart and Reasons by Earth, Wind & Fire could potentially be ballads for Peter and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) or even Rocket and his potential new love interest, Lylla.

Maybe more than any other franchise in the MCU, music has been at the heart of the Guardians series from the beginning, and the soundtrack for Vol. 3 couldn’t be more appropriate. Gunn has been adamant about this film being the last time we’ll see this roster of the team together, and with the last song on the soundtrack being Come and Get Your Love, it promises to be a bittersweet goodbye.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 arrives in theaters on May 5.

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