8 Things to Remember Before Seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

It’s time to study up.

Marvel Studios

It’s hard to keep 15 years of Marvel Cinematic Universe plot threads straight, and the Guardians of the Galaxy are especially confounding. Because of their cosmic setting, reams of characters and massive plot elements, like the concept of Celestials, have been introduced.

It’s somewhat unlikely you’ll be able to binge all 110 hours of the MCU before the May 5 release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, so here are the most important things to remember before diving into the third chapter of Peter Quill and friends’ story.

8. Gamora Is A Different Gamora

Gamora’s unwilling sacrifice in Avengers: Infinity War allowed Thanos to obtain the Soul Stone, but also caused a huge loss — and logistical storytelling problem — for the MCU. The solution was simple: much like how past versions of the Infinity Stones were plucked from time, a 2014 version of Gamora was also brought into the present.

The Gamora we see in Vol. 3 is this new character. She doesn’t have memories of her history with the Guardians, although she has been filled in on what happened.

7. The Ravagers Are Still Ravaging

Our new Gamora is caught up with the Ravagers, who we saw throughout Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. They’re the factional intergalactic crime syndicate that spans the universe, and it looks like Gamora will lead one chapter in this upcoming movie. It’s unclear how this will factor into her relationship with the Guardians and her once-blossoming romance with Peter Quill, but it’s certainly a departure for her character.

6. Adam Warlock Is Going to Factor In

The mid-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 introduced Adam Warlock, played by Will Poulter. As a refresher, the movie opens with the Guardians doing a job for Ayesha, High Priestess of the golden Sovereign people. Rocket goes rogue, causing the Sovereign to attack them and down their ship.

Adam Warlock finally returns in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Marvel Studios

Ayesha’s broader effort to hunt down the Guardians is unsuccessful, but she had an ace up her sleeve. In a mid-credits scene, she reveals she created Adam Warlock, calling him “the next step in our evolution” as he emerges from a birth pod. The powerful comic book character hasn’t been seen since, but Vol. 3 will finally make good on this reveal; we just don’t know how yet.

5. Mantis is on Knowhere (And is Peter’s Sister)

Knowhere, the floating decapitated head of a Celestial turned spaceport, is one of the coolest locations in the MCU. It’s served as the Collector’s museum, a stop on Thanos’ search for the Infinity Stones, and, as we saw in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, the Guardians’ new headquarters.

There, Mantis confided in Drax about her quest to get Peter an exceptional gift because she’s secretly Ego’s child, making her Peter’s sister. While that led to a Kevin Bacon-filled adventure, her place as Peter’s sibling will likely play a factor in Vol. 3.

4. The Thor Problem Has Been Resolved

When the Guardians were lumped together with Thor throughout Endgame, it’s no secret James Gunn wasn’t thrilled with the pairing. He even said he’s grateful to Taika Waititi for resolving that plot thread in Thor: Love and Thunder, where the Guardians and Thor part ways. So don’t expect the God of Thunder to factor into a movie that’s already stuffed full of characters and plots.

Don’t expect the Thor co-op to continue into Vol. 3.

Marvel Studios

3. Don’t Forget Peter Quill’s Backstory

Guardians of the Galaxy may feel like a lifetime ago, but there are some moments that play into this threequel. Peter Quill was abducted from Earth at the age of eight, and though he’s found a new life in space, he’s still got ties to Earth — namely, his maternal grandfather, who he hasn’t seen since he left Earth the day his mother died. That means this man lost his daughter and grandson the same day. Harsh.

2. Peter Is the One Man to Still Own a Zune

Music is an integral part of the Guardians trilogy, so it’s worth remembering that in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Star-Lord’s precious Walkman was replaced with a Zune, the oft-maligned iPod knockoff attempted by Microsoft. It may not have taken off in our world, but that doesn’t make it any less integral to Peter’s life.

1. Don’t Forget Drax’s Backstory Either

Drax may often be the comic relief of the group, but he has a heartbreaking history. Back in Guardians of the Galaxy, his clash with Ronan the Accuser was rendered all the more powerful because Ronan killed Drax’s wife and child. Though Drax eventually got his revenge, the loss of your family isn’t something you just get over.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 premieres in theaters May 5, 2023.

Related Tags