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In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, our beloved band of misfits are settling into life on Knowhere. But it isn’t long before their lives are upended by the echoes of Rocket’s turbulent past. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), still reeling from the loss of Gamora (Zoe Saldaña). She was, of course, killed (for good) in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. But in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, an identical but different Gamora entered our timeline. Quill met her long enough for her to knee him in the junk, and then she took off for parts unknown. We saw that he was depressed over the situation in last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. But now,  must rally his team around him on a dangerous mission to save Rocket’s life—a mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.

The film also sees the return of  Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Nebul (Karen Gillan), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Kraglin (Sean Gunn), and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper). Sylvester Stallone returns as Stakar Ogord and and Maria Bakalova returns to voice Cosmo the Spacedog and Elizabeth Debicki is back as Ayesha. New case members include Chukwudi Iwuji (High Evolutionary), Will Poulter (Adam Warlock), Nico Santos (Theel), Nathan Fillion (Master Karja) , Linda Cardinelli (Lylla the Otter) are also in the cast.

Director James Gunn tweeted a photo with the main cast and offered some words ahead of the world premiere last week. He wrote: “I’m nervous, of course, but mostly excited for all of us, the cast & crew & our friends & families, to sit together in a dark theater & experience the movie together. This is the sweetest part of filmmaking: one last look at our creation, one brief moment of being present to the long & winding journey it took us to get here, before turning it over to all of you, the world at large. Thank you to all of you who helped us to get here. You know who you are. My love for you runs deep. #GotGVol3 #WeAreGroot” Gunn has always said that he sees the franchise as a trilogy. And this is last Marvel project for the foreseeable future, as he is now heading rival DC Studios.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is in theaters now.

Keep scrolling to read our spoiler-free review:

  • Peter Quill Has The Blues

    Chris Pratt as Peter Quill

    As we know, Peter Quill is not over the “new” Gamora. Though she’s alive, she might as well be dead. This version of Gamora doesn’t know Quill. All that time convincing the “old” Gamora of their “unspoken” relationship was for nothing. And he hasn’t been coping well. He’s been drinking himself to oblivion.

  • Rocket's Beginnings

    bradley cooper

    Rocket may be a CGI, but real tears flowed when we saw baby Rocket’s upbringing as subject 89P13. He wasn’t always the rough and tough Rocket that we’ve known in the previous films, and the flashbacks really tugged on the heartstrings. I mean, look at those big ole watery eyes! In the final teaser that was released last week, we met Rocket’s pre-Guardians friends. Their situation looked bleak, as they were caged and experimented on, and given gruesome modifications. First referred to as batch numbers, his companions named themselves: Lylla the Otter (voiced by Linda Cardinelli), Teefs the Walrus (voiced by musician Asim C) and Floor the Rabbit (voiced by Mikaela Mehrizi Hoover). And Rocket learned a theme that has been core to the Guardians movies: life’s much better when you’ve got friends by your side.

  • Yondu's First Mate, Kraglin

    sean gunn

    Kraglin (Gunn) was given the late Yondu’s (Michael Rooker) “fin” and Star-Lord gave him Yondu’s Yaka Arrow following his death. He’s been practicing using the arrow, struggling to maintain control with his whistling. In Vol. 3, we see what Kraglin has to discover in order to use the weapon properly — otherwise he’ll accidentally stab Drax again…

  • Cosmo The Good Dog

    Maria Bakalova

    We first heard Maria Bakalova as Cosmo during the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special that came out last October, although the character cameoed in previous films. Here, we learn how the labrador gained psychic powers of telekinesis and telepathy. His telekinesis hilariously gets on Kraglin’s nerves as he tries to master the Yaka Arrow. Despite their mostly one-sided rivalry, Cosmo is a good dog and an adorable addition to the team.

  • Adults Discourse

    dave bautista, pom klementieff, chris pratt, karen gillan

    Put these four in a room together, and fighting and laughs are sure to ensue. With Drax and Nebula being the notorious hot-heads, Peter and Mantis are usually the calm ones trying to talk the others down. We can always count on Drax to say or do something ridiculous. Thirsty for bloodshed, he tries to get Peter to agree to kill anyone that gets in their way. Though Peter shuts him down as he lessens the number of his victims, he finally desperately offers, “We’ll one guy. One stupid guy. Who no one loves.” Peter responds, “Well now you’re just making it sad!” With Gamora gone, Peter finds himself leaning on Gamora’s sister Nebula. But as we know, she’s a very cold person with a short fuse. However, her icy heart melts little by little with the time she spends with the Guardians.

  • Orgocorp

    guardians

    If this planet looks like skin and hair follicles to you, you’re absolutely right. As the Guardians suit up in colorful space suits, we see them have fun in zero gravity. This third installment is pretty heavy for the most part, but these shining, light moments are what we love about the franchise. The team’s eccentric and loud personalities often give us the laughter we need to lighten an otherwise bleak situation. Almost everyone takes part in the “Did that look cool?” competition.

  • I Don't Even Know Her

    zoe saldana, chris pratt

    We saw Gamora die when Thanos threw her off the cliff in Vomir in Infinity War. Though characters that have been killed off in the MCU have returned before, in Gamora’s case, she shouldn’t have been resurrected because she was sacrificed for the Soul Stone. That should have made her death absolute, but with multi-verses in play, this Gamora is a variant from the past. In Vol. 3, they address the absurdity in a hilarious way, acknowledging that it shouldn’t have been made possible, yet here we are. Though this Gamora has no ties to Peter (and the rest of the Guardians), he is persistent in trying to have her remember their past as lovers. It very much gave us 50 First Dates vibes in how he so badly wanted the woman he was in love with to acknowledge and be open to having a relationship with each other once again.

  • Forever Friends

    chris pratt, dave bautista, bradley cooper, zoe saldana, vin diesel, karen gillan, pom klementieff

    For the final time, Peter, Drax, Rocket, Gamora, Groot, Nebula and Mantis share the screen in Vol. 3. Though we are sad we won’t see our favorite characters return in future projects (Bautista and Saldana confirmed they won’t be returning), all good things must come to an end. They’ve all been through so much, but their familial bond holds them together. The Guardians’ saga is all about the power of your chosen family.

  • Rocket Raccoon

    bradley cooper

    As James Gunn previously said of his return as director for the final Guardians film, “One of the reasons why I came back to [make] this movie was because I felt like I needed to tell Rocket’s story.” To Gunn, Rocket was “always” the “secret protagonist” of the franchise. You won’t disagree when you see Vol. 3, The film shows just how strong of a connection Rocket has to the others. Gunn said he “exemplifies a lot of the traits of all the Guardians. They’ve had all these traumas, and it brings them together. I just think that his is more extreme than others.” Rocket’s tragic backstory was kept secret from his companions up until this point because, whew, it was painful to watch. But here, we learn that the story has been Rocket’s all along.

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