After “Avengers: Endgame,” Marvel embarked on Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with the ambition to create a grand “multiverse” world, consisting of 7 movies and 8 TV series.
However, with films like “Eternals,” “Shang-Chi,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” facing challenges, the “Phase 4” of the Marvel Universe found itself in an awkward situation of an overly expanded universe, struggling to establish characters and lacking connections between stories, gradually falling into stagnation.
“Guardians of the Galaxy,” which has always operated outside the main storyline, told a simple and humble story of self-growth in its final chapter. Surprisingly, this “simplicity at its best” resonated strongly, serving as a wake-up call for the blind expansion of the Marvel Universe.
Among Marvel’s spectrum of characters, the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy have the least appearance of traditional superheroes. Characters like the overweight Star-Lord, simple-minded Drax, the geeky raccoon Rocket, and Groot, who can only say “I am Groot,” are all misfits who don’t fit into their environment. Their personalities are full of flaws, and they carry deep wounds within.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” openly exposes and magnifies the loneliness and traumas of the team members. The film opens with Radiohead’s classic song “Creep,” as Tom Yorke mournfully sings, “I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo, I don’t belong here,” gradually introducing the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Rocket Raccoon walks through the crowd alone, looking desolate. Star-Lord, who has lost his mother, biological father Ego, adoptive father Yondu, and lover Gamora, also appears lost and dispirited, living a drunken and confused life.
The other members of the Guardians of the Galaxy also wear heavy burdens, nursing their own emotional wounds. The entire void they inhabit is enveloped in a sense of loneliness and oppression.
The static nature of the story is shattered when Rocket Raccoon is attacked and injured, his life hanging by a thread. The members of the Guardians of the Galaxy embark on an adventure to save their comrade. The story naturally shifts its focus to themes of companionship and family, self and others.