So I have this problem.
This is the problem: a younger, more naïve Saika was so, so excited for the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The trailers were so good; it was a different and new premise from the typical Marvel formula… and then she was massively disappointed by the movie itself.
An older, wiser Saika then sat down to watch this trailer. And found, to her great surprise, that she was once again interested in the shenanigans of these space-faring assholes. Is it too much to ask for that this movie will be the GotG we deserve and not the fratsplosion we got last time?
My fingers are Pollyanna-optimistically crossed.
Weirdly enough, I care not a whit about whatever the plot of this movie is going to be. I haven’t been able to tell from the trailers so far what it is—they seem to focus more on banter than exposition (shocking, I’m sure)—so I just hope it makes sense. We have gotten a taste of conflict with the squad of Yellow Diamond-looking folks in this trailer, but it’s not entirely clear what their plans are or what the Guardians are necessarily saving the galaxy from. I’m not up enough on my cosmic Marvel baddies to guess any further than maybe Heven? If it gets us Angela and Sera in the MCU I’ll take it, but the 24-karat baddies don’t seem particularly Angelic. We also will have some manner of conflict from meeting Peter’s dad, Ego, presumably, although I wonder in what form. Also, considering Ego in the comics is a literal living planet, I wonder what the explanation for him bouncing around bipedally will be.
One of my biggest concerns about the first movie was that Gamora, despite being by far the most badass and complex member of the team, was sidelined almost completely into a love-interest role. Her fascinating and complicated history with Nebula and their rivalry as “daughters” of Thanos was not given the depth it deserved at all. With Nebula returning in this movie and apparently sharing significant screentime with the Guardians, my hopes are high that we’ll finally get some of that. Intriguingly enough, in this trailer Gamora has almost entirely avoided the love-interest characterization—it’s Peter who’s the one doing the moping. It’s Peter whose response is played for laughs when Gamora using his weapon of choice challenges his masculinity. Most interestingly, it’s Peter who is defined by his feelings for Gamora in the name-cards part of the trailer. While every other character is shown fighting (or at least in the midst of battle to some extent), Peter’s clip shows him dancing with Gamora.
Also, while she’s still an alien, Pom Klementieff’s addition to the Guardians’ starting lineup in the role of Mantis makes her the first Asian woman to have a major role in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. It certainly took them long enough. Her role in previous trailers has been more as an awkward comic relief sort of character, but hopefully her inclusion in the billing of this trailer means she’ll play a significant role. (IMDb has her reprising the role in Infinity War, so that gives me some hope.)
My one big bummer about this movie so far is that Yondu is going to still be around. He was one of my least favorite parts of the first movie and I thought his character was pretty annoying and unnecessary. Seeing him listed amongst the others as a Guardian led me to suspect that we won’t be seeing the end of him for a while, and IMDb confirmed that he, too, is credited as returning in Infinity War. Who knows, maybe he’ll be less of a literal and metaphorical eyesore in this movie? I won’t hold my breath on that one, but it’d be nice to be surprised.
In the end, fool me once, shame on Marvel. Fool me twice… still kind of shame on Marvel, actually. Hopefully this movie really does do better. Only time will tell, but at least we only have two months to wait. Guardians Vol 2 hits theaters May 5th—will you be there?
Hear more from Lady Saika on Character Reveal, the podcast she cohosts with BrothaDom!