The first Guardians of the Galaxy was released in 2014 and it pushed Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to bold new places with its exploration of cosmic settings. Now, nearly a decade later, James Gunn has triumphantly finished his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy with many critics and audiences alike praising Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as the strongest entry in the trilogy, an emotional swan song for the series, and one of the best Marvel movies since Avengers: Endgame.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 tells a fitting story that revolves around Rocket Raccoon’s past before he’s able to figure out his future. Vol. 3 works hard to provide closure for most of the running themes and character arcs throughout these three movies, but fans still have some questions when it comes to certain characters and ideas.
10 What Happens To The Rest Of The High Evolutionary’s Test Subjects
One of the most effective elements in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the drastic work that the High Evolutionary has done to construct not only Counter-Earth, but the endless genetic experiments that have also helped contribute to his pursuit for perfection.
Rocket is just one of many experiments and there’s a touching moment in the final act where Rocket encounters a cluster of baby raccoons who have either already been experimented on or are about to undergo this cruel fate. It makes one wonder how many other experiments are out there and if a future film could explore Rocket’s efforts to help the others who are like him.
9 What Rocket’s New Guardians Team Are Fighting
The Guardians of the Galaxy movies have featured slightly different rosters in each entry, but Vol. 3 goes out with some major changes for the team. Most of the original Guardians members part ways as they embark on new chapters of their lives. Rocket remains on the team, as the Guardians’ new leader, no less.
A mid-credits scene shows Rocket’s new Guardians team in action. Rocket fights alongside a now-adult Groot, Kraglin, Cosmo, Adam Warlock, Phyla, and the cute creature, Blurp. This scene teases that greater challenges are to come for the Guardians, but it’s unclear who their new enemies are and the nature of this conflict.
8 Gamora’s Future Adventures with The Ravagers
Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is technically the 2014 version of the character rather than the one who Peter loved and lost. A major component in Vol. 3 is Peter accepting that this version of Gamora is not the same and that it’s futile to force her to be someone she’s not.
Both characters learn to better appreciate one another, but Gamora still returns to her former Ravager roots during the movie’s closing montage. Gamora’s time with the Guardians has softened her for the better and it’s exciting to consider what she’ll get up to in the future with Stakar Ogord and the rest of the Ravager team.
7 Rocket’s Use For Bucky’s Arm
There are three Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but Gunn sneaks in an extra seasonal story with The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. While largely a standalone story, there are certain details and revelations from this holiday event that do carry over into Vol. 3.
The Holiday Special focuses on the Guardians’ efforts to get Peter the perfect Christmas gift, but the rest of the team also receive some festive presents. Rocket is gifted Bucky’s powerful super-enhanced Winter Soldier arm. Rocket is touched and seems to have big plans for this appendage, yet it doesn’t make an appearance in Vol. 3 and fans are wondering what will come of it.
6 Drax & Nebula’s New Society
Some major revelations bookend the final act of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, including hordes of kidnapped children who are held hostage by the High Evolutionary. These children are saved and when the dust settles it’s both Drax and Nebula who opt to stay in Knowhere to look after and raise these displaced kids.
This is a fitting conclusion for Drax, who loses his family prior to the events of the first Guardians. It’s also cathartic to see Nebula selflessly dedicate her life to others. A new story that follows Drax, Nebula, and their warrior children would hold a lot of potential.
5 Any Lingering Side Effects From Peter’s Near-Death Experience
Each entry in Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy features a tragic loss. As the final entry, fans were prepared to see a major casualty in Vol. 3, even if that happens to be Peter Quill. Vol. 3 pushes Peter to the precipice of death when he gets locked out in the cold recesses of space.
Adam Warlock narrowly rescues him, but Peter has experienced significant damage to his body before he returns to normal. This traumatic close call could trigger new changes for Quill in the future. The film also teases the afterlife as Rocket communicates with fallen loved ones, which could also be expanded in future films.
4 Mantis’ Adventures With The Abilisk
The Guardians of the Galaxy movies showcase a diverse range of extraterrestrial entities, some of which are more intimidating than others. The Abilisk are Lovecraftian monstrosities with a penchant for devouring power sources. They’re briefly featured in Vol. 2 as targets for the Guardians to exterminate for the Sovereign.
The Abilisk made a big return in Vol. 3, this time as misunderstood creatures that Mantis connects with. As the Guardians part ways, Mantis is shown with a herd of Abilisk. There’s so much potential in where this could go, whether Mantis and the Abilisk settle on a life of peace or if she turns them into her own powerful team.
3 What’s Next For The Sovereign
The MCU’s Sovereign are introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and the trilogy’s next chapter provides greater context regarding their connection to the High Evolutionary. The Sovereign make up a sizable portion of Vol. 3, largely in the form of Adam Warlock, but they feel like a bit of an afterthought in the crowded movie.
There’s still so much territory to explore with this pristine collection of planets and lifeforms, which would make it truly disappointing if this marks their end in the MCU. Adam Warlock is now a member of the Guardians and Ayesha, as their High Golden Priestess, is dead. There could be a serious reckoning to come.
2 If The High Evolutionary Is Actually Dead
The High Evolutionary is easily one of the MCU’s most terrifying villains, which makes it surprising when Rocket chooses to let him live and shows sympathy towards his former oppressor. Rocket turns his back on vengeance, but an injured High Evolutionary is still left behind on his ship as it explodes.
It’s fair to say that this explosion kills the High Evolutionary, but it’s never explicitly shown and crazier recoveries have happened in the MCU. There may be more ahead for the High Evolutionary, especially since some vocal fans want to see Chukwudi Iwuji replace Jonathan Majors as Kang.
1 What Pulls Peter Quill Back Into Action
There’s considerable closure at the conclusion of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and it seems as if Peter Quill has finally found some level of peace by returning to Earth, getting closer with his grandfather, and embracing his family. Vol. 3 even looks at Peter’s exodus from the Guardians as he appoints Rocket to be the team’s new captain.
Despite this satisfying finish, the post-script at the end of the credits promises that “The Legendary Star-Lord Will Return.” It’s currently unclear what will pull Quill out of “retirement,” but it seems to be his fate.
NEXT: 10 Characters Perfect For James Gunn’s DCU
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