In August of 2014, Marvel took its biggest risk since the beginning of the MCU. They decided to make a movie with heroes that weren’t mainstream, and make a feature film about it. The Guardians of the Galaxy cast included Chris Pratt as Star Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Djimon Hounsou as Korath, Glenn Close as Irani Rael, John C. Reilly as Roman Dey, Benicio del Toro as Taneleer Tivan / The Collector, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser.
The movie begins in 1988, where we meet a young Peter Quill, who just watched his mother’s death, when he is updated from Earth by the Ravagers, who is a group of space pirates lead by their leader Yondu Udonta. 26 laters, on the planet Morag, Quill steals an orb but is attacked by Korath, a follower of the Kree fanatic Ronan. Quill escapes with the orb, but alerts Yondu who discovers the theft and issues a bounty on him, while Ronan sends Gamora to retrieve the orb from Quill.
Quill attempts to sell the orb on Xandar, the capital city of the Nova Empire. Gamora ambushes him and attempts to steal it but is interrupted by a two bounty hunters. One is a genetically and cybernetically modified raccoon named Rocket, and the tree-like humanoid named Groot, who are looking to collect the bounty on Quill. Nova Corps arrest the four and transports them to the prison Kyln. A powerful inmate named Drax, attempts to kill Gamora, due to her association with Ronan, who killed his family. Quill convinces Drax not kill her making him believe she can take him to Ronan. But Gamora reveals that she betrayed Ronan so he cannot use the orbs power, and plans to sell the orb instead. The five of them board Quill’s ship, the Milano, and depart.
Ronan meets with Gamora’s adoptive father Thanos to discuss her betrayal and instead
sends his other daughter Nebula after her. Quill’s group flee to Knowhere, a remote criminal outpost in space built in the giant severed head of a Celestial. A drunk Drax summons Ronan, while the rest meet with Gamora’s seller Taneleer Tivan aka The Collector. Tivan opens the orb revealing a Infinity Stone, an item of immeasurable power that destroys all but the most powerful beings who wield it. Tivan’s assistant touches the orb causing an explosion that explodes in Tivan’s collection.
Ronan arrives and defeats Drax, while the others flee by ship but are pursued by Nebula who destroys Gamora’s ship leaving her for dead in space, while Ronan’s fighters collect the orb. Quill contacts Yondu, who saves Gamora and Quill. Rocket, Groot and Drax threaten to attack Yondu’s ship to rescue them, but Quill negotiates a truce by promising the orb to Yondu. On Ronan’s ship, the Dark Aster, Ronan embeds the Infinity Stone into his warhammer taking the power for himself and Nebula aligns with him.
The Ravagers and Quill’s group join with the Nova Corps to stop the Dark Aster from reaching the surface. Quill’s group breach the ship with his ship. While Ronan uses his hammer to destroy the Nova Corps fleet. Gamora fights and defeats Nebula who escapes, and Rocket crashes his ship in the Dark Aster. The Dark Aster then crashes lands on Xanda, but Groot scarifies himself to shield the group. Ronan emerges from the wreck and prepares to destroy Xandar, but Quill distracts him, allowing Drax and Rocket to destroy Ronan’s warhammer. Quill grabs the Infinity Stone, and with Gamora, Drax, and Rocket sharing its burden, they use it to destroy Ronan.
After the fight, Quill tricks Yondu into taking the wrong container which he thinks holds the orb, while giving the real Infinity Stone to the Nova Corps. As the Ravagers leave Xandar, Yondu remarks that it turned out well that they did not deliver Quill to his father per their contract. Quill’s group, now known as the Guardians of the Galaxy, have their criminal records expunged, and Quill learns that he is only half-human, his father being part of an ancient, unknown species. Quill finally opens the last present he received from his mother: a cassette tape filled with her favorite songs. The Guardians leave in the rebuilt Milano along with a sapling cut from Groot. In a post-credits scene, Tivan sits in his destroyed archive with two of his living exhibits: a canine cosmonaut and an anthropomorphic duck.
Guardians of the Galaxy was a very ambitious project for Marvel. They really took a gamble and rolled the dice on a comic book series that wasn’t mainstream, but was important enough to build a franchise around knowing that if it was not well received, could potentially have big damage moving forward in the MCU. Luckily that never came to fruition and Guardians of the Galaxy is now one of the most popular of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies as it brought a lot of unexpected laughs, great moments, and one of the best soundtracks of all time.
So what do you guys think? Do you agree with Guardians of the Galaxy being #6 on our list? Should it be higher or lower? Let us know in the comments below!