SYFY WIRE's Infinity War Roundup is your go-to guide for everything you need to know about Marvel's massive superhero crossover, Avengers: Infinity War. In the weeks leading up to Infinity War's April 27th premiere, SYFY WIRE will be rounding up every important character arc and plot detail you need to know from the past 10 years and 18 movies.
Today we'll be taking a stroll over to the cosmic side of the MCU with the characters involved in the two films based on the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Let's take a look at the MCU lives of Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Nebula, Mantis, and The Collector thus far.
PETER QUILL/STAR-LORD (CHRIS PRATT)
The son of Meredith Quill and a mysterious "space man," young Peter Quill was abducted from Earth in the 1980s shortly after his mother died of a brain tumor.
He was taken by Yondu (Michael Rooker) and the Ravagers, and their mission was to bring Peter to his real father. They didn't do that. Instead, Yondu took Peter under his wing and taught him the proper way to live as a scoundrel.
In Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), we met a grown-up Peter. He cherishes his old walkman, constantly listens to the "Awesome Mix" that his mother made for him, has his own ship called The Milano, and is working to sidestep Yondu to find a mysterious Orb. He's also trying to make the nickname Star-Lord happen, but nobody calls him that.
Peter retrieved the orb and took it to a broker on Xandar, who decided that he didn't want anything to do with it. Gamora (Zoe Saldana) tried to steal the Orb from Peter for a buyer and Rocket (Bradley Cooper/Sean Gunn) and Groot (Vin DIesel) tried to collect a bounty on him. They were captured by the Nova Corp for being criminals and disturbing the peace.
In prison, the crew met Drax (Dave Bautista), a large green-hued man who wanted nothing more than vengeance on Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), a Kree Fanatic who was also after the Orb. Banding together, the team escapes prison with the Orb, and they set off for Knowhere, a sanctuary located in the hollowed-out skull of a Celestial. It is there that they meet Gamora's buyer, the Collector (Benicio Del Toro). He revealed that the Orb actually encases the Power Stone, one of the Infinity Stones originally used by the Celestials. He told them a bit about their history before Ronan and his crew storm the place, ruin everything, and take the Stone.
After eventually uniting with the Nova Corps, this band of A-holes (Gamora, Rocket, Groot, and Drax, led by Peter, who "is not one hundred percent a dick") stormed Ronan's ship where they were all saved by Groot, who sacrificed himself. On the planet surface, Peter distracted Ronan with a dance-off while the other Guardians shot the Stone out of Ronan's hammer.
To stop Ronan from recovering the stone, Peter grasped it in his own hand, somehing we were told was impossible. Peter is able to do it, and with the combined strength of his friends, they vanquished Ronan.
The Nova Corps thanks Peter by rebuilding The Milano (which was royally totaled in the battle) and they put the Power Stone in their vaults.
We catch up with Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017), in which he and the team are helping a race known as the Sovereign in exchange for Gamora's wicked sister (and Ronan's former henchwoman) Nebula (Karen Gillan). Peter and the team set off to collect Nebula's bounty, but are chased by the Sovereign because Rocket stole a bunch of very expensive batteries.
Peter and the team are able to escape thanks to a mysterious being called Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell), who revealed himself to be Peter's father. Peter, Gamora, and Drax go to Ego's world, and meet Mantis (Pon Klementieff), an empath, in the process. Once they arrive on Ego's world, Ego shared Peter's herritage — he was able to grasp the Power Stone because Peter is part Celestial.
Soon enough, Ego revealed his real plans, which were of the galaxy-conquering kind. Ego also had a habit of killing his thousands of children who didn't share the same powers as Peter, so there's that. Peter was tempted but declined to join Ego in his mission. Ego was pissed. He destroyed Peter's walkman and told Peter that he implanted the brain tumor in Peter's mother's head.
Peter broke free and blasted Ego with his double guns, and soon the team's new mission became stopping Ego. Rejoined by Yondu, Rocket, and Baby Groot, the team managed to do it with help of Mantis. Once Ego was defeated, they had to escape the planet — and Yondu ended up sacrificing himself to save Peter, who he saw as his son.
Peter realized that Yondu had been the father he always wanted all along and that his real family was the friends he made along the way.
Where we left him: Peter is with the Guardians in a Ravager ship and in possession of a Zune, thanks to Yondu's lieutenant, Kraglin (Sean Gunn). He tries to reason with Baby Groot, who has grown into a moody teenager and likes to mock Peter. He still has strong ties to the Nova Corps, and the Power Stone is still on Xandar.
It's not clear whether Peter's celestial powers are gone after the death of Ego, or if some part of them still resides within him. He might still be able to do some crazy stuff and pull it out at the last second against Thanos.
GAMORA (ZOE SALDANA)
Gamora was adopted by Thanos (Josh Brolin) after he killed her entire race. She was brought up with Thanos' other daughter, Nebula, and the two had a very competitive childhood.
Raised to be an assassin, Gamora could fight with extendable swords as well as guns, lasers, and cannons.
In Guardians of the Galaxy, we think she's on Thanos' side and trying to get the Orb for him. She soon revealed that she was against Thanos, and trying to keep the Orb as far away from him as possible. When she was escaping prison with the other Guardians, she made it clear that she thought they were all idiots. She's very right about that.
She leads them to Knowhere and the Collector, where the orb was revealed to be the Power Stone. When Ronan crashed their party, Nebula was with him, and she went right after her sister, almost blasting her away into space. Gamora was saved by Peter and joined with the rest of the team to take down Ronan. She went up against her sister again, who ran away when Gamora started to get the better of her. She ends the film calling Peter Star-Lord, and nodding her head slightly to some of his music.
Gamora's back in action with the rest of the team in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, where her relationship with Nebula was explored in more depth. Though they kind of hate each other, they were still sisters. They try to kill each other several times in the film, but neither one can ever go all the way.
At the end of Vol. 2, Gamora acknowledged the "unspoken thing" between her and Peter. She also threatened to kill Mantis if she touched her with her feeling-reading hands.
Where we left her: Gamora is on the Ravager ship with the Guardians. It bears repeating: She was raised by Thanos, and likely knows what will happen if Thanos gets his hands on all of the Infinity Stones. In terms of Thanos and his plans, she possibly knows more than any other character, making her vital to Infinity War.
DRAX (DAVE BAUTISTA)
The Guardians met Drax while imprisoned in Guardians of the Galaxy, and this innocent-yet-violent person attached himself to the group almost immediately. He escaped the prison with them and talked non-stop about getting vengeance on Ronan because of the death of his family.
He was a huge help to the team with they stormed Ronan's ship, and he comforted Rocket after the death of Groot. He's blunt, but Drax really has a heart of gold.
At the end of the film, he remarked that his vengeance is not complete — the one he really needs to get vengeance on is Thanos for killing his family.
In Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, Drax continued to be the ultra-literal, "always laughing at the wrong time" heavy of the group. He got along with Mantis and constantly threw himself into danger in this film to save his friends, with no regard for his own personal safety.
Where we left him: He's on the Ravager ship with the Guardians. In the post-credits tag, Kraglin accidentally shot Yondu's arrow into Drax's neck. We assume that he still wants his vengeance on Thanos. Very much. Very, very much.
ROCKET (BRADLEY COOPER/SEAN GUNN)
A genetically engineered talking raccoon, Rocket is as good with his guns as he is with his mouth.
We met him in Guardians of the Galaxy where he was hunting bounties on Xandar with Groot and mocking children for needing help. He's the only one who seems to be able to translate what Groot is saying, and the two share a very close bond.
Rocket came up with the plan to escape the Kyln, and also assisted the Nova Corps in the defense of Xandar. After crashing his ship into Ronan's hangar, he reunited with the other Guardians just in time for Ronan's ship to crash. He was heartbroken when Groot sacrificed himself to save them.
After Ronan was gone, Rocket saved one remaining "twig" of Groot and started to grow it in a jar.
Rocket was really acting out something fierce in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 — he stole batteries he didn't need and began to alienate all of his new friends. He also cared for Baby Groot, a completely new Groot specimen that had grown from the twig he saved.
Together with Yondu, Rocket (and Baby Groot) battled through the Ravagers and reunited with the team on Ego's planet. His rocket-rig contraptions proved useful countless times, and Yondu helped him realize some truths about himself.
Sometimes the one who pretends to care the least is the one who cares the most, and that's the case with Rocket. He acted like he was all tough, not caring for anyone — but then he stunned Gamora so she couldn't return to the planet core to try and save Quill. He did it because he didn't want to lose any more friends.
Where we left him: He's on the Ravager ship with the Guardians, and got very emotional at Yondu's funeral. He's a genius with guns and technology, is brilliant in a fight, and has one smart mouth — he's bound to be an asset to the Avengers.
GROOT (VIN DIESEL)
Groot is a sentient tree being who was traveling as Rocket's "muscle/personal house plant" while the two were bounty hunting. In his fully grown form, he is very strong, able to grow large branches out of his arms, and only ever says, "I am Groot."
That single line has a variety of different meanings, and Rocket is the only one who can translate them. He proved useful along the entire journey of Guardians of the Galaxy and made the ultimate sacrifice to save the team before the film's end. While he wrapped them all in a cocoon of himself while Ronan's ship was crashing, Rocket asked him why he was doing it. Groot responded with the only variation of his usual line we've yet heard — "We are Groot."
He busted to twigs as a result, but Rocket took one and grew it in a jar. By the end of the film, the little twig was awake, alive, and dancing.
This new Groot, or Baby Groot, is not the same Groot as before — director James Gunn has clarified that the Baby Groot we see in the credits of the first film and throughout Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, is actually the son of Groot.
Throughout the sequel, Baby Groot did what he could in his tiny form. After being humiliated by the Ravagers, he took delight in getting revenge on them with Yondu and Rocket. Every member of the Guardians is seen to care for him at various points, and in the film's finale, he (thankfully) pressed the right button on a bomb made by Rocket.
The post-credits tag saw Baby Groot grown to Teenage Groot — he refused to clean his room, he openly mocks Peter, and his "I am Groot" lines have an emo flair to them.
Where we left him: He's on the ship with the Guardians. He finally seems to be growing, which is good. As adorable as Baby Groot was, the Guardians are going to need all the strength they can get, and a fully grown Groot is a force to be reckoned with.
NEBULA (KAREN GILLAN)
The daughter of Thanos and the sister of Gamora, Nebula spent most of Guardians of the Galaxy helping Ronan and trying to get the Power Stone. She almost blasted her sister to death in space and led Ronan's forces to defend against the Guardians and the Nova Corps. After being defeated on the ship by Gamora, she was left stuck to the side of it by her cybernetic hand— her solution was the chop it off, jump up on a passing ship, toss the pilot out, and fly off to fight another day. All of that is to say, she's willing to go the extra mile to save her skin and avoid any and all emotions.
Though she was a prisoner in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, she gained her freedom fairly quickly. She helped the Ravagers get one up on Yondu and Rocket, and then blasted off to hunt down Gamora. She told Kraglin why before she left — Thanos often pitted the two against each other in competitions, and every time Nebula lost, he cut off a piece of her and replaced it with a cybernetic enhancement. She has a lot of cybernetic enhancements, so she probably lost a lot.
When she finally caught up with Gamora on Ego's planet, she was unable to kill her sister, but still, in her mind, she finally won. She finally has it out with Gamora and makes it clear that she never wanted a competitor, all she ever wanted was a sister.
She helped the Guardians defeat Ego, but didn't stay around afterward. She had what looked like a truly painful hug with Gamora, and took off.
Where we left her: She's off in space, pursuing vengeance on Thanos. Of all of the characters who hate him, she's right toward the top of the list. Perhaps only Drax hates him more, but we're not sure.
It should also be mentioned that she was also raised by Thanos, and likely knows just as much about him and his secrets as Gamora does.
The Guardians meet Ego's "assistant" during Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, in which Drax shared some of his family history with her and continually called her ugly — but she didn't seem to mind. She has the power to read emotions through touch, and can also put people to sleep.
She eventually told the truth about her master, Ego, and joined the team in trying to stop him. She was able to put the monstrous, angry form of Ego to sleep for a short while. At the end of the film, she escaped Ego's planet with the other Guardians and seemed to be a new part of the team.
Where we left her: She's on the ship with the Guardians. We've only had one film with her so far, so there's a lot more to discover here. It's clear however that her powers could prove highly useful, and she is certainly a calming presence. Her ongoing friendship with Drax will hopefully continue, as well.
THE COLLECTOR/TANELEER TIVAN (BENICIO DEL TORO)
Taneleer Tivan made his MCU debut in the post-credits tag of Thor: The Dark World (2013) when Volstagg and Lady Sif brought him the Aether (the Reality Stone) to keep safe. After they left, he said to himself "one down..." and we instantly regretted him having been given it. All sorts of weird, cosmic stuff can be seen in his immense collection, so they don't call him "The Collector" for nothing.
In Guardians of the Galaxy, he's still interested in the Infinity Stones and turned out to be the buyer of the Power Stone than Gamora was working with. He told the Guardians a brief history of the stones before one of his assistants (read: slaves) tried to grasp the stone. She exploded, and between that and the ensuing attack from Ronan, Taneleer's collection was in ruins.
In the film's tag, we see The Collector sitting in the ruins of his collection, being mocked by... Howard the Duck.
Where we left him: In the ruins of his collection on Knowhere. He is still in possession of the Reality Stone, though we doubt he stuck around Knowhere with it. Thanos will certainly be looking for him, and Mr. Tivan could prove useful to Thanos is other ways, as well. His collection of knowledge seems as immense as his collection of delightfully odd acting choices.
All in all, what is the current state of our cosmic crew? Peter, Gamora, Rocket, Drax, Mantis, and Teenage Groot are all still on the Ravager ship, doing what they do. Nebula is off to get revenge on Thanos, and we really don't know where Tivan is at present. We know he has the Reality Stone, so he's sure to pop up soon enough.
Will they have what it takes to bring the fight to Thanos? Hey, they're the Guardians of the frickin' Galaxy... except we didn't say frickin. We're gonna have to talk about our language.
Be sure to check back tomorrow, where we'll be staying on the kooky side for a look at the characters of Doctor Strange!