James Gunn gives crash course on categorizing cosmic crimes in the MCU

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Nov 11, 2019, 1:51 PM EST (Updated)

In an unexpected Throwback Thursday today, James Gunn addressed a Reddit thread about the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, particularly the scenes where the heroes are thrown into jail and forced to work together in order to escape. On the pants of their yellow uniforms are stripes that, according to the Reddit theory, stand for "a crime they've committed. Black is murder, etc. The gray one on Rocket is 'indecent exposure'."

Twitterer marmarmarmarios tweeted at Gunn yesterday with a screenshot of the post, asking "@JamesGunn Is this legit?" Gunn quoted the tweet today, saying, "It is true that the stripes are various crimes. It is NOT true that gray is indecent exposure."

After this, the writer/director must've been hounded by questions on what all the stripes stand for, because he later tweeted the link to a Facebook post where he fleshed things out. "For all of you asking about what the lists of convictions on the Guardians’ prison uniforms mean, here’s a list to the best of my memory," Gunn wrote, while quoting a tweet from a fan, who said, "Ohh come on Mr G, leaves us hanging on that bombshell, what crime was it."

Gunn broke down each of the Guardians' crimes as follows, prefacing them with the disclaimer that these are just violations they've been convicted of, "not crimes they've committed and gotten away with, which is probably a lot":

  • Rocket (Bradley Cooper): "mercenary activity, grievous bodily harm, arson (he blows up a lot of stuff), escape from prison, and, I believe, public drunkenness."


  • Peter Quill (Chris Pratt): "Penny-ante robbery, grift, criminal conspiracy (from his gang involvement with the Ravagers), and having sex with members of a royal family (consensual but on some planets considered an outrageous crime for someone from his caste)."


  • Gamora (Zoe Saldana): [She] keeps things simple with her long list of murders and assassinations, all at the behest of Thanos.


  • Drax (Dave Bautista): "Grievous bodily harm, murder, and every variety of destroying stuff you can imagine."


As for Groot (Vin Diesel), Gunn wanted him to have pants that would reflect crimes of "mercenary activity, grievous bodily harm, and escape from prison." When he got inside, though, he'd rip them right off "because the dude just loves being nude." However, it turned out to be too expensive to create CGI clothing for the character, and the idea was scrapped.

Despite the fact that all of the above was recounted off the top of his head, Gunn did note that he made a list of all the crimes for costume designer Alexandra Byrne way back when. "I'd have to track it down in my files and, as I'm about to finish a draft today, I don't have time to do it (nor am I sure it's possible to find)," he wrote. 

Perhaps he's talking about a draft of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, so hopefully he was inspired by today's warmup reminiscing.