James Gunn and the entire cast and crew of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 have been very open about this being the final chapter for THIS era of Guardians in the MCU. After the release of the teaser trailer, those sentiments are all but confirmed.
This is Gunn's farewell tour in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as he begins his next chapter as co-head of DC Films.
So with the mad scientist off to lead the blue brand, he is giving fans one last ride with this team, one last emotional punch to the gut, and one last soundtrack that will be on repeat for years to come.
Here is the first look at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and every important detail you may have missed.
A Classic Guardians Wardrobe Upgrade
The Guardians are no strangers to uniforms. In Volume 1, the original squad made a mid-movie wardrobe change to dawn Ravager red in a heroic walk-up scene. Now, the team has evolved to its own brand!
The Guardians are a well-known entity of the galaxy and these suits are a sign that they are taking this job more and more seriously, despite an inherent need to mix in a little of bad. These comic-accurate suits have fans very excited for this movie, and it also lays some groundwork for the future of this franchise.
"It's Called A Zune"
At the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Kraglin gives Peter Quill a gift from his "daddy" Yondu - a Zune mp3 player from Earth that holds over 300 songs. With Quill being stuck in the '80s for the entirety of his MCU career (shoutout Kevin Bacon), it is jarring to see him with an earbud in.
Beyond the upgraded music tech, the song playing during the trailer is In The Meantime by Spacehog. As another vintage James Gunn needle drop, this song was released in 1996, making it the newest Guardians song in the MCU to date.
We're Not In Missouri Anymore
One location visited in this trailer is assumed to be Counter-Earth. This is a planet that resembles Earth but is inhabited by animal/humanoid hybrids. There is even an island that seems to have something resembling the Statue of Liberty. It is likely an animal version of Lady Liberty.
This is the exact type of deep-cut comic book weirdness that James Gunn has mastered bringing to life. DC fans should be very excited with what he is about to do with that universe.
Gamora is Back
Addressing the deadly green elephant in the room, Gamora is back with The Guardians for Volume 3. Gamora was a causality of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War before being brought back from the past in Avengers: Endgame at a time before she had met the Guardians.
Surprisingly, many shots from this trailer show Gamora working with the rest of the team. This is likely going to be a major plot of the film as Quill attempts to regain the love of his life in a true 50 First Dates situation.
Go Go Guardians of the Galaxy!
One scene highlighted in this teaser trailer shows some of the Guardians drifting into what seems to be the High Evolutionary's base, wearing Earth-style spacewalking suits. Oh... and they are all individual bright colors in true Power Rangers fashion.
Where are Rocket's holographic space suits? Who cares?! Might Morphin Guardians are an entire vibe!
High Evolutionary First Look
Speaking of, this trailer gives fans the first look at the villain of this movie. Chukwudi Iwuji's High Evolutionary has been teased to be a sociopathic and eerie villain to counterbalance the usually charismatic and energetic Guardians squad.
In the comics, The High Evolutionary is a scientist that is fond of living experimentation to combine biology and technology. This villain choice points to Rocket Racoon being a focal point of the movie as he is a product of The High Evolutionary.
Rocket Racoon's Tragic Origin Story
In the third installment of Guardians of the Galaxy and his eighth appearance in the MCU, it seems fans are finally going to see the origins of Rocket Raccoon. Shots of baby Rocket and the High Evolutionary factor suggest it will be a man meets creator scenario.
Also, Rocket's comic book love interest makes her MCU debut as Lylla bursts onto the scene! Lady Lylla is a sapient otter and presumingly another experiment of the High Evolutionary - another amazing building block on the castle that is Rocket Raccoon.
In classic trilogy fashion, a major callback to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 is shown in this trailer as the team is set for another prison break! It looks like this is a High Evolutionary facility and the squad is wearing matching prison jumpsuits. Maybe this is what leads to the Power Rangers-style suits.
Drax seems to have taken a pretty big hit and Gamora is there to help him in a beautiful turn of events from Volume 1. There is a decent enough chance that the Guardians are here to break Gamora out of whatever prison this is.
"I Think I Shall Call Him...Adam"
The hits keep coming as another first look in this trailer is the payoff to one of the oldest remaining post-credits Easter Eggs in the MCU. It will be six years to the day when Volume 3 is released that fans first saw the cradle holding Adam Warlock.
Will Poulter makes his MCU debut and he's a number one contender to leave this movie with a major future in the comics of this universe. No sign of other Sovereign just yet but you have to imagine they are still not very happy with the Guardians.
The Guardians Team Shot
Left to right it is Star-Lord, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Groot, Nebula, and Mantis. Not pictured are Kraglin and Cosmo the dog. But the teaser gives fans a look at this franchise's most iconic shot. The team-up shot is a staple of the franchise and this one seems to be the most epic yet.
One Last Time
"We'll all fly away together one last time into the forever and beautiful sky."
The greatest sign of success for this franchise is the sheer amount of times a CGI Racoon has brought tears to the eyes of audiences across the world. James Gunn is known for using death to bring incredible weight, stakes, and impact into his movies.
First it was Groot. Then it was Yondu. It seems like Rocket Racoon is up next. With such focus on him in this trailer, including a scene that seems to put him in some sort of afterlife, he is the safest bet. There is even a scene where Peter seems to have just lost someone with some sort of medical tubing in the shot.
And if there isn't enough suggestion for Rocket's final stand, he refers to Star-Lord as "Pete" for the first time in the franchise's history. Showing that much character growth is usually a sign of bad things to come for these kinds of movies.
We Are Groot
The final line in the trailer is one of the most iconic lines in MCU history.
"We Are Groot"
A callback to Guardians 1 followed by an epic shot of Star-Lord and Groot going back to back for a circling shootemup scene... something Groot has historically done with Rocket (RIP).
This group of characters, the actors that portray them, James Gunn, and everyone involved with this franchise have made a monumental impact on the comic book movie genre. In 2014 people said Marvel Studios had gone too far.
People thought there was no way they were going to be able to care about a talking raccoon, a talking tree, a former WWE Champion, the girl from Avatar but green, and the lovable loser from Parks and Recreation.
Eight years later and this is one of the most emotional teasers of all time as everyone knows this is the last dance for this core group of Guardians and their madman leader James Gunn.
Charisma, unexpected emotion, a lot of jokes, and even more epic needle drops. These are the things fans can count on going into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Releasing in theaters May 5, 2023. Make sure to bring your tissues.
We Are Groot.