Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, Zoe Saldaña’s Gamora, Dave Bautista’s Drax, Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and the lovable Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) have added a number of characters to (and subtracted from!) their ranks over the years, but the core Guardians have remained the same since first bursting onto the scene in 2014. And what an entrance it was, as their arrival signaled a new tone and sense of style invading the MCU. The original “Guardians of the Galaxy” had a lot to live up to: launching Pratt to superstardom, assembling a bunch of new characters without the benefit of solo origin stories beforehand, teeing up the Infinity Stones plotline, and our first real look at the Mad Titan Thanos in action, and all while truly exploring Marvel’s cosmic side like never before.
The results, if one looks at the box office success, speak for themselves. After detailing young Peter Quill’s abduction from Earth in the late 1980s by the Ravager Yondu (Michael Rooker), the movie promptly brings the misfits together as bounty hunters and criminals out for their own self-interest. After breaking out of prison together and getting on Ronan the Accuser’s (Lee Pace) bad side, the unlikely heroes have to put their personal grudges aside and come together for the greater good. Gamora leaves her villainous ways behind along with her estranged sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), Groot sacrifices his life and makes way for Baby Groot, Rocket learns to become part of a team (though the groundwork is laid for further exploration into his traumatic origin), and Star-Lord truly earns his moniker and comes to terms with his childhood trauma while dispatching Ronan once and for all.
And thus the Guardians were born.