Though our heroes all live happily ever after in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” they won’t be doing it together. The team amicably breaks up at the end, with a new group of Guardians forming around Captain Rocket.
Mantis, eager to break free of doing what others like Ego (Kurt Russell in “Vol. 2”) and the Guardians tell her, goes off on her own with her newly tamed Abilisk pets. They’re the same toothy, tentacled alien monsters from the opening of “Vol. 2,” but she reminds us they eat batteries, not people, and besides, she’s a high-powered empath who can make aliens dance or fall in love with a mere touch of the hand.
Drax wants to go with Mantis so they can continue their “Holiday Special” adventures, but Nebula needs him on Knowhere, where they’re building a new society. It turns out Drax has a way with kids, and Nebula says he was born to be a dad, not a destroyer.
Gamora returns to the Ravagers, led by Sylvester Stallone’s Stakar Ogord, while Peter Quill returns to Earth to meet his long-lost grandfather. There’s more than one group hug to go around, and before the credits roll, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” ends with the residents of Knowhere all dancing. It’s an ending reminiscent of “Return of the Jedi,” where we see Rebels dancing with furry Ewoks in what’s been called a “teddy bear luau.”
It’s been 40 years this month since the original version of that “Star Wars” movie’s ending, where those Ewoks joyously sang, “Celebrate the love,” in translated Ewokese, and, “Yub nub” (meaning “Freedom”), in untranslated Ewokese. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” substitutes platinum-haired super-children for Ewoks; instead of, “Yub, nub,” they say, “Jib, jib,” and, “Jub, jub.”