‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Might End With These Character Deaths

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Chris Pratt as Star-Lord

Credit: Marvel Studios

It’s time to say goodbye to the Guardians of the Galaxy — in perhaps more ways than one.

Bradley Cooper as Rocket
Credit: Marvel Studios

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With the final part of The Walt Disney Company-owned Marvel Studios’ blockbuster hit, the Guardians of the Galaxy movie franchise looming closer than ever, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) might be hit hard with several big losses.

Guardians of the Galaxy Poster with Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) Nebula (Karen Gillan), Groot (Vin Diesel)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will come to theaters next Summer — May 5, 2023, to be exact. Previously, it was made known by Guardians director James Gunn at Hall H of the 2022 San Diego Comic Con that the newest installment in the MCU Guardians franchise will mean saying goodbye to the current cast of Guardians.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will also star familiar faces reprising their roles from the previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films, such as gun-toting human (and ex-part-Celestial), Peter Quill as Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), daughters of Thanos Gamora (Zoe Saldaña) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), tree-like alien Groot (Vin Diesel), fluffy-yet-deadly Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), revenge-bound Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), empath Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Ravager Kraglin Obfonteri (Sean Gunn) and Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone) as well as Cosmo the Spacedog (Maria Bakalova), Martinex (Michael Rosenbaum) and Daniela Melchior and Nico Santos in currently undisclosed roles. These space-roving heroes will come face-to-face with the all-gold Adam Warlock, played by newcomer Will Poulter, as well as Elizabeth Debicki’s Ayesha. Chukwudi Iwuji will also play the High Evolutionary in Vol. 3.

Guardians of the Galaxy staring at Thor
Credit: Marvel Studios

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After the Marvel Studios’ Special Presentation: Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special‘s successful release on The Walt Disney Company’s streaming platform Disney+ on November 25, 2022, Marvel fans were brought closer to the colorful cast of the Guardians franchise, with Mantis and Drax taking center stage as they attempt to wrangle Kevin Bacon (yes, of Footloose fame — acting as himself) as a Christmas present for their Earth-born buddy, Peter Quill/Star-Lord.

Pom KlemenTieff as Mantis, and Dave Bautista as Drax in 'Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2' (2017)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Now, the recent release of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 official trailer that debuted at Brazil Comic Con 2022 hints at a likely storyline involving what may prove to be several painful farewells. In the video, specific clips all but confirm the fan theories that pertain to Rocket Raccoon’s deathnot to mention that actor Bradley Cooper has explicitly stated that he wants to pivot his career from here on out, and director James Gunn needed to “finish his story”. The trailer showcases poignant clips of Rocket’s past as a young, terrified raccoon cowering as a human hand reaches towards him — juxtaposed with the grown up, wounded, post-genetically modified Rocket that Marvel fans know and love, as well as prominent scenes where the teary-eyed gunslinger declares to Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord/Peter Quill:

Pete, I’m done running.

This is a huge hint at the fact that Rocket is done running from his past, and is finally ready to confront his fears — implying that this no doubt courageous confrontation will result in his departing the group in a final “Hail Mary” sort of way. But he may not be the only one at risk.

rocket (left) and drax (right) in guardians of the galaxy
Credit: Marvel Studios

There’s actually precedent for several other characters departing the Marvel Cinematic Universe — the first of which could be Chris Pratt’s lovable Star-Lord, Peter Quill. Notably, he is depicted in the official trailer being carried by Nebula, and appears either unconscious or… well, dead. It’s not far-fetched to think that the character might have a more permanent departure — as Chris Pratt has mentioned that he will be retiring the role of Star-Lord in this final Guardians outing.

Another possible death could be Dave Bautista’s Drax the Destroyer, whom Bautista has long-complained about having to play — particularly, needing to appear shirtless — and therefore needing to upkeep a very specific (and increasingly difficult, with age), diet and workout regimen. This is so that his character looks identical from shot-to-shot — but the toll is no doubt draining on the actor, and a more definite departure could be in the cards for this comedic character.

Either way, the new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will probably bring a tear to your eye next summer.

The official trailer can be viewed here:

What do you think about the Guardians of the Galaxy’s potential deaths? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The MCU was forever changed after audiences said goodbye to Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in Avengers: Endgame (2019). Right now Marvel fans can enjoy other MCU favorites such as Chris Hemsworth (Thor Odinson) in Taika Waititi-directed Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), as well as Disney+ Originals Moon Knight (2022) and Ms. Marvel (2022), led by Marvel newcomers Oscar Isaac (Marc Spector/Moon Knight) and Iman Vellani (Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel) respectively. Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe wraps things up with Tatiana Maslany as the eponymous She-Hulk: Attorney at Law that debuted August 18, 2022, and Chadwick Boseman as King T’Challa send-off Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, in theaters since November 11, 2022.

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