Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023): Learning to Move On

By: Mandy

Posted: December 09, 2023

Originally Written: May 7, 2023

Image courtesy of TheMovieDB

Come and get your ♥️.

I think it’s safe to say by this point that the Guardians films are my favorite trilogy of Marvel films. The Spider-Man films are definitely up there, but I appreciate just how this series manages to balance humor and emotional gutpunches. After dealing with the topics of losing a loved one, and finding your dad only to realize he’s a terrible person, the one big thing left for Guardians to tackle was moving on from an abusive household, and that’s where Guardians 3 comes in. However, it’s a little more complicated than that.

From the opening scene where the hand of “God” reaches into the cage to give Rocket “life”, we have the theme of this one. The ‘family issues’ family deals with the topic of separating yourself from the big creator – Your God. It borrows many plot elements from the story of The Island of Dr. Moreau, so much so that you could argue this is a straight up retelling. The Creator has created a race of human animals and is treated as their God for tinkering with their DNA, and in the end, the creations all turn on the creator when they realize the kind of man he truly is. It’s a perfect fit for this story.

There’s a theme that whether it’s a physical parent or an actual deity who has turned their back on you, you don’t owe anything to the ones who raised you. It’s the people who are around you that shape you and that’s what the overall message of the film is. It’s a little scary to accept, but past that, it’s very much full of hope. It’s a very Guardians message, and the whole thing wraps up very nicely. I was fascinated by the story, loved seeing the cast again along with the new characters, and appreciated the fact I got to see this story from beginning to end.

Truly, these films are like a pond. Analogy.

I also want to argue that Guardians Vol. 3 is about the idea of separating the creator from the creation but in a storytellers’ sense. With this being James Gunn’s final Disney production, you have to see the symbolism in the creator dying and all the creations going off to live their lives, completely free. Gunn may not have created the Guardians, but he made them to most audiences. He turned what was one of the biggest group of weirdo unknowns into one of the best franchises in the MCU, and his input with the Guardians is going to be missed, but I feel like he wants it to go on.