MCU Phase 4 and Phase 5 movies have been consistently underwhelming the audiences, failing to meet the expectations set by Phase 3. But Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 stands out as one of the most entertaining and genuinely fun MCU movies since Avengers: Endgame. After the massive success of The Suicide Squad and GOTG 1 and 2, writer/director James Gunn has proven once again that the superhero genre is alive and kicking.
Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is a standalone story that casual moviegoers can easily enjoy. However, it also builds upon events of Phase 2 and Phase 3 movies.
Here is the list of the things you should know before seeing GOTG 3. Suffice it to say, this article includes spoilers for some Phase 2 and 3 movies now streaming on Disney+. You can watch/rewatch these movies with a Hulu + Disney+ + ESPN+ plan before going to the theatre.
Let’s start with some background on GOTG Vol.3’s intriguing villain: High Evolutionary.
Who is High Evolutionary?
High Evolutionary (Alias: Herbert Edgar Wyndham) is a geneticist who wanted to engineer the perfect specimen out of existing races in the Galaxy. He built machines and serums that would “accelerate” the evolutionary process in organisms, making them smarter, stronger, and faster.
High Evolutionary has been around for hundreds of years, analyzing species from across the galaxy and attempting to perfect them. He deems himself a god, showing no remorse for what he does to his creations and other life forms. He has also used his own inventions to give himself powers and abilities such as enhanced endurance, superhuman intellect, and gravity manipulation.
Who is Adam Warlock?
Adam Warlock is an artificial being with powers and abilities that include teleportation, energy manipulation, cellular regeneration, telepathy, and magic. In the MCU, he was created by the Sovereigns to defeat the Guardians of the Galaxy, shown in the post-credit scene of GOTG Vol. 2. He’s played by Will Poulter from We’re the Millers.
Who is Sylvester Stallone Playing in Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3?
Sylvester Stallone plays a Ravager captain named Stakar Ogord. Ravagers are intergalactic thieves and smugglers like Yondu Udonta and his crew. Stakar introduced Yondu to Ravagers and saved him from a life of slavery, much like how Yondu took Peter Quill into his crew.
What Happened in Guardians of the Galaxy Volumes 1 and 2?
As James Gunn sums it up in an interview with Marvel Entertainment, the first movie was about Quill’s relationship with his mother and the second one was about his relationship with his father. GOTG Vol. 3 revolves around his relationship with himself. The stories of the first two movies aren’t relevant to this story, but watching these first may give you more perspective about the characters.
Why is Gamora (Alive in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3)?
The Gamora we know from GOTG 1 and 2 was sacrificed by Thanos for the Soul Stone in Infinity War. When the Avengers go back in time in Endgame, the version of Thanos from that timeline learns about their plan and invades the current timeline with his army and two daughters, including Gamora.
The Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the same Gamora from the same universe but with a different past. She has the same physical and personality traits as the original Gamora but doesn’t have any memory of the original Gamora’s adventures with the Guardians.
What to watch before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Here’s a list of movies to watch before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in the order of release.
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a standalone story, but a refresher of what happened in earlier movies can enhance the experience. GOTG 1 and 2, Infinity War, and Endgame have important events that set up this movie.