Disclaimer: This post contains MASSIVE spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
It’s very easy for second films in a franchise to suffer from the aptly-named problem called “sequelitis.” Pretty much, it’s a film that does nothing to justify its existence. It doesn’t grow the characters at all, it doesn’t further the mythology in anyway, and even worse, it doesn’t offer anything new. More often than not, it’s done as a cash grab by the studio. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is no such film. Even if you didn’t care for the movie, there’s no mistaking that the film’s writer/director James Gunn went to painstaking lengths to ensure this was a worthy follow-up to the original film.
The film perfectly played into the setups made in the first movie — with Peter Quill’s parental and familial issues at the forefront. It also delves further into his relationship with Ravager leader Yondu, who, from a young age, told him he failed to deliver him to his father because he fit into tight places. When Quill’s biological father, Ego, turns out to be a perfect asshole, Quill is quick to realize that Yondu was the father that he thought he never had. Unfortunately, in true movie form, that realization came far too late, and Yondu ended up making quite the fatherly sacrifice.
Speaking with Uproxx, Gunn discussed how difficult it was for him to actually come to terms with that ending.
“I didn’t want that to be the ending, and I kind of refused to put that in as the ending for a long time. It wasn’t how the movie ended. But, at the end of the day, I knew that’s where it needed to go. I knew that we need to have real stakes in these movies. We need to lose characters. And not everyone who sees Marvel movies loves that.”
Indeed, perhaps one of the big weaknesses in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far has been its lack of real stakes. With the exception of Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron, no death in the franchise has really stuck. This is very much in keeping with comic books in general, where NO ONE seems to be able to stay dead, but in terms of storytelling, it does seem to take out a great deal of the tension.
“[Fans] don’t love losing characters, but for the characters to really make a difference, to really make their lives mean something, you needs to have these kinds of losses.”
We couldn’t agree more. What do you think of Gunn’s decision to kill off Yondu? Did it have the desired effect on you? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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