What THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER Reveals About THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - Nerdist
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What THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER Reveals About THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Spoiler Alert

Thor Odinson abdicated his throne in Avengers: Endgame to discover who he is rather than who he was supposed to be. That search began by hitching a ride with the MCU’s beloved band of misfits. He wasn’t just using them for transportation, though. He dubbed his new team the “Asgardians of the Galaxy.” Joining up with them helped the once Avenger get his groove—and his abs—back. However, we saw little of his time with the group before he left them in Thor: Love and Thunder. What we did see, though, provided an update how the Guardians of the Galaxy have fared following the Blip and ultimate defeat of Thanos. They seem more unified than ever under their unquestioned captain. However, they’re still missing a core member of the team.

Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy walk through fire in Thor: Love and Thunder
Marvel Studios
The Current Guardians Lineup in Thor: Love and Thunder

Original Guardians Peter “Star-Lord” Quill, Drax the Destroyer, and Rocket Raccoon are all still protecting the galaxy. As is Mantis, who has been with them since the group killed Ego the Living Planet.

The film also showed Groot 2 has grown a little since Endgame. He’s still far away from being a full-grown, adult tree like his ancestor/dad the original Groot was in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. If we had to guess we’d say this Groot’s current age is akin to a high school student. (A high school student who eats binoculars, that is.)

The Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor look at a screen of distress calls in Thor: Love and Thunder
Marvel Studios

Nebula is also a full-fledged Guardian now, too. She left Earth with the group after Thanos’ death, when she murdered her younger 2015 self. Despite being a member of a team, Nebula remains a little rough around the edges. She has little patience and snaps at the other Guardians rather than talk to them calmly. But it’s clear she has embraced being with them, something unthinkable when we first met her.

The newest full-time member of the team is Kraglin, the former Ravager. He found a new family to zip around the galaxy with. He’s also found many wives during his journey. He keeps marrying someone every time the Guardians visit a new planet.

Rocket pulls binoculars out of Groot's mouth in Thor: Love and Thunder
Marvel Studios

Korg was serving as a temporary Guardian, but he left the team to stay with the God of Thunder when Thor went out on his own to answer Sif’s call for help.

The Guardians of the Galaxy’s True Captain

Before they departed Earth in Endgame, the crew of the Benatar wanted to see Thor and Quill have a knife fight to settle the question of command. Thor said that wasn’t necessary, as “Quail” was “of course” the captain. That vote of confidence was far from convincing, and Thor clearly never truly accepted his lower rank. When he said his goodbye to the Guardians, the God of Thunder spoke like a captain leaving his crew behind.

Chris Pratt's Star-Lord looks at the Guardians of the Galaxy in Thor: Love and Thunder
Marvel Studios

No one else seemed confused, though. During the goodbye they treated Quill as their captain, a.k.a. they directed their complaints to Star-Lord.

How the Guardians Got Along with Thor

The Guardians relied on Thor during their most dangerous battles, but they had to ask him for help when they needed him. After some adventures, Thor grew tired of war. He eventually began sitting far away from the fight and meditated while they took on the enemy. Thor would only engage when a teammate came to him personally. Then he’d jump on Stormbreaker like a witch rides a broom and enter the battle in a blaze of glory. And also a blaze of over-the-top theatrics and showmanship that also included him condescendingly talking about his less powerful shipmates.

He referred to the other Guardians as a “ragtag motley crew of misfit desperados.” His bravado made them all roll their eyes at Thor, but dealing with his ego was better than dying to some human-sized birds.

Chris Pratt as Star-Lord looks miffed in Thor: Love and Thunder
Marvel Studios

Despite Thor constantly trying to undermine his leadership, Star-Lord respected the God of Thunder’s abilities. Quill was a big fan of Thor’s new catchphrase, “This ends here and now.” But the other Guardians were less enamored with their temporary team member. They seemed to tolerate Thor more than embrace him, sort of like how you feel about an annoying family member who overstays their welcome. It was no surprise that none of them were exactly overcome with emotion when Thor left. They barely offered a goodbye. They just wanted to keep moving, especially with so many distress calls coming in from around the galaxy. Despite their many issues, the Guardians still protect people.

Only Quill and his new sideburns took the time to offer words of encouragement to Thor before leaving. Like an attentive leader, Star-Lord knew Thor was still searching for a purpose. His speech also showed how much Quill loves all of his fellow Guardians. He finds hope and inspiration in them.

Drax, Nebula, Mantis, Groot, and Rocket in Thor: Love and Thunder
Marvel Studios

In the end, the two men might have had their issues, but they cared for one another. They were like competitive brothers who always fight even though they love each other. It seems certain either would answer the other’s call if they need help in the future.

Gamora Remains Missing After Avengers: Endgame
Peter Quill searches for Gamora on his ship's computer in Avengers: Endgame
Marvel Studios

The 2015 version of Gamora who traveled through time with Thanos is not the same person who loved Quill. That Gamora died when the Mad Titan sacrificed her for the Soul Stone. But Quill wants to find the other version of Gamora. She left Earth following the Blip, and Endgame showed Star-Lord unsuccessfully searching for her prior to leaving Earth.

He has yet to find her, and she clearly has not found to the Guardians. She was nowhere to be seen in Thor: Love and Thunder. She wasn’t even mentioned. Saving the galaxy is hard work, and doing so doesn’t provide a lot of free time to look for someone who doesn’t want to be found. Especially someone who finds themselves alone in a world she doesn’t know. The people who love her most are strangers who loved someone she never was.

What Awaits the Guardians of the Galaxy After Thor: Love and Thunder
Drax screams and hold two knives as Kraglin and Beula fight behind him in a pond in Thor: Love and Thunder
Marvel Studios

Now that their ship no longer contains two screaming goats or a God of Thunder, the Guardians could find some peace and quiet. But that’s not how they roll. They’re still out in the galaxy helping those in need. At least that’s what they’re currently doing. We know they’ll soon face revenge from the Sovereign’s greatest creation, Adam Warlock.

Will they be able to stop him and save themselves? We wouldn’t bet against them, but it’s nice to know they can call on Thor if they need help. If that happens we bet even Nebula would be glad to have him back. Well, just so long as he doesn’t bring those goats.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.

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