Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is finally arriving in theaters next month and despite those unfamiliar with the franchise predicting its doom, the movie is one of the biggest pieces of the Marvel Cinematic Universe puzzle yet. This is the movie that sets up the overall “big bad” for the Marvel films, and it begins what will be a roller coaster five-plus-year ride to the third Avengers film where one of the most popular Marvel stories of all time will play out on the big screen.
Here are five ways Guardians of the Galaxy changes the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever…
The Infinity Stones
By the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, filmgoers will be pretty well aware of what the Infinity Stones are and will be prepped for Marvel Phase 3 as the race to Avengers 3 kicks off. We’ve already seen two Infinity Stones, the Tesseract and Aether, and Guardians establishes that there are six while presenting the history of their power. We’re going to see one of the most famous Marvel epics play out on the big screen, and Guardians is the official kick off to the story.
The Cosmic Scale
That big floating head in the trailer? It’s a giant space station called Knowhere that’s built into the head of a Celestial. These are giant cosmic beings, and Knowhere isn’t the only one you’ll see in Guardians of the Galaxy. When the film begins to talk about the Infinity Stones, it takes the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a galactic scale it’s never been to before. After this movie, the possibilities of where stories can go are almost limitless.
“A Human World”
Those who caught the wording of the opening lines of The Avengers may have wondered what The Other meant by “a” human world. Guardians shows that. Earth isn’t the only planet with humans on it, and Guardians of the Galaxy establishes that there are humans throughout the galaxy. This opens the door for a lot of characters, and as the Nova Corps are introduced in this movie, most people really want to see Richard Rider on the big screen.
Aliens on Earth Before The Avengers
This is something that definitely will tie in with the next season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the appearance of a Kree in the first season, and Coulson’s transformation, is a big foreshadow of what happens in Guardians. Peter Quill is taken from Earth in 1988. That’s more than twenty years before the Battle of New York in The Avengers. The fact that there were aliens on Earth before then, and S.H.I.E.L.D. covered it up in the Area 51-style “G.H.” facility, is something that will probably be a dangling storyline for a while.
Most importantly, Guardians of the Galaxy is the big debut for Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While he was teased at the end of The Avengers, he’s the definite threat in Guardians of the Galaxy and the foe that the Avengers will have to face in the third movie. He’s not in Guardians too much, only in the flesh once and again later in the film as a hologram, but by the end of the movie there’s no question that Thanos is going to be the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s big bad for the next five years until the third Avengers film.