Everything We Saw in the New Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Trailer

Everything We Saw in the New Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Trailer

The first trailer for James Gunn's final Marvel film is full of new enemies, old friends, and our favorite smart-ass trash panda.

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Well, here we are again: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is just around the corner, and despite watching its new trailer I have only the vaguest idea of what we’re going to be seeing on screen in May. That’s likely for the best; if I knew what the actual plot was, I probably wouldn’t be curious at all. Regardless, it’s time now to break down this trailer.

Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 | Official Trailer
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Starting out moody...

Starting out moody...

All right Star-Lord, let’s see what you got. We’ve got a pretty gloomy bridge scene where apparently nobody is driving this darn spaceship, but that’s not important. What is important is that we know despite having a crew, Star-Lord feels alone. Misunderstood. Morose. We must remember, Peter Quill is not actually as happy-go-lucky as his persona might lead you to believe... he is, in fact, just a sad boi.

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Who’s driving this ship?

Who’s driving this ship?

This certainly looks like it could be an Earth city. But as you can see, gone is the classic GotG ship, the Milano. This isn’t reminiscent at all of Quill’s previous ship or even the hawk-like Benatar. This is the Bowie, which we also saw in the recent Holiday special. It’s an interesting design, eschewing the classic fighter-pilot silhouette for a less aerodynamic but possibly faster design.

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Bowie in the ‘burbs

Bowie in the ‘burbs

Okay a touchdown on... again, this looks like it could be an American suburb on Earth. Why aren’t they attempting to go someplace that might be more thoughtful? An open field? An air base? A shallow bay? What are they hoping to accomplish by literally landing in people’s front yards? This is going to block traffic. The HOA is going to have a fit. At least three mailboxes were destroyed.

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Our fearless police force

Our fearless police force

This is our first good look at the Guardians. They’ve got a new kit—evoking the comics costumes of the Abnett/Lanning run that originally inspired the lineup of the team in the movies—complete with an official ravager seal, and damn, Groot has been hitting the gym, that tree-man is ripped. Gone is the ragtag group of outsiders; here is an Official Space Police Force, badges and all. It’s cool to finally see these costumes, but it’s a little disappointing that we don’t get any sense of these character’s individuality here that their past outfits evoked.

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So... not Earth

So... not Earth

Look, I am all for weird planets with weird species but I cannot be the only one who sees something like this—a suburban wine mom with a bat head—and feels disappointed. We could have had some really cool visuals here, something fascinating and weird, and instead we have... Live Action Batgirl, alongside a whole host of other animal-humanoid hybrids. Are these meant to be experiments akin to the sentience Rocket was given in his time on Halfworld?

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Kudos, though—I love a practical effect

Kudos, though—I love a practical effect

I’m going to ignore the panda fursuit in the background because for the most part these prosthesis are Really Good, Actually. Do I like the styling here? No. Do I appreciate a wizened old rabbit man with an excellently laid beard? Yes, I do. The prosthesis department went for it in this scene and I respect that.

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Oh no, little girl, oh no

Oh no, little girl, oh no

God, I can already tell this is going to end badly. I am pained. I am in pain. Don’t try to befriend these idiots, little lemur girl, I’m begging you.

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Seriously?

Seriously?

I knew I would hate this. Drax is a dad! A father! There is just no way that he would throw a kickball at a little lemur child like this. This is cheap comedy, Mr. Gunn, and you can do better than this poor excuse for physical humor.

(Again, props to the prop department, though, that postal worker looks amazing.)

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We’re in the “find out” portion of the trailer

We’re in the “find out” portion of the trailer

Oh, to be a rock hitting Star-Lord’s face though.

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Fuck the police!

Fuck the police!

Community keeps us safe!

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Sad Boi Vol. 3

Sad Boi Vol. 3

Nobody wants this sad policeman in their community... it’s so hard being a member of the Gendarmerie of the Galaxy... but in all likelihood Peter is still upset about the death of Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, and the complicated reality that there is—thanks to the latter’s time travel shenanigans—another Gamora who doesn’t really know Peter now hanging around.

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Don’t forget where you came from

Don’t forget where you came from

“Don’t forget where we came from,” Mantis implores, presumably to Peter—perhaps building on their moments together in the Holiday Special, where Mantis finally revealed to Peter that she is actually his sister, as a fellow child of Ego.

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Oh, no...

Oh, no...

Oh this is bad. A baby rodent in a cage with an ominous hand coming closer...

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Baby Rocket!

Baby Rocket!

He looks so afraid! We knew it was coming, but it looks like we’re going to be spending a lot of time focusing on Rocket’s backstory on Halfworld in this movie.

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This is human abuse, actually

This is human abuse, actually

All right, so, a reminder for those who might not know—Rocket Raccoon is a genetically engineered raccoon who was put under a lot of tests and through a lot of pretty brutal augmentation to turn him to the blustery, loud, thieving Rocket we know and love (in small doses). He’s been pretty sensitive about this in the past, without a lot of diving into what actually happened. GotG Vol. 3 seems determined to pull on our heartstrings using our favorite fluffy freak of nature, and god if I didn’t have a small feeling in the deepest, darkest, most joy-killing corner of the stopwatch I call a heart.

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Teletubbies in space!

Teletubbies in space!

We kid, we kid—and this isn’t an Among Us reference either, despite the brightly colored, retro spacesuits the Guardians are clad in here: it’s indeed a reference to the suits of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Anyway, here’s the team heading toward... a stellar intestine?

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Gamora’s back!

Gamora’s back!

This is our first look at Gamora in this trailer and she’s holding a Polaroid for some reason.

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RIP Star-Lord (Probably Not)

RIP Star-Lord (Probably Not)

Still no Gamora, but we’ve got Cosmo the Spacedog, plus Kraglin, played by Sean Gunn, as Nebula carries Peter’s body through Knowhere—it’s all very evocative of some dramatic post-death scene but given the casual strides here, there’s a much better chance of Peter just being unconscious, or drunk, or in the wake of having done something typically stupid.

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I love a schism

I love a schism

Rocket is done running! I don’t know where he is running from or running to—presumably his past, given the huge focus it has in this trailer, but he’s ready to take the fight to the people who made him what he is.

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Well, this is gross

Well, this is gross

This looks like a biomech nightmare. I really don’t like this visual at all, it’s gross and weird and doesn’t give me any kind of sense of place or purpose. The space intestine is distressing.

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Baddie No. 1

Baddie No. 1

All right, looking very Matrix here. Let’s see who we got...

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The High Evolutionary!

The High Evolutionary!

It’s Chukwudi Iwuji as the High Evolutionary. This might be our first clue to Rocket’s past—the High Evolutionary first showed up in the comics experimenting with genetic manipulation, and is currently best known for being the product behind the annoying headache retcon that stopped the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver from being Mutants, just in time for their Age of Ultron debuts in the MCU. He built a genetic accelerator that he used first on rats, and then dogs. This hamster wheel that an unknown woman is running on might be a callback to the genetic accelerator of the comics (as well as being another nifty 2001 reference).

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Gamora’s here!

Gamora’s here!

We’re in some kind of jail, I think, possibly in the laboratory/holding room of the High Evolutionary. There’s no sign of Groot or Rocket, so they might be causing chaos somewhere else. And what happened to Drax to cause that chest wound?

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Bouncy bouncy

Bouncy bouncy

The Teletubbies are back! We are once again being given absolutely nothing. Are they running from the space intestine? Toward the space intestine? We don’t even know where we are!

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Damn you, James Gunn

Damn you, James Gunn

You’re going to make me care about Rocket Racoon, aren’t you? This is going to be the only reason I see this film, probably. Truly if he’s this tortured maybe we would all be better off if he got bravely killed off at the end of this film.

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This is SPARTA!

This is SPARTA!

Okay, Quill running at whoever this person is looks like a dramatic leap toward self-destruction and possibly world-saving. Will Quill sacrifice himself in this movie?

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Byeeee

Byeeee

But we have no idea where this is though. Is this the facility we saw earlier? Is it inside that Space Intestine? Who knows.

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Run boy, run

Run boy, run

RIP, Bowie, you lasted for a Christmas special and probably half a movie.

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Party time

Party time

I love Nebula, I really do. I’m glad to see her having fun here. Do I know why she’s celebrating? No. Do I care? A little bit, yeah I’d like to understand what on earth this movie is about, but I’ve given up on learning anything about that from this trailer.

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The man that you are

The man that you are

The High Evolutionary definitely looks like a grade-A evil jerk, tbh. This looks a lot like the on-fire spaceship hanger that we’ve seen a few times, so I’m curious about what’s happening to bring this guy down from his bloody ivory tower.

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Extra sad boi

Extra sad boi

Okay, maybe... maybe Rocket Raccoon will be dying in this movie. It’s looking likely. Or someone at the least.

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Introducing Lylla Otter

Introducing Lylla Otter

Okay so this otter lady is Lylla Otter. In the comics she’s Rocket Racoon’s soulmate. It’s clear that this is an emotional reunion for the two of them, and we can see that one of Lylla’s biological arms has been replaced by a pretty rudimentary robot arm. I don’t think that Lylla is going to have anywhere near the same backstory as she does in the comics, but perhaps Rocket will give up space bounty hunting true marsupial love.

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Adam Warlock!

Adam Warlock!

Okay look, I have been waiting!! For Adam Warlock!! Since 2017!!!! He was the one thing I was excited for when I left GotG Vol. 2, and here he is! My bad boy!! Will Poulter finally makes his debut, and I’m thrilled. I will fully admit that for all that people care about emotional poignancy, I really like watching powerful dumbasses punch each other for very flimsy reasons. Warlock is here to deliver.

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Lighting, please, I beg you

Lighting, please, I beg you

We’ve got another Abilisk (like the one we saw at the start of GotG Vol. 2), and I just wish that there was some way to, like, I dunno, see this monster better? Gosh, how would we do that?

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War! Lock! War! Lock!

War! Lock! War! Lock!

This is Warlock and Nebula really getting into it, perhaps at that party that we saw earlier. This is a fight that I genuinely think will be very fun to watch.

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The Guardians are back together!

The Guardians are back together!

Look at them! Gamora is here! No one’s horribly died just yet! And who’s that mysterious little creature running behind by Gamora?

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“We are groot!”

“We are groot!”

Sure, let’s do this. We are Groot. You are Groot. We’re all Groot, and so are all these gun-toting vine arms.

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Gun kata activate!

Gun kata activate!

Pew pew pew! This looks like this is part of that mysterious red tower fight we saw earlier.

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That sure was a trailer

That sure was a trailer

And that’s that, but despite being a pretty long trailer, we don’t really get to see too much about the movie, beyond it relying on us caring enough about Rocket Raccoon to see a whole origin story/revenge plot, while once again having to deal with Peter’s feelings for Gamora.

No doubt we’ll find out more in the coming months. I hope Rocket kisses that otter though, he does deserve to be happy.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be released in theaters May 5, 2023.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water.

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