Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was, without a doubt, one of the most highly anticipated Marvel movie sequels in recent memory. Luckily for the most die-hard fans of the famed group of rag tag heroes, the film not only lived up to the high expectations placed upon it, but it also managed to completely exceed them. All that being said, there is A LOT of information to unpack from this epic summer blockbuster, and we’re here break down some of your favorite moments, and even clue you in on some things that you may have missed.
Put your Awesome Mix Vol. 2 cassette tape into your Walkman, and lace up your dancing shoes. Here are 15 things we learned from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Baby Groot has some serious dance moves
Since the last thing we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 was baby Groot dancing his little heart out, it only seems fitting that the opening scene of Vol. 2 would contain a dance number of equal cuteness performed by the now-toddler sized incarnation of our beloved twig. This time, though, the pot he was planted in wasn’t there to restrict his dance moves.
While his Guardians of the Galaxy teammates busied themselves with the not so simple task of dispatching a giant alien, Groot danced along the spacecraft to the tune of "Mr. Blue Sky," narrowly avoiding sudden death at every turn. It’s safe to say that this version of Groot just might be our favorite. At the very least, he’s certainly the best dancer…
14 Rocket Raccoon is basically a ninja with ammunition
From the moment we met Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy, we knew he was special. Rocket has always possessed dangerous weaponry skills, but who would have guessed that he was also as agile, stealthy and downright scary as a deadly ninja assassin?
In one of the most stand-out scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, we got to see Rocket Raccoon dismantle a sizable group of invading Ravagers just by using his formidable intellect and stealth. With Groot now in baby form, Rocket seems to have dusted off his fighting skills to become his own muscle, and, as it turns out, the little guy can more than handle himself in a fight. This trash panda is not one to be messed with.
13 Kurt Russell looked a whole lot younger
The process of de-aging actors using complicated CGI effects is equal parts technological wonder and completely terrifying. Marvel has already used this technique to great effect with Michael Douglas in Ant-Man, and even Robert Downey, Jr. in Captain America: Civil War, but neither use can compare to the feather-haired, baby-faced version of Kurt Russell that audiences were treated to in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Using this difficult, and we assume very expensive, CGI technique wasn’t just a demonstration of Marvel's esteemed digital effects prowess; it also gives the viewer a much-needed look into where the relationship between Peter Quill’s mom and dad began. It’s now easy to see why Star-Lord’s mother was so smitten with the smooth-talking alien.
12 Drax has ZERO social skills, but we still love him
Drax’s social skills are, to put it simply, ridiculously limited. At some point, believe it or not, Drax did manage to woo a woman to be his wife. That is kind of hard to believe as we watched his relationship unfold with Ego the Living Planet’s assistant, Mantis.
Mantis, played by Pom Klementieff, is cute, sheltered and unassuming, so it seems a bit harsh when Drax refers to her appearance as “disgusting.” Mantis isn’t really sure what “disgusting” means, and Drax doesn’t quite see the harm in giving her his brutally honest opinion. Despite the fact that Drax literally dry heaves at the mere thought of being with Mantis in a romantic way, he does eventually call her beautiful before the movie is over. Well… just on the inside, but still.
11 Gamora and Star-Lord are keeping their distance… for now
The relationship between Star-Lord and Gamora is a match made in heaven at its best, and an utter impossibility at its worst. The two just seem to balance each other out so well. Gamora is the one woman who can truly put Star-Lord’s sardonic attitude in check, and Star-Lord is the one man who can bring out the deeply buried fun side of Gamora.
While this is more than apparent to the audience and most of the people around them, Gamora still seems very reluctant to the idea of being in a relationship with Peter. Despite her reluctance, though, Gamora’s love for Peter still manages to shine through, giving us all hope that maybe, just maybe, she will one day open up her heart to him.
10 Ravagers are real A-holes
Ravagers aren’t known for being one of the friendliest groups roaming around the galaxy. They ARE ruthless space pirates, after all. That being said, it was still very disconcerting to see how quickly Yondu’s men decided to turn on him when they felt he was getting a bit too soft for their liking.
The Ravager’s a**holery didn’t just end with betraying Yondu, though. The betrayal also extended to any of the other Ravager members that happened to side with their former leader, as well. That’s some pretty cold-hearted stuff. As is usually the case in Marvel movies, the good guys were able to exact their revenge on the bad guys. This time, that came in the form of Yondu flying his deadly arrow through every Ravager who had so savagely betrayed on him.
9 There are A LOT of Easter eggs and references
Out of the seemingly endless list of movies Marvel has produced, Guardians of the Galaxy relies on one of the deepest pools of source material. While many of these tiny references may slip past casual viewers, the die-hard fans are overjoyed by their inclusion. We get to see a callback to Rocket’s love for stealing people’s appendages as a practical joke, and even get to see the reappearance of Howard the Duck.
One of the biggest and most foreboding Easter eggs comes in the post credits scene of the film when the dejected Sovereign leader, Ayesha, decides to turn to a man in a cocoon named Adam for help. This is a reference to Adam Warlock, someone who will most certainly be a huge problem for the Guardians in the near future.
8 Sylvester Stallone’s role revealed
When word started to leak out that Sylvester Stallone had been cast in a mystery role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, speculation began to run rampant as to who he was actually playing in the film. Most of the rumors seemed to point to the veteran action star playing the role of Starhawk, a lesser-known Marvel character who was actually a founding member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in their first comic appearance dating back to the 1970s.
While this version of Starhawk is a bit different than what comic book fans may be used to, his cinematic origin as one of the founding members of the Ravagers leaves the audience with many more questions than answers moving forward. Unfortunately, we may not get any more information regarding Stallone’s character until Guardians Vol. 3.
7 Nebula and Gamora’s sister rivalry is more messed up than we thought
When you grow up with Thanos as your father, it’s not so shocking that you may be—to put it as nicely as we can—a little rough around the edges. This is a pretty apt description for Gamora and Nebula, who did happen to grow up with the mad titan as their father. In Guardians of the Galaxy, we got a glimpse into the sisterly relationship between the two, but not much of a clue as to what growing up in that environment was actually like.
As it turns out, the sisters didn’t grow up in the most nurturing environment (shocker), and were frequently pitted against each other in battle for their father’s amusement. The fields weren’t exactly level, and Gamora was the sister who often came out on top in their battles, much to Nebula’s chagrin.
6 Mantis fits right in with her new teammates
It didn’t take long for Mantis, played by relatively unknown actress Pom Klementeiff, to become integrated with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Mantis’ powers are unique compared to the rest of the roster, as she possesses the ability to empathize and alter other people’s emotions with just a simple touch. Basically, she fits right in with the band of misfits that make up the Guardians.
Mantis quickly becomes close with Drax, forming an odd relationship built on eager innocence and brutal honesty. Drax seems positively tickled by her power, and she doesn’t seem to be too bothered by Drax’s rude, but also kind of sweet, comments. Their scenes together really stand out, and we can’t wait to see what becomes of this duo in the future.
5 Peter’s mom was just as cool as we had hoped
At its very core, Guardians of the Galaxy is about one thing: family. Whether that consists of a mom and dad, a son and a space pirate or a group of misfit guardians, family really makes you who you are. That being said, it’s not surprising to learn that Star-Lord’s mother was a pretty cool chick.
“She knew the words to every song on the radio," proclaimed Ego the Living Planet, as he filled Peter in on facts about his mother that he could only ever wonder about all these years since she passed. It’s only a shame that Ms. Quill’s taste in music didn’t extend to her taste in men—er, alien space planets. But hey, that relationship did give us our beloved Star-Lord.
4 The Sovereigns don’t like to get their hands dirty
When the Sovereigns' home planet is attacked by an Abilisk, the sophisticated alien race knew they weren’t going to be the ones getting their hands dirty taking on the gigantic beast. Lucky for this sophisticated (and very golden) alien race, they knew a group that had absolutely no problem with getting their hands a little dirty: The Guardians of the Galaxy.
Shortly after the Guardians defeat the Abilisk and are awarded their prize, the Sovereigns realize that Rocket Raccoon had taken a bag of valuable batteries from the planet. It was finally time for the Sovereigns to take matters into their own hands… well, kind of. The Sovereigns released hundreds of ships to take down the Guardians, only these ships were being operated back from their home planet like a video game in an arcade. Hey, you can’t knock them for being resourceful.
3 Star-Lord has the power of a god
One of the greatest things that a son can experience with his father is the simple act of playing catch. Unfortunately for Peter Quill, he never knew his father growing up. All that changed in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, though. Of course, Peter’s dad wasn’t just any run of the mill, khaki shorts-wearing father—he was a freakin’ planet with god-like abilities to match!
Being that Star-Lord was cut from the same cloth as his father, he also possessed the same god-like abilities. Ego clues Peter in on how to use these powers, staring slowly with just a ball of light. What do a living planet and a Star-Lord do with a ball made of god-like energy? Well, they play catch, of course.
2 Ego the Living Planet really gets around
When we learned that Kurt Russell was going to play the role of Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord’s father, we could only assume that he was going to be a pretty cool guy. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of a correlation between Kurt Russell and his character, Ego the Living Planet.
When Star-Lord and Ego finally meet, we learn a lot about Star-Lord’s past, as well as the god-like power that his father possesses. Turns out the apple didn’t fall from the tree, and Star-Lord not only possessed the godlike powers, but the charm that his father has, as well. Unfortunately, Ego’s relationship with Star-Lord’s mother wasn’t an exclusive one, and he spent most of his time away from Earth sewing his wild oats in hopes of creating a son that would possess the same god-like powers that he has. While he finally found that son, things didn't quite turn out quite like he had hoped.
1 Yondu isn’t such a bad guy after all
On the surface, Yondu seems like a man who is a pretty difficult to get along with. While that characterization may be true, we learned a little bit more about his relationship with Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that really changed our opinion on the angry blue archer.
As it turns out, the dynamic between Peter Quill and Yondu wasn’t so adversarial after all. In fact, it was Yondu who ultimately decided not to turn Peter over to his father. Yondu, knowing that Peter could potentially end up as another set of bones on Ego’s planet, decided to raise him as a Ravager. Who would have guessed that Yondu would have made such a huge sacrifice for Star-Lord? It certainly took us by surprise.