As we're just about six months away from its April release, we've just been blessed with the second look at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Despite being a little over two minutes long, it's still labelled as a 'teaser trailer', which is just as well, since the actual details of what's going on are few and far between.
Here's the new trailer if you missed it...
Now, the first Guardians Of The Galaxy's two trailers didn't really tell us that much either. They focused more on how it was a ragtag team of misfits and outlaws being forced to work together for...reasons. The best we got was a quick shot of Ronan and later Nebula in the second trailer.
There were also a handful of lines and shots that simply didn't make the final cut (topless shot of Gamora from behind, Groot playing with Star-Lord's mix tape), so we might be getting the same thing here.
We don't have too much to go with so far, but let's figure out what we can.
As Rocket gives a sombre and serious opening speech that leads to a comedic reveal, we mainly get shots from two different action sequences. One of which involves Star-Lord facing down a whole lot of tiny space ships...
...and the other involves whatever this set piece is. We got these glowing orb things, a space city of some sort located below, and...
...whatever the hell this thing is.
Now, there's two minor things of note in this 'don't touch the button that will kill us all' gag. First off, Baby Groot is going starkers like his full-sized predecessor. In every single shot of Baby Groot that isn't from this scene, that isn't the case.
He's usually instead wearing a uniform that at first glance resembles Star-Lord's, but more importantly, it means that it's Ravager garb. After all, even in the first movie, Quill's clothes are still considered a Ravager uniform despite being on his own. More on that in a sec.
Anyway, among all the shots of the squid creature (creatures?) being attacked, this Drax one sticks out to me more than the others. Mainly because it appears rather reminiscent of this splash page from Annihilation, the big comic epic that rewrote Drax from 'Caped Space Hulk' to 'Green Riddick Knockoff'.
Then again, Drax simply lends himself well to badass action shots from the back.
Back to the thing with Rocket and Baby Groot.
The other notable factor from their moment is that Rocket briefly has a dialogue with Star-Lord. The background shows what appears to be these many, many tiny ships flying around, which at least lets us known that these two segments are likely happening at the same time. What makes this rather unique is that between both trailers, it's the only moment when Rocket and Baby Groot are shown having any interaction whatsoever with their other teammates.
With the team fully together and Groot's nudeness, I figure this is probably really early in the film to the point that it might as well be an establishing action sequence. Nothing especially essential to the plot other than showing the Guardians doing what they do.
Whatever it is, it isn't directly linked to the squid monster and the glowing orbs.
Which reminds me, including a shot of Star-Lord announcing, "showtime, a-holes!" is a great nod to the original Guardians Of The Galaxy teaser where Denarian Saal calls them the same insult.
While what we know of the plot is thin. It can be figured that the team is going to be splitting up, likely for a majority of the movie. The two trailers depict Star-Lord, Gamora, and Drax traveling together with no sign of their more marketable comrades.
At some point, Drax screams, "screw you, space ship!" Considering the burning embers raining around him, this is probably more of a yell of victory than distraught complaining.
But Drax is Drax, so who knows what kind of context we have for such a line and delivery.
Rocket sets off a gizmo that causes a bunch of armed men to get blasted into the sky. These guys are definitely Ravagers, especially since I recognise the guy on the left from a series of promotional headshots of the Ravager crew. That, and because they're way too distinct to be Marvel Cinematic Universe cannon fodder.
Way too distinct = being distinct in any way.
The Guardians' relationship with the Ravagers is a bit complicated in the first film and what little we've seen of the second movie appears to be the same. After all, we see Baby Groot attack a Ravager while wearing a tiny Ravager uniform. It wasn't until I watched this trailer a dozen times, but when he throws the guy to his doom, you very, very briefly see the guy pass a humanoid figure in a black coat.
Let's take a closer look.
Aha! It's Yondu walking with Rocket. In the first trailer, there's another shot of the two of them walking in the same setting. In it, it's raining Ravagers around them while only Rocket pays any attention to it. Yondu simply walks forward.
My guess? Yondu and the Ravagers are brought into the story because they're the only ones who we know have dealt with Ego personally. The Ravagers attempt a mutiny on Yondu, which will ultimately get him a spot as an actual Guardian of the Galaxy.
Two action shots don't really fit in with the rest in all of this. One is Gamora being shot at. Perhaps that's the same ship Drax is yelling at.
At first glance, it resembles a desert canyon, but when you look closely at the walls, there is a rather organic took to it. Ego the Living Planet is obviously a thing in this movie (even if Kurt Russell is supposed to be playing him in "can procreate with a human woman and hire space pirates to do his bidding" form). Our trio just may be running around on his surface.
Then there's Drax angrily stabbing at some membrane walls. Again, this may or may not be Ego the Living Planet. It's a living something. Maybe that creature from earlier swallowed him and he's trying to kill it from the inside.
But the colour does noticeably fit in with this.
Maybe it's the three hours of sleep talking, but the pure and white room appears to be connected to the gross, yellow membrane stuff. Those could be windows in the background.
But enough about the yellow grossness. The trailer ends with a look at Mantis.
Mantis was created by Steve Engleheart and Don Heck, first appearing in Avengers #112 in 1973. Like Drax, she was introduced in the comics as human, but dollars to donuts, they're going to go in a completely different direction in the movie and write her off as an alien. She was a regular part of the Avengers cast and was considered Engleheart's pet character. She was referred to as the Celestial Madonna and they made a big deal about how she was going to be this really important part of the Marvel universe.
Then in the mid-00s, she was given some new life. During the Annihilation: Conquest event, there was a Star-Lord miniseries by Keith Giffen and Timothy Green II. In retrospect, it's sort of a big deal. Star-Lord, who at this point was already allies with Gamora and Drax the Destroyer, was put in charge of a ragtag team of obscure and near-forgotten Marvel heroes to right some wrongs in space.
While not everyone got to become a breakout star, this team did introduce modern audiences to Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and their impending bromance. In other words, the Star-Lord miniseries from Conquest was the origin story for the Guardians of the Galaxy as we know them.
Mantis was part of the team, acting calm, collected, and knowledgeable while everyone else rolled their eyes at this self-proclaimed Celestial Madonna. She proved herself to the team and although she was seemingly killed by Ultron (the surprise big bad), she survived and became a regular member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the ongoing series that bloomed out of it.
Coincidentally, she stopped showing up around the time that the comics version of the team was reintroduced and relaunched to line up with the then-in-production cinematic version.
Oh, there's no speculation for this screenshot. I just wanted to bask in Dave Batista for a second. What a guy.
James Gunn's Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 will be released in the UK next April.