Peter Quill, aka Star Lord, (Chris Pratt) is our hero. He goes on the journey and is challenged along the way. He needs guidance and direction. Sometimes he appears apathetic. However, he ultimately has the drive to be a good person and instills that desire in his companions.
Yondu (Michael Rooker) represents the mentor figure. He “teach[es] stuff” to both Star Lord and his men. He uses his arrows as leverage to be taken seriously, but Star Lord respects him and will follow a lot of his advice no matter what.
When Star Lord collects the orb, he receives the herald, aka the Call to Adventure. The orb Star Lord retains early on proves to be a controversial object. It presents danger and reward for him. So, it forces him to pursue a life with the orb or without. He could have left it alone and never thought of it again. However, it leads him to get arrested and meet the rest of his team.
Early in the movie, we meet the shadow character. This character is the enemy of the hero, the one he needs to fight in the end. Ronan (Lee Pace) becomes the enemy of Star Lord. He wants to take over everything and rule.
After being imprisoned, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Groot (Vin Diesel), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Drax (Dave Bautista) all become allies. They form the Guardians of the Galaxy and work together to defend the galaxy.
Gamora also presents herself as the woman as temptress. She tempts many because she is Thanos’s (Josh Brolin) adopted daughter. Being a temptress usually means a character is sexually attractive. However, in this case, she is vengefully attractive as well as physically attractive. The other characters want her because she is associated with Thanos.
Nebula (Karen Gillan) represents a threshold guardian. She prevents Star Lord from getting to Ronan. She fights even her own sister to prevent the guardians from achieving their goals.
In this film, I would argue there are multiple tricksters. The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) appears to be a trickster because he collects the things no one would really want. These collections cause information to be gained. However, it also urges him to collect undesirable things, like Howard the Duck (Seth Green). Because he is the collector of creatures as well as things, he presents great danger to the hero because of the beings he has available.
I would say Rocket is also a trickster because he is one of the characters who uses his skills to get everyone out of tight situations. He knows how the change the gravitational field of the prison to their advantage. He also can manipulate a ship to his needs. He knows technology!
In the end, all the major characters in this film represent parts of the hero’s journey character archetypes. They help and hurt in expected and universal ways.
How was this movie a successful Marvel movie?
Satire plays well into this film.
For my students, think about how metaphors are used in this film, especially around Drax!
Also, please leave a request or comment below!
Thanks for reading!