[WARNING: This article contains potential SPOILERS for Guardians of the Galaxy 2]
In fashion true to their original debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the team of spacebound misfits came out of nowhere to shock and delight fans, with the first poster for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 making the movie's new tagline known - followed shortly after by the first teaser of official footage. Casual fans caught up in the excitement of seeing their favorite heroes back in action may have taken it as a simple appetizer (the full trailer is still on the way), but the early footage showed more than you think.
We've gone over the teaser reel frame by frame to break down just what director James Gunn and the studio have let slip, combining it with the details and rumors that snuck out of the production, not to mention the footage shown exclusively to San Diego Comic-Con attendees. While we still expect that Comic-Con footage to be used in the full length trailer, the teaser does contain new material - and more than enough locations, story beats, and action to keep fans happy in the mean time.
Be warned that there are potential SPOILERS ahead, as we begin our Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Teaser Breakdown & Hints.
11. Spacesuits - For Fun
As a tribute to the sense of humor of both the movie itself and the characters inside of it, the slow montage of frames used to open the teaser contain one particularly important note. As a reminder for those who haven't seen the first film in some time, the actual use of spacesuits was kept to a minimum - somewhat unexpected, given that almost the entire story takes place in space. There's Peter Quill's (Chris Pratt) deploying mask, and the helmet donned by Drax when he and Rocket threaten the Ravagers to release their friends, but that's about it.
Clearly the time since the first Guardians has seen the team take a different approach to spacewalking. There's little seen in the actual teaser, but this case of metallic objects marked 'Spacesuits for Emergency' confirms they're present if needed... and that the Guardians have found more recreational uses for them, too. We can only hope that the round metal discs visible in the case means these are the spacesuits in total, able to be deployed like Star-Lord's when activated (if true, a cool effect to look forward to).
10. Standing On The Edge
It just wouldn't be a Guardians trailer without pumping music and a breathtakingly badass image of Star-Lord, guns drawn, silhouetted against the light of an unknown cosmic landscape. But in this case, the cosmic landscape is seriously unknown, looking more organic than stellar. The background images become a bit easier to decipher as the screen fades to black (shown here to get the most detail possible), and it looks as if the structures may actually be metal, rusted apart until only thin filaments remain (just one theory of our own).
A shot later in the teaser shows what may be the reverse angle, focusing in on Star-Lord standing in this same tunnel within a larger, red, metallic structure. Fans can start spinning their own theories on why or how Star-Lord and his team wind up in a sea of ancient metal structures, in a larger landscape that apparently poses enough danger for him to exit guns drawn. The first film hinted at the massive scale of ancient cosmic races and civilizations, so this fits right in.
9. The Gold of Ayesha?
Here we arrive at our first scene that appears directly related to footage shown at San Diego Comic-Con. That footage focused on Gamora (Zoe Saldana)and the team atop a stellar skyscraper, awaiting the arrival of a cosmic monster (with some one-liners thrown back and forth over Gamora's use of a gun, not a sword). That sequence was later returned to when Gamora was shown leaping at said monster, sword in hand - the same action beat shown shortly after the above shot. So it turns out a sword might always actually be the right tool for the job... but the location is still a bit of a mystery.
Sticking specifically to the gold set dressing and pulsing light in the background, thoughts will immediately go to the character Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), described by James Gunn as the "golden High Priestess of a genetically-perfect people called the Sovereign. She’s not a woman to be screwed with – she, and her entire world, are extraordinarily deadly." Is that light in the background being used to lure out the monster they soon battle? Or is this all directly connected to Ayesha in ways we don't yet understand? Your guess is as good as ours.
8. Raining Ravagers
After the first movie saw Yondu and the Ravagers outright betrayed by Star-Lord, it sounds like the boy's adoptive father figure's approval of said betrayal is going to become a major plot point. Obviously, the move may have made Yondu proud, but it's taken as a slight and insult by his fellow Ravagers (a fact confirmed by one member of the group already). So if the two part ways - Yondu and his former outlaw gang - then his relative indifference to their falling bodies makes sense. But what fans are actually seeing is something much more significant - and incredibly cool.
Going back to the Comic-Con footage, the trailer was presented along with an actual section of the film. In that section, Yondue, Rocket and Groot were all held prisoner on a Ravager space station. Once the adorably small and cuddly Baby Groot managed to retrieve Yondu's telekinetic-murder-arrow-controlling-fin, the three broke out - with Yondu killing each and every single Ravager standing in their way. What we see here is the aftermath, as Yondu strolls his way out, whistling as the dead bodies of his former partners rain down around them from catwalks overhead, Rocket taking it all in with a stunned expression.
7. Nebula Caught?
Fans of the first movie will be delighted to see Nebula once again, after her hasty retreat from the final battle. It was clear she wasn't finished - not only would that be below a daughter of Thanos, but her personal hatred for Gamora seemed too potent to be easily forgotten. So as thrilling as it may be to see her kneeling, possibly restrained and hooded, her role in the story is much more complicated. After all, she's not only going to be joining the main Guardians team, but in Gunn's own words, shows a depth of character that invites a possible solo film.
The real questions here surround the circumstances that would bring her to be pursued, captured, and brought... somewhere to be presented to... someone. We would assume, based on the lack of details or insight into Ayesha (main antagonist of the story) that she might be the answer. Unfortunately, the motives (other than Nebula being as valuable a target as any of Thanos' operatives) are as mysterious as the leather gloves of those holding her. If viewers have theories, we'd love to hear them.
6. Star-Lord's Armor
Early concept artwork showed that Star-Lord would be casting off his signature red leather jacket and overcoat for at least one action sequence, instead donning a simple shirt and a piece of chest armor. It looks like this is the finished version, offering him a bit more protection than the previous film demanded (and the obligatory deployment of his signature facemask, before a similarly obligatory rocket-boot-takeoff).
Looking at the background of the scene suggests that this is the same platform Gamora is seen standing on earlier, which also explains the need for the armor and flight. If Gamora and Star-Lord are tackling a sizable spacebeast, then the added armor is a must. We don't yet know if this chest armor is going to be used throughout the entire story, but with Star-Lord's costume previously limited to about a half dozen pieces of clothing, the addition of one is still worth some attention for fans.
5. Not The Milano
There are a few thrills delivered in the trailer as a result of fast-paced space battles, following some new and familiar spacecraft. But take a closer look at the ship which rockets towards the screen, and it's clear this isn't the Milano, Peter Quill' own ride. The blue and orange paint scheme of Quill's ship is hard to miss, but this purple version is a bit harder to pin down. It's not an exact match for any of the Ravager ships seen in the first movie, but Yondu's spacecraft did sport purple in its paint scheme.
Take a closer look at the passenger side of the cockpit window, and you'll notice the bright blue co-pilot: are we seeing Yondu (or, less likely, Nebula)? The previous shot in the footage shows Star-Lord at the other controls, and the splotch of light grey on the left of the window could be a match. So, Yondu and Star-Lord wind up back together, sharing a bird of prey as they take on an unknown enemy. That may not be a groundbreaking reveal on its own, but it may be a clue as to when and where the characters on each side of this story come back together for the final act.
4. Ravagers, BLAMvagers
Adding to the humor of the footage is the above shot, in which even more Ravagers find out how it feels to fly through the air with little concern for your well being. At least, the assortment of races and faces seem to be Ravagers, but we would advise fans to pay close attention to the explosion sending them skyward, and more importantly, the forest backdrop visible in the left side of the image. Since that same setting is visible later on, we may be seeing a section of the story told out of order.
It isn't hard to see why more Ravagers would appear after their brethren were slaughtered by their former leader - on the bright side, they may be joining them in this very scene. It would go a long way in explaining the large Comic-Con presence of the Ravagers during the studio's Hall H presentation if they play the role of enemy soldiers in the sequel. We know they're experienced space outlaws but... well, it certainly seems like they're out of their depths in the footage shown here.
3. Into The Woods
As mentioned above, the forest backdrop behind the blue explosion seems to be a match for the location seen here, as Gamora, Star-Lord and Drax enter an unknown environment. It's unknown exactly where this alien forest is located (or Earthly forest, for all we know), or what brings the team to it at all. What we can tell is that a closer look at the backdrop of the image shows what kind of structure they're exiting - and one possible explanation for the lack of the Milano in whatever aerial battle is glimpsed beforehand.
That's right, judging by the overall shape, the overhead designs, and the signature steps leading up to the ship's cockpit, it looks like the Milano has been shredded, sliced in half, and crashed into a forest with three of the Guardians still on board. That's still speculation on our part, but it's a twist we're willing to bet fans could get on board for, if it sends the team out on foot for a new kind of action. It's hard to say what could have caused the damage, but if the Ravagers aren't far behind in tracking them down, we may have and answer.
2. Peter & Gamora Ain't Over
True to form, the teaser footage closes not with a glimpse of the evil villain, the massive odds they'll need to beat to win the day, or even a quippy exchange in the heat of battle. No, it's a sweetly comedic exchange between Star-Lord and Drax, with the latter still trying to embrace the warmth and bonds of friendship. In this case, informing Peter that there are two kinds of people: those who dance, and those who don't. And if he's after real happiness, Peter just needs to find a woman as pathetic as himself. Well intentioned, we suppose.
On a broader level, the fact that Peter is obviously discussing Gamora in the context of compatibility - and potentially rubbing his ear after it's been recently injured by the green-skinned warrior - means he hasn't given up his romantic interests just yet. It's an interesting point, since the pair's romance was limited to a single scene in which Gamora rebuffed his "pelvic sorcery" before they shared a kiss. Since that decision was actually praised - after trailers showed Gamora in a state of undress, and Peter gawking slack-jawed - we wonder if the sequel will actually pursue the romance. They've been through enough at this point for it to make sense, and if nothing else, Gunn has earned the benefit of the doubt.
1. Rocket & Groot
There's nobody better to close out the footage than the unlikely (but indisputable) mascots of the original film: Rocket Raccoon and Groot, the sentient tree now grown back from a single twig to a pine cone-sized killer. The three-barreled gun handled by Rocket is a promising one for those eager to see the bandit take on new levels of firearm carnage, inverting the previous iconic team-up between the two, with Groot now riding on Rocket's shoulder into battle. And, unsurprisingly, seeing Rocket and Baby Groot grinning in glee is as adorable as a Marvel film is likely to ever reach.
The dark blue costume confirms the change seen at the conclusion of the first movie, more closely resembling the version made famous by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (the Comic-Con footage showed how Baby Groot got his costume, with the Ravagers dressing him up for fun). Since the scene seems to show Rocket accidentally killing an unseen enemy behind a metal wall, and the same gun is seen being carried as he and Yondu exit the space station, a rough timeline is able to be formed, with Rocket and Groot uniting to escape the Ravagers' restraints.
So there you have it, our look at the minutia of the first Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 footage. We hope we've shed some light on some of the more confusing moments for casual fans, and helped fill in the gaps between the San Diego Comic-Con presentation (still expected to play a large part in the first full length trailer). If you have your own details uncovered, theories spun, or simply questions raised, be sure to let us know in the comments as we keep you up to date on any and all Guardians updates.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017