Ever since Thor joined the Guardians of the Galaxy aboard the Benatar at the end of Avengers: Endgame and bickered with Star-Lord about who was the leader of “the Asgardians of the Galaxy,” MCU fans have been speculating whether or not the God of Thunder will play a major role in the team’s next intergalactic adventure.
At their giant Comic-Con panel this year, Marvel announced that Thor: Love and Thunder, Thor’s fourth solo movie, would be released in 2021, with no official date set for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. So, it’s unclear if the closing moments of Endgame were setting up Thor’s inclusion in the third Guardians movie. Here are 5 Ways Thor Could Make Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Better (And 5 Ways He Could Hold It Back).
The two existing Guardians of the Galaxy movies have focused on very clear, very emotional character arcs for all of their leads, and we need to see those arcs continued (and possibly concluded, since the MCU generally tells stories in threes) in Vol. 3.
We need to see Drax move on from the death of Thanos and therefore justice for his family’s killing, the next stage in Star-Lord and Gamora’s complicated relationship, Groot returning to adulthood and coming full circle in his development, and Rocket putting into action his newfound care for others. To throw Thor into the mix might jeopardize the focus on these fleshed-out and incredibly engaging character arcs, which would be a disservice to the Guardians’ solo franchise.
As shown in his scenes with the Guardians in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Thor fits right into the team, because he has terrific chemistry with all of them.
From his banter with Quill about who is the true leader of the team to his effortless, jealousy-inducing flirtations with Gamora to the fact that Groot sacrificed his arm to give Thor’s axe Stormbreaker a handle, Thor (or, at least, the version of Thor presented to us by Taika Waititi to save the character) fits into the Guardians like a glove. He feels like a member of the team already, just from their brief Avengers scenes together, so it seems like a no-brainer to include him in the threequel.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is shaping up to revolve around the search for Gamora, and everyone in the team has a reason to care about her: Quill is in love with her; Nebula wants her sister back; Rocket tranquilized her to avoid having to lose her on the same day as Yondu; Groot sacrificed himself to save her and the other Guardians; Mantis betrayed the only person she’d ever known to protect Gamora; and Drax called her “family.”
They will all do anything to find her. However, the same can’t be said for Thor, who only met her briefly and didn’t make a lasting connection with her. If he joins the Guardians, he’ll distract from their quest to find Gamora.
The mid-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in which Ayesha presents her new artificial being Adam, with whom she intends to destroy the Guardians, seemed to set up Adam Warlock as the primary villain for Vol. 3. Adam Warlock would be one of the most powerful characters the MCU has ever seen – possibly on par with Thanos and Captain Marvel – so he’d be tough for the Guardians to defeat.
However, if they had Thor alongside them and he was armed with Stormbreaker (which may or may not get into the hands of Beta Ray Bill), they might have a fighting chance against him.
This means that if Thor appears in the third Guardians movie, everything that happens in his fourth solo movie will have happened between the time we saw Thor board the Benatar in Avengers: Endgame and his possible partnership with the Guardians in their next solo outing. So, to make the story flow a bit smoother, maybe it would be better if the Guardians appeared in the fourth Thor movie, rather than Thor appearing in the third Guardians movie.
The first Guardians of the Galaxy movie saw the core five members of the team get together, and then the second one expanded the team significantly, as they were joined by Mantis, Nebula, Yondu (briefly, before his heartbreaking sacrifice), and Kraglin. So, it would make sense for the threequel to continue that trajectory by expanding the team even more.
It seems likely that Adam Warlock will be introduced (first as an enemy, but perhaps later as an ally, like in the comics), while the reunion of the team’s original lineup was teased in a mid-credits scene in Vol. 2, but there’s definitely room for Thor to be one of the new members to join in the third movie.
All of the Guardians are still in the middle of their character development, and it might stop the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy dead if Thor shows up. James Gunn has specific plans on how to end the trilogy and every character’s arc in it. Vol. 3 will apparently explore Rocket’s origin and introduce his creator, on top of the search for Gamora and the threat of Adam Warlock – the bones are there for a great movie with emotional weight that will wrap up the Guardians trilogy in a satisfying way.
But if Thor is suddenly shoehorned into Vol. 3, that won’t happen. Instead, Thor hitching a ride with the Guardians in Endgame should be used to show that they’re in touch, and lead to an Asgardians of the Galaxy team-up after Thor and the Guardians’ next respective solo outings, with Korg and Valkyrie also coming along for the ride.
James Gunn has said his greatest excitement about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the chance to complete Rocket’s character arc, and Thor is now a huge part of that arc. In the last two Avengers movies, Thor has formed a kindred-spirit relationship with Rocket – particularly in Endgame, when they both bonded over having lost everyone close to them and traveled back to Asgard circa 2013 to collect the Aether.
In that scene, Rocket gave Thor a powerful pep talk about their necessity to focus on the mission and not get distracted, because people were counting on them and they were a part of a larger whole striving towards the rescue of billions of lives. This was the most mature we’d ever seen Rocket, and only Thor was there to witness it, so he’ll be important in the conclusion of Rocket’s arc.
If Thor: Love and Thunder takes place prior to the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, then Thor won’t even really be Thor anymore when Vol. 3 comes along. It’s been announced that in Love and Thunder, Jane Foster will take on the mantle of Thor, so Thor won’t be Thor anymore – she will.
If Thor as we know him did appear in the third Guardians movie, it would feel pointless, because he wouldn’t be Thor anymore. This might be a fun development for the rivalry for leadership between Quill and Thor, since the latter would be stripped of his power, but this would also take the “running” part out of this running gag, so it would get old quickly.
As we’ve seen from his appearances in the Ghostbusters and Vacation reboots, as well as his refreshingly revitalized turn as the God of Thunder in Thor: Ragnarok and the last couple of Avengers movies, Chris Hemsworth is a comedically gifted actor. He’s a gifted actor in general, but comedy is a whole other ballpark, and Hemsworth always nails it.
What makes the Guardians of the Galaxy movies great is that they have the heart of other MCU movies (perhaps even more), but they’re also much funnier – especially with actors like Chris Pratt and Karen Gillan delivering each joke perfectly. Hemsworth’s presence would undoubtedly add to this.