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Major spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in this post, so be warned.
Like many, many people, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and it was as much fun as advertised. The soundtrack was amazing (I like this one even more than the first), Drax was especially hilarious, the killer phrase “I’m Mary Poppins y’all!” was coined, and Baby Groot was so adorable I wanted to puke. A solid Marvel movie for sure that raises the bar for the following ones.
For most of the film’s promotion, Elizabeth Debicki’s golden Sovereign leader Ayesha was put forward as the villain, but for most of the movie her main beef with the Guardians is that they stole something valuable from her planet. Not entirely unreasonable. The Sovereign aren’t the best people around- they proudly use selective breeding to make their people as perfect as possible, which obviously has very dicey implications- and we already know that Ayesha will be back, most likely up to no good with the new being she’s created called Adam.
As we come to find out, it’s actually Kurt Russell’s character Ego that is the main villain of Vol. 2. His story gets complicated and detail laden, but the gist is this: he’s actually a living planet, pretty much a god, and he only made a physical body to go explore the universe and find other living beings. He met and fell in love with Peter’s mother on Earth and when she died, he hired Yondu to pick Peter up and deliver him, which we know Yondu never did. Ego is just so excited that he’s finally reunited with his child, and he helps Peter harness the magical energy from the Celestial part of him. So much father and son bonding!
Ego wants Peter to help him create things in the universe. Happy to have finally found his father (and also in a kind of trance), Peter agrees. Although his human side starts to feel wary about abandoning all his friends. Ego almost convinces him that it will be worth it…
Ego tells Peter that he not only made thousands of children on thousands of planets hoping to spread his gift, but that he got rid of the ones who didn’t have it, and gave Peter’s mother the brain tumor that killed her because the pull he felt towards her was a distraction and so Peter could be delivered to him. Peter goes understandably ballistic and turns on his father immediately. Ego, buddy, why would you tell him that? I’m not rooting for you, but come on. To be clear, this isn’t a complaint with director James Gunn’s script, since it’s perfectly plausible that a megalomaniac wouldn’t understand that someone can’t get on board with their line of thinking. His name is Ego, the guy’s a narcissist. It makes sense for him to assume that Peter is going to come around. But from a rational point of view, it drives me nuts when characters do things that make the conflict resolution that much easier. We want our heroes to come out victorious, but we don’t want them to win because the force they’re facing messes up. Take note Ayesha, when you’re back at it in Vol. 3, make sure you give the Guardians everything you’ve got. It’ll make watching them take you down that much more satisfying.
What’s the most annoying “Why did you do that?!” moment?
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