James Gunn says a crucial member of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise will not return for the third film in the series!
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Yondu is permanently sitting out Peter Quill’s final romp through the cosmos, James Gunn tweeted out this morning. The writer and director of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 responded to a fan overestimating the reach of Yondu Udonta’s Yaka Arrow by reminding him not even advanced Centaurian technology could keep Star-Lord’s adoptive space daddy alive, to which user @stefd75 replied, “It’s the Marvel universe, no one stays dead… apart [from] Uncle Ben.” Gunn decided to put a swift end to any and all speculation about Yondu’s (Michael Rooker) return by reiterating that as long as the Guardians remain in his care, no magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and beyond can bring the fallen Ravager back from the grave. No plot would ever justify disrespecting Yondu’s sacrifice all the way back in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
This means Yondu will not be rearing his red fin just in time for Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Check out James Gunn’s impassioned Twitter response to @stefd75 below:
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 saw Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) reunite with his estranged father, the Celestial Ego (Kurt Russell). This megalomaniac alien deity is obsessed with spreading his literal seed across the universe and terraforming other planets in his own image. He assumed a human form meeting Quill’s mother Meredith in the 1980s and ended up siring a child, with whom he intended to activate hundreds of viable planets. Not counting the video replay of Eson the Searcher mowing down civilizations with the Power Stone in the first Guardians, Ego was the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first mention of a proper Celestial before Chloé Zhao introduced the race’s more benevolent offshoot in Eternals. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will presumably take off from there, a growing multiverse where Deviants and Celestials are commonplace additions to life on Earth and beyond.
Star-Lord eventually loses his Celestial abilities when the Guardians set off a bomb from within Ego, killing him and his legacy along with it. Yondu Udonta rescues Quill from the burning remains of Ego’s planet shortly before it collapses into a black hole, using his spacesuit on Star-Lord at the cost of his own life. It was an honorable death for a Ravager that had lived a whole existence leveling communities, chasing bounties, and engaging in murder and petty theft, and James Gunn intends to keep it that way for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
The plot of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 remains as much of a mystery as the circumstances of Peter Quill’s inevitable departure from the franchise. Is he dying or handing off leadership of the Guardians to Thor or Adam Warlock? Or is he continuing with life as an intergalactic peacekeeper and simply fading from the main MCU narrative? We don’t know. The only thing James Gunn has made one-hundred percent clear is this is the end of the road for him with regards to anything Guardians-related.
Kevin Feige may still use the same characters in the future, effectively continuing to hire Gunn on a case-by-case, per-consultant basis, but as far as solo movies around the original space family are concerned, the Peacemaker writer is done. Dave Bautista has similarly alluded to the end of Drax the Destroyer after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, explaining there is no reason to continue staying in the MCU with Gunn no longer actively involved. The rest of the cast has stayed mum on the subject of the Guardians’ future, which is probably for the best until Thor: Love and Thunder comes out.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will start shooting later this month under the working title Hot Christmas. Production is expected to last well into 2022 after close to six months of filming. The final leg in the Guardians of the Galaxy’s trilogy stars Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, Vin Diesel as Groot, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Sean Gunn as Kraglin Obfonteri, and newcomer Will Poulter as Adam Warlock. Chris Hemsworth may also reprise the role of Thor Odinson. The film comes out on May 5, 2023.