Star-Lord Should Be The Hero To Die In Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, Here’s Why

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Chris Pratt's Star-Lord can complete his hero's journey through death, closing a chapter and opening new possibilities for the MCU.

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

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Chris Pratt as Star-Lord

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 comes out later this year, and the Super Bowl trailer strongly hinted that one of the heroes would die, but which one is the question? Gamora and Groot already died, Rocket is the obvious choice, and Drax and Mantis deserve to live happily ever after, but the best possible choice is Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, Star-Lord. James Gunn is a coward if the leader of the Guardians doesn’t have a heroic death.

If any Guardians are to be killed off, Star-Lord should complete his hero’s journey with a noble death, proving he’s no longer the ruffian he was in the first movie. As the leader of the ragtag team and the main character of the first two films, the audience has been right there alongside Quill as he learns how to be a real hero, faces his father, and realizes he had a Daddy all along. There’s one step left for the former thief to complete to be remembered as a hero, ensuring everyone remembers his name: he has to die.

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova Centurions, including one played by John C. Reily, remark how “Star-Lord” is a dumb name and show no respect to the leather-jacket-wearing hero. How fitting would it be if, at the end of the final movie, everyone across the past two films is shown saying Star-Lord with the respect it deserves? Very few heroes have died in the MCU, including Robert Downey Jr.‘s Tony Stark, Idris Elba’s Heimdall, the Warriors Three from Asgard (including Shazam star Zachary Levi, check out the IMDB page), and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow.

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The team in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Zoe Saldana’s Gamora died, but now one from an alternate timeline is running around the main MCU; Vision is technically dead, but again, an alternate version is flying around somewhere. Killing off the team leader at the end of the trilogy brings Quill’s journey full circle and will be the perfect bookend to another MCU franchise. One of the Guardians will die, and it’s James Gunn’s last film with Marvel; the best way to end it is with a powerful character death.

Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord went through the departure, the first step of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey in the first film, by leaving behind Earth and exploring the vastness of space. Vol. 2 was the initiation, showing how Quill was comfortable as a leader and learning to navigate the strange situation by finding peace with his upbringing and place in the universe. Step three is the return to the familiar world, forever changed by the experience.

It’s easy to picture a final scene with Star-Lord reuniting with Michael Rooker’s Yondu in the MCU afterlife or encountering his mother one last time. Sacrificing himself to save the galaxy, becoming a literal Guardian of the Galaxy, makes so much sense that it almost has to happen.

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Will Poulter as Adam Warlock

In the current MCU, even if a character dies, that won’t stop them from appearing in later films. The existence of the multiverse and infinite variants combined with characters leaving a timeline and jumping into another means Star-Lord could still appear in Secret Wars. Death has become cheap, just as it is in the comics, and come to think of it, there was a famous time when Star-Lord sacrificed himself involving Warlock.

At the end of “Reign of Kings”, the Shi’ar and Inhuman battle between Vulcan (Cyclop’s long-lost younger brother) and Black Bolt tore a hole in reality. Warlock, played in the upcoming film by Will Poulter, ripped open the hole leading to Star-Lord, Nova, and Thanos all falling into the Cancer-verse. Could Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 bring about death through a massive hole in space and time?

Considering we know the High Evolutionary is involved and the team goes to Rocket’s home planet, the answer is likely no, but if it does happen, don’t be surprised. No matter what happens, Star-Lord must die to bring a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy while also setting up whatever comes next. After all, how can we finally get Richard Rider as the big space-faring hero with Star-Lord running around?