Hidden Meaning in Guardians of the Galaxy – Earthling Cinema
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monthly subscription service for pets and the people that love them. Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Guardians of the Galaxy — overachieving stepchild of the Marble Universe and proud father of the enduring genre known as “milk every obscure piece of intellectual property for franchise potential, even if it kills us.” Which, as we all know, it did. The film follows an Earthling named Peter Quill, who is too busy jamming out to Spotify Preem to notice his mother is dead. Another thing he doesn’t notice is the ship full of space pirates that comes to abduct him for no apparent reason. Smash cut to one score and six years later, and Quill is something of a space pirate himself — stealing paperweights and whatnot. He tries to sell the paperweight, but there’s a bounty on his head, and before he knows it, he’s being attacked by a raccoon named Rocket, a tree named Groot, and a sexy gremlin named Gamora. The fight ends when they all get abducted by the circus. Once in the circus, a skinless carnie named Drax tries to shiv Gamora, because she’s like this with some goth guy named Ronan, who killed his family. But it turns out Gamora is more like this with Ronan, so Quill uses his human powers of butting into other people’s business to suggest she help Drax bring Ronan down instead of getting killed. They escape to go try to sell the paperweight again, since that worked so well the first time. They travel to a giant head in the sky, which Earth poets called the “man on the moon.” There, they meet the Architect — I mean, the Collector. He opens the paperweight and finds an Infinity Stone, also known as the same MacGuffin that’s in every other Marble movie. As the Wild Thornberrys once said, handle
with care. To keep things moving along, Ronan arrives and steals the paperweight back. Gamora’s ship gets blowed up, and she floats in space for a bit, and even though Quill hates letting other people borrow his stuff, he lends her his favorite air helmet. As a last resort, they contact the only people they know who have a car: these donks. Ronan puts the Infinity Stone in his hammer, giving him the first and only super powerful hammer in cinematic history. The space pirates and the space police try to surround the bad guy ship like so many pigs in so many blankets, but this little piggy wants to go to market. So, Rocket cries roast beef, and they all go wee wee wee all the way to whatever planet they crash on. Groot keeps everyone safe inside a wicker basket, but gets destroyed by his increasingly complicated identity issues. “We are Groot.” Quill teaches Ronan how to nae nae, then takes the Infinity Stone as his instructor fee. And, in a stunning twist, it doesn’t destroy him, because of the power of handholding. The space police give all the main characters a full pardon, “Thank you.” and Groot reincarnates himself as an inflatable dancing man for a used car lot. Guardians of the Galaxy is a film permeated by tragedy, and I’m not just talkin’ about plot holes. Nearly all of the film’s main characters have experienced horrible misfortune — Quill’s mother dies of disease, Drax’s family was murdered by Ronan, Gamora’s parents were killed by Thanos, and Rocket is plagued by a special kind of existential angst known as Frankenstein’s Disease. “I didn’t ask to get made. I didn’t ask to be torn apart and put back together, over and over, and turned into some little monster.” Ronan, too, is pushed to radical zealotry after witnessing his entire race near extinction, just as the Galápagos tortoise was before him. Yet despite the film’s grim reality, Guardians of the Galaxy maintains a cheerful tone by way of its soundtrack: an assortment of 1970s and 80s songs primarily from Earth. These classic jams transform a spooky cave into a nightclub and an inhumane torture scene into a nightclub. Quill’s most prized possession is his Awesome Mix Tape, because as Quill says, dancing is “the greatest thing there is.” “It’s the greatest thing there is.” Clearly, he’s never listened to any late-period Ryglar and the Kravdavlians. This frivolous attitude also manifests itself in the film’s comedy. If a scene approaches potentially toxic levels of seriousness, it is often undercut by a moment of levity, “I like your knife. I’m keeping it.”
“That was my favorite knife.” indicating a cosmic need to laugh away the pain. Like this: ha, ha, ha. When Quill dramatically displays the paperweight as a symbol of significant power, he drops it, as if it were nothing more than a little ball to keep papers from blowing away. Later, when the Guardians share a poignant realization of their impending self-sacrifice, “I will be grateful to die among my friends.” Rocket comments on the fact that they’re all standing up, something only jackasses do. “Buncha jackasses standing in a circle.” But if a flippant attitude is the film’s attempt to deflect tragedy, friendship is its long-term solution. “It is pleasing to once again have friends.” The space police are able to become more than the sum of their parts by linking up, evoking K’Nex, an Earth children’s game played amongst friends. And our heroes use a similar tactic to endure pain, break the cycle of violence, and by their powers combined, summon Captain Janet. You see, when it comes to confronting the horrors of a bleak and violent universe, there are two options: you can either let it consume you and seek vengeance, or you can laugh it off with friends. Me? I choose the former every time. For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid.