Catch Up with the Guardians: The Films You Need to See Before Vol 3

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has entered Phase Five, where it explores new stories and characters as well as the legacy of the old ones.

But some chapters still need to be wrapped up, especially for the Guardians of the Galaxy, who opened the doors to the cosmic side of the MCU. As Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 approaches, it seems like this is the final chapter of a long and epic adventure.

The Guardians of the Galaxy may be saying goodbye, but their legacy will live on. However, fans who want to get ready for the finale may have a lot of content to catch up on. 

It can be hard to know where to start or what to watch. The best way is to go back to the beginning, and then follow the journey that gets more emotional and impactful with each project.

Watch the latest trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 here –

Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 | New Trailer

The Guardians of the Galaxy have only had two movies (so far) to tell their story, but the MCU likes to weave narratives across different projects.

This means that their story has continued in other movies and even a special that have shaped their characters and their future just like it is in a multiverse. With so many projects to choose from, it can be hard to know which ones to watch to follow their journey.

For your convenience, I have tried to compile the MCU movies that you should watch before heading to the theaters to watch GOTG Volume 3 so that you’re updated about the story so far. 

In short, one should ideally watch the previous two films in the franchise – Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, before watching the third part. One should also watch Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, along with the GOTG Holiday Special for the entire picture.

Here’s an entire list of films you should catch up on before GOTG Vol 3 hits theaters.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

 Catch Up with the Guardians: The Films You Need to See Before Vol 3
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
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The first film in the franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy, tells the story of Peter Quill, also known as Star-Lord, who is a space outlaw. He learns to work with others and becomes the leader of a group of misfits. 

They are Rocket Raccoon and Groot, who are bounty hunters, Gamora, who is a killer and Thanos’ daughter, and Drax, who wants revenge. They find an Infinity Stone and try to sell it for money. But they have to stop Ronan the Accuser, a Kree fanatic, who wants the stone to destroy the galaxy.

This is the first film you should watch if you’re trying to catch up on the story. The film is a delightful watch and introduces us to a plethora of characters who are an integral part of the MCU today.

2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017)

 Catch Up with the Guardians: The Films You Need to See Before Vol 3
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
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The second film in the franchise shows the Guardians and Groot’s son, also called Groot, working as mercenaries and getting Gamora’s sister Nebula from Ronan’s side.

But Rocket stole from their customers, the Sovereign, and put his team in danger. They were saved by Ego, a Celestial who is Peter’s real father, and his helper Mantis, who invited Peter to his planet.

But they found out Ego wants to take over the galaxy with his power, and the Guardians, with Yondu and Nebula’s help, had to stop him.

GOTG Vol 3 will be an immediate sequel to this film, so make sure you know the details while watching this one.

3. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

While Vol 1 and 2 should ideally be enough to get a good understanding of the Guardians, it is a little difficult to connect the dots if you haven’t watched Infinity War and Endgame. You’ll miss out on a lot of easter eggs and references.

 Catch Up with the Guardians: The Films You Need to See Before Vol 3
Avengers: Infinity War
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In Infinity War, the Guardians, with Mantis, helps Thor, who was hurt by Thanos. Rocket and Groot go with Thor while the others try to stop Thanos from getting the Reality Stone.

But Thanos takes Gamora and kills her to get the Soul Stone, while Guardians join Nebula, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Doctor Strange to fight Thanos.

The film ends with Thanos erasing half of the universe using the Infinity Stones, including Groot, Star-Lord, Drax, and Mantis.

4. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

The final film in Phase 3 of the MCU is also an essential watch for all GOTG fans to get the complete picture.

Five years after Thanos erases half of the universe, Rocket Raccoon works with the Avengers and tries to help the survivors. But when they find a way to undo everything, Rocket joins them and helps bring back the lost ones.

 Catch Up with the Guardians: The Films You Need to See Before Vol 3
Avengers: Endgame
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The film ends with the defeat of Thanos and the reunion of the Guardians. They fly off to look for Quill and Thor to join them. We find out what they were up to in the Holiday Special, which I’ll come to next.

5. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)

The GOTG holiday special was short but showed what the Guardians did after they stopped Thanos. For example, they bought Knowhere from The Collector to use as a new home.

Also, Quill was sad about Gamora, so Mantis and Drax went to Earth to get Kevin Bacon and Christmas for Peter. Their plan was crazy but worked well and also showed that Mantis was Peter’s half-sister, meaning he still had family in the universe.

6. Other Recommendations You Could Watch

By now, it is clear that the Guardians appear in several other MCU films apart from their main ones. You don’t necessarily need to watch these films to understand the events of their lives, but they help show more about some characters and how they act as a family when they are not fighting. So, these films are not a must, but they offer a nice break from the battles.

  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

Thor: Love and Thunder tells the story of Thor getting back in shape and also what the Guardians are doing at that time.

After they came back from being blipped for five years, the team worked with Thor to save the galaxy. It also shows Peter acting more like the dad of the family and being annoyed at Thor’s fun attitude. So, when Thor decides to leave the Guardians, Quill leaves without him quickly.

  • I Am Groot (2022)

I Am Groot is a series of shorts that shows the young Guardian exploring the world. Each episode is different but offers a fun and cute break from the fights and mess.

It also shows a sweet moment between Rocket and Baby Groot as father and son. It is not very important to watch, but it shows why the family part of the team is so good, and why Groot is such a loved character.

Watch Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 on:

7. About Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

The High Evolutionary, Rocket’s creator, emerges to reclaim his creation threatening to destroy the Guardians to get what he wants. Star-Lord must lead his team and protect one of their own while dealing with his emotional turmoil over Gamora. The stakes are even higher as Adam Warlock hunts the team on the orders of The Sovereign’s leader, Ayesha.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to hit theaters on May 5, 2023. Previous cast members will reprise their roles, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, and Pom Klementieff. Will Poulter and Chukwudi Iwuji will join the cast as Adam Warlock and The High Evolutionary.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

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