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Guardians of The Galaxy

Marvel Studios latest flick “Guardians of the Galaxy” is getting closer and closer to release, and the comic book behemoth continues to tease us with extra footage. The Guardians aren’t exactly well-known Marvel characters, so in honor of the release of an extended trailer earlier this week, I’m taking it upon myself to get everyone up to speed on Marvel’s group of space pirates. Check out the trailer below!

1: It’s out of this world (literally)

The films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe may jump from genre to genre (action-comedy in “Iron Man,” fantasy/sci-fi in “Thor,” etc.), but there’s one place the franchise hasn’t gone yet: the final frontier. Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) is spirited away from Earth as a young boy to the outer reaches of the galaxy, and “Guardians” will take place in that space and across different planets. Here’s a taste of what that might look like.

2: It’s jam-packed with Marvel characters 

The Guardians themselves, namely Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer (Ray Batista), Rocket Raccoon (voice of Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Deisel), and Gamora (Zoë Saldana), aren’t the only heroes under the spotlight. “Guardians” will also introduce the Nova Corp to the MCU. Short version, they’re the Marvel version of the Green Lantern Corp. We’ll also be reintroduced to Thanos (Josh Brolin), the purple guy from the end of “The Avengers,” and main antagonists Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), a member of the Kree alien race, and Nebula (Karen Gillian), who may or may not be Thanos’ granddaughter. And speaking of new faces…     

3: Djimon Hounsou is in it!

The Beninese-American actor will be playing Korath the Pursuer (pictured above), yet another member of the Kree alien race tasked with hunting down the Guardians. Hounsou spoke about his eagerness to be a part of the MCU because of its lack of diversity:

I have a four-year old son who loves superheroes from Spider-Man to Iron Man to Batman. He’s got all the costumes. One day he looks at me and says ‘Dad, I want to be light-skinned  so I could be Spider-Man. Spider-Man has light skin.’  That was sort of a shock. This is why I am excited to be a part of the Marvel Universe, so I could be hopefully provide that diversity in the role of the superhero.

This isn’t Hounsou’s first time working closely with Marvel, either. He also provided the voice of T’Challa, the Black Panther in the eponymous animated series that aired on BET.

4: Zoë Saldana wants boys to find Gamora attractive  

Saldana is making history as the first woman of color prominently featured in the MCU thus far, which should be a bigger deal than it is. She seems more than excited about playing an alien warrior and hopes that boys think she looks good while doing it. On set, her appearance was always in the back of her mind:

“How alien do we want Gamora to look like?” And what I was thinking was, “She just needs to be pretty.” And that’s usually a thing that I don’t think about with other characters that I play but for some reason because I was going to be green and I was going to be the lead girl, I just wanted teenage boys to find me attractive…That’s where I was coming from, everybody else was just like, “Contacts? Do we dye the hair? Wig no wig? What color hair? How long is it?” I’m like, “Pretty. Teenage boys, please. We gotta get their vote.”

5: It’s setting up events for “The Avengers 3″

The MCU isn’t afraid to go nonlinear in the future, as “Guardians” will be setting up events for the second “Avengers” sequel. The big bad villain for next year’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is the maniacal robot Ultron. Thanos will be the main antagonist for “Avengers 3″ and “Guardians” will be our first trip out into space, which is the main reason we’re being introduced to the Guardians this early on. Writer-director James Gunn has said as such himself, that it’s “definitely connected to Avengers 3.”

6: Rocket Raccoon is the coolest 

Rocket Raccoon is exactly what his name implies. He’s a rodent-like alien who packs a lot of guns and a bad attitude. Also, his girlfriend is an otter named Lylla. Man, this is going to be a good movie. Voice actor Bradley Cooper isn’t doing his motion capture animation, though. Director James Gunn’s brother Sean Gunn is the man doing all of the movement on set. Expect Rocket and the next guy to be the break-out stars of “Guardians.”   

7: Vin Diesel is Groot  

Yet another high-profile star interested in this outer space adventure is none other than XXX himself, Vin Diesel. A huge superhero and Dungeons and Dragons fan, Diesel will be motion capturing and voicing the tree-man, saying the only three words Groot is capable of: “I am Groot.”

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is out on August 1.

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7 Things To Know About “Guardians of the Galaxy”  was originally published on