Film and Plot Synopsis
In Marvel Studios “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” our beloved band of misfits are looking a bit different these days. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him to defend the universe along with protecting one of their own. A mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them. (Courtesy of Marvel Studios)
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‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Movie Summary
Rocket and Nebula (Karen Gillan) discuss how to move Peter past his grief when they are suddenly attacked by Adam Warlock (Will Poulter). Warlock is a Sovereign warrior created by their high priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), one of the Guardians’ enemies from the previous film. Warlock critically wounds Rocket and is in the process of severely beating Drax (Dave Bautista) when he is stabbed in the back by Nebula. While the Guardians turn their attention to addressing Rocket’s wounds, Warlock escapes.
Peter and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) attempt to heal Rocket with a sophisticated med-pack. However, when the med-pack is activated, it appears to electrocute Rocket. Nebula uses her bioelectronics to access Rocket’s artificial components and discovers that the company that created Rocket, Orgocorp, has embedded a kill switch in him that prevents them from using med-packs to repair Rocket. Orgocorp is a company that is run by the narcissistic mad scientist and the creator of the Sovereign society, the High Revolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji). Peter immediately launches the Bowie with all the Guardians aboard to travel to Orgocorp’s headquarters to find the switch’s override code before Rocket succumbs to his injuries.
While Rocket lies unconscious, he remembers his past after being selected from the cage seen at the beginning of the film. Rocket recalls the experimentation conducted on him, and the pain he suffered at the hands of the High Evolutionary. Rocket remembers how the High Evolutionary sought to enhance and anthropomorphize animals to create a perfect society on a planet called Counter-Earth. Rocket remembers befriending other animals that were being experimented on while he was caged, including an otter named Lylla (Linda Cardellini), a walrus named Teefs (Asim Chaudhry), and a rabbit named Floor (Mikaela Hoover). The group, known as Batch 89, dreamed of leaving their captivity and flying away. At the time, Rocket believed that the High Revolutionary was going to allow him and his friends to live in his perfect society. However, once the High Revolutionary learns that Rocket’s intelligence begins to exceed his own, he decides to destroy Batch 89 and to dissect Rocket to discover why he evolved the way he did. Rocket returns to his cage and cobbles together a key for the electronic locks on their cells. Rocket frees his friends, but the High Evolutionary discovers them and kills Lylla. Rocket attacks and severely injures the High Revolutionary. However, guards arrive and open fire on Rocket. Rocket shoots back and kills the guards, but Rocket is devastated to realize that Teefs and Floor are killed by the stray gunfire. Guilt ridden, Rocket escapes the High Evolutionary’s base of operations in a stolen ship and thus became the emotionally distant being that he was at the beginning of the first film.
Returning to the present, the Guardians enter into an agreement with the latest version of the Ravagers, who are now being led by alternate timeline Gamora. Gamora and Ravager Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone) formulate a plan to infiltrate the highly protected Orgocorp. The Guardians and Gamora sneak on board using space suits. Peter, Gamora, and Nebula infiltrate the file room but discover that Rocket’s file has been removed by one of the High Evolutionary’s advisors, Theel (Nico Santos). After escaping Orgocorp, the Guardians immediately set off for Counter-Earth, to the frustration of Gamora who does not wish to be a part of their quest. They are followed by Ayesha and Warlock who have been tasked with bringing in Rocket’s body to the High Evolutionary so that he can study Rocket’s brain.
Once on Counter-Earth, Peter and the crew discover a society of animal/human life forms that take on all the benefits and detriments of human society, including drug addiction and crime. Peter and Groot (Vin Diesel) travel and enter the High Evolutionary’s main base, Arête. Nebula is forced to wait outside the base and is joined a short time later by Drax and Mantis. Gamora stays onboard the Bowie with the dying Rocket. The High Evolutionary dispatches his War Pig guard (Judy Greer) to retrieve Rocket from the Bowie while the Guardians are away.
At Arête, the High Evolutionary attempts to capture Peter and Groot. Peter points out how the High Evolutionary failed in his mission because Counter-Earth did not become his perfect society. The High Evolutionary acknowledges his failure and begins to blow up the planet. Peter and Groot escape their brief captivity by using weapons that they smuggled into the base on the inside of Groot. They capture Theel and jump out of the window of the now launching spaceship. Groot converts his body to a glider so that he and Peter can survive their fall, although Theel does not survive the landing. Nebula, Drax, and Mantis jump onto the launching ship falsely believing that they need to save Peter and Groot. They discover hundreds of imprisoned genetically modified humanoid children on the ship. Mysteriously, Drax can communicate with the children.
Back at the Bowie, Gamora rescues the still unconscious Rocket from being abducted by War Pig. Warlock arrives and accidentally kills War Pig in a brief squabble over who will bring Rocket to the High Evolutionary. Gamora uses the distraction to sneak off the ship with Rocket. As planet begins to blow up around the ship, Warlock realizes that his mother is in danger and flies off to help her. Unfortunately, she is killed by an explosion initiated by the High Evolutionary along with all the other animal people on the planet. Once Warlock leaves, Gamora sneaks back onto the Bowie and launches the ship to get away from the destruction. However, she is unskilled with piloting the Bowie and crash lands the ship near Peter and Groot.
Peter and Groot extract the override code from the hard drive in Theel’s head. They rush back into the Bowie to download the code to Rocket’s electronic parts. However, Rocket flatlines and has a vision of the afterlife where Lylla, Teefs, and Floor are waiting for him. Rocket apologizes for getting them killed and asks if he can go flying with them in the afterlife. Lylla tells him yes, but that his time to join them has not yet come. Rocket is violently pulled back from the afterlife as Peter brings resuscitates him. Once Rocket is revived, Gamora downloads the override so that she and Peter can use a med pack to heal Rocket’s wounds. As Peter and Groot embrace Rocket, Gamora watches them from a distance as she has become the outsider to the group.
Onboard the Arête, Drax, Nebula, and Mantis are captured by the High Evolutionary. Peter and everyone on the Gamora launch to catch up and attack the Arête. Kraglin (Sean Gunn) and Cosmo (Maria Bakalova) arrive with Knowhere to stop the High Evolutionary. Kraglin fires on the Arête causing severe damage. Knowhere crashes into Arête, incapacitating the ship. The High Evolutionary sends his soldiers to attack the citizens of Knowhere. Kraglin and Cosmo defend their home successfully. Meanwhile, Peter, Gamora, Groot, and Rocket crash land on Arête. They find that Drax, Mantis, and Nebula have already escaped and befriended three Abilisks. Instead of leaving the dying ship, the Guardians decide as a team to stop the High Revolutionary for good and to free all the people on the ship.
Back on Knowhere, Cosmo uses her telekinetic powers to position Knowhere near Arête to allow everyone to escape from the High Evolutionary’s ship. Rocket discovers a room of imprisoned animals and learns that he is, in fact, an evolved raccoon from Earth. Rocket is attacked by the High Revolutionary who has him on the ropes until Rocket activates some magnetic boots that allow him to stick to the deck of the room and fire his gun. The other members of the Guardians arrive and tag team their attack on the High Evolutionary. The attack is capped by Gamora who stabs the High Evolutionary through the chest. The Guardians discover that the High Evolutionary’s face had been torn off by Rocket when he escaped years before. Rocket refuses to kill the High Evolutionary because he is better being, and a Guardian, than the High Evolutionary.
Rocket asks the Guardians to help him save all the animals from the ship. They herd the animals towards the fading link with Knowhere. Peter drops his MP3 player while rushing towards Knowhere and turns around to retrieve it. Cosmo collapses due to her telekinetic exertion, and the two ships begin to drift apart leaving the vacuum of space in between Knowhere and Arête. Peter tries to leap the gap, but the debris in between stops his momentum. Peter begins to succumb to the vacuum of space until Warlock, who was saved by Groot on Arête, saves Peter, and brings him to Knowhere.
In the aftermath, Gamora decides to return to her place with the Ravagers, although Peter appears to be at peace with her leaving him a second time. Peter decides to return home to Earth to reunite with his grandfather, Jason (Gregg Henry). Peter leaves Rocket in charge of the Guardians. Mantis decides to leave the Guardians on a journey of self-discovery. Nebula and Drax remain on Knowhere to raise the rescued children from Arête. The film ends with the citizens of Knowhere, including the usually stoic Drax, dancing to “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine.
In a mid-credits scene, Rocket’s new Guardians are made up of Groot, Kraglin, Cosmo, Warlock, one of the rescued children named Phyla (Kai Zen), and Warlock’s pet Blurp. They are on a desolate world where a small settlement is being attacked by some indigenous wildlife. The Guardians debate what song to play during their rescue operation.
In a post-credits scene, Peter complains about one of the neighbors while eating breakfast with his grandfather.