Guardians Of The Galaxy: Why I Don’t Want The Legendary Star-Lord To Return

Chris Pratt as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Warning: SPOILERS for Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3  are going to be openly discussed. If you haven’t caught the emotional conclusion to James Gunn’s Marvel trilogy, you’ve been warned.

By now the new Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has played to so many eager moviegoers who want to see how writer/director James Gunn has ended his tenure in the MCU. With the story of the Guardians wrapping up in such a way that its characters are in very interesting and heartfelt places, the threat of moving any of those pieces in any direction is still a bit raw.

As such, one decision pertaining to Chris Pratt’s “Legendary Star-Lord” has me worried, as I don’t want to see this character return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Let me explain, as there are several reasons that explain why this is, and none of them are any sort of grudge felt towards Peter Quill. 

Let’s start with actually talking about the finale to the movie, which means it’s the last chance for anyone not wanting to be exposed to spoilers to drop out.

Chris Pratt in Guardians 3

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Bringing Star-Lord Back Ruins Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3’s Emotional Ending

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s ending, emotions ran high as the original roster split apart into several different life paths. In the case of Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), he finally returned home to Missouri to reunite with his grandfather Jason (Gregg Henry). Catching up with his last living relative, the post-credits scene shows the two bonding at the breakfast table, as Peter settles back into a normal, Terran life. 

That’s exactly how Star-Lord’s story should end, save for any special circumstances that require him to come out of retirement. To end with the title card “The Legendary Star-Lord Will Return” felt like a bit of a slap to the face, rather than a promising tease for the future.

Presumably, this is a tease for bringing Chris Pratt’s character back for a future Avengers team-up, must like we saw with the Guardians of the Galaxy crew linking up with other Marvel Studios heroes for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. However, that circles back to my previous concern: there needs to be a really good reason to bring Peter Quill to a future field of battle.

Chris Pratt's Star-Lord pointing blaster in Avengers: Infinity War

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Peter Quill Doesn’t Have Any Special Beef Or Abilities Connected To Future Avengers Movies

While the world is pondering the prospect of Jonathan Majors' replacement for future Marvel Cinematic Universe entries, another concern is now present for Avengers: Secret Wars and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. As is tradition, the reunion of heroes to face a larger than life threat means that the Guardians will probably be pressed into service again. 

The big difference is, the Guardians are no longer run by Peter Quill, and he doesn’t have any special powers or grudges that sound like an organic reason to bring him back to the fold. Star-Lord also doesn’t have any special powers that would be useful to defeat the Skrulls or Kang the Conqueror, so that’s another reason his presence isn’t exactly needed. 

Lest we forget, the moment Peter killed Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell), he lost his Celestial-style powers and became a garden variety human. Unless he needs to mow someone’s lawn or put together a killer playlist, the stakes don’t require undoing Quill’s happy ending in the name of a summer tentpole.

Star-Lord and Gamora in Guardians of The Galaxy

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The Return Of Star-Lord Threatens Overturning Another Smart Guardians Decision

Out of the two Avengers movies in the upcoming Marvel calendar, the one that might present the most promising window for Peter Quill’s return is Avengers: Secret Wars. This is pure speculation on my end, as the one thing that our Guardians of the Galaxy hero would probably return for is none other than his beloved Gamora (Zoe Saldaña). 

Brace yourselves, because this touches upon how Star-Lord’s return could undo what some have called “the best part of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.” The nightmare scenario would be if, somehow, Gamora could “return” through the presence of the Skrulls. 

Whether she was replaced by one previously or a new variant used her previous relationship with Peter Quill to draw him into a trap, there are a lot of ways this could play out, and none of them are good. What’s worse than undoing Peter’s happy ending without a good reason? Try abusing his character’s love for Gamora as a tepid excuse to make it happen. 

Rocket Raccoon sitting in a ship's cockpit in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The Next Era Of Guardians Should Focus On Rocket Raccoon’s New Team

All of this leads to the one change I’d make to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s end credits scenes, as I’m in love with the rest of James Gunn’s beautiful sendoff to this rag tag group of A-Holes. Once again, it’s that damned title card. It shouldn’t have read “The Legendary Star-Lord Will Return,” but instead it should have presented a promise we’ve seen before: “The Guardians of the Galaxy Will Return.”

The whole point of Vol. 3’s ending was to say the goodbyes that needed to be said while forging ahead on the path to the future. Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) evolved from a hellbent genetic creation with an attitude to a hero who stood for something more. We see him become the captain of the Guardians, even going as far as to watch him and his new team storm into action. If anyone should be returning, it’s Rocket and his new crew of galactic peacemakers, not Star-Lord. 

The decision to center the future of the Guardians of the Galaxy on the departed Star-Lord is a move that just doesn’t sit well with me. After experiencing an intense ending that saw everyone grow closer, yet ready to split apart into the future, there isn’t a good enough reason for Peter Quill to return to the stars.

Maybe there’s something in the works and a decision has already been made on how that’ll happen; who knows at this point? Even if that was the case, it would have been cooler to be surprised by Quill’s return in the moment rather than spend the time between now and then fretting about whether this is a decision on the same level as many of the bad calls made during The Rise of Skywalker’s development.

I doubt I'm the only person who feels this way, as I bet a lot of people may be in my corner on not wanting Chris Pratt’s next MCU appearance to feel shoehorned in. Which is why I suggest that anyone with a Disney+ subscription go back and rewatch the entire Guardians of the Galaxy saga in order.

And, of course, that should be followed up with a trip to see the 2023 movie release that is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is currently in theaters. Maybe someone can make a compelling case as to why Star-Lord’s legendary adventures should continue. It’s a pretty big multiverse, and anything can happen. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.