By Jessica Benda
A humorous, heartfelt adventure set to a sparkling soundtrack of smile-inducing pop tunes—what else could we expect from the final chapter of Guardians of the Galaxy?
On Friday, May 5, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 concludes a nearly 10-year adventure when it opens in theaters. When Rocket’s past tries to hijack his future, the Guardians band together to save him as they wrestle with their own inner battles.
Most of the story’s characters are already beloved, but there are a few new faces added to the roster for this outing. In the time since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 came out in 2016, our heroes have undergone life-changing—and for one, life-ending—circumstances. Below, catch up with the characters you already know and meet the new ones.
Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt)
As the galaxy’s music master and Kevin Bacon aficionado, Peter Quill is known for his easygoing nature and quick wit. This time around, he’s a bit wearier than when we saw him last. After losing Gamora and then finding her again—or at least a version of her—he wrestles with their new dynamic. As Peter struggles to move on, the Guardians are left vulnerable to attack. Now, he must make up for his mistakes to protect one of his own.
Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper)
Rocket is the same wise-cracking, cosmic criminal we first met in Guardians of the Galaxy. Now that he’s saved the universe a few times, he’s a little wiser and more comfortable with the team. But Rocket’s past has finally caught up with him, and he must face the trauma of his early life to save more than just the Guardians.
Drax (Dave Bautista)
Drax is as lovable as ever and fiercely loyal to his chosen family, the Guardians. Having saved the universe more times than he can remember, we find him fixing up Knowhere for its community. He still struggles to understand the specifics of language and still loves to partake in superpowered violence. Some things never change.
Gamora (Zoe Saldaña)
The version of Gamora loved in the previous Guardians films is gone, tossed off a cliff by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. Now, we learn more about the Gamora from an alternative timeline, who has not had adventures with the Guardians and has no previous relationship with Peter Quill. Since the events of Avengers: Endgame, this Gamora has aligned herself with Stakar and his Ravagers.
Nebula (Karen Gillan)
The once sadistic and still snarky Nebula has settled into her role with the Guardians of the Galaxy. After mending the rift with her sister, Gamora, and finding her place in the world, she’s far from the enemy she was in the first film. Now that the Guardians have bought Knowhere from The Collector, she is dedicated to making it the home she never had.
The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji)
As the story’s villain, to say The High Evolutionary is a force to be reckoned with is a vast understatement. The character has decades of comic book history, but he’ll make his first film appearance in The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Mantis (Pom Klementieff)
In the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special—spoiler alert!—the real gift was learning that Mantis is Peter’s half-sister! This relationship brings new terrain to navigate, but Mantis’ growth expands far beyond that. After fighting many battles with the Guardians, Mantis has begun to embrace her powers, find her voice, and become confident in her role with the team—all of which will be needed to help protect her family from new dangers.
Adam Warlock (Will Poulter)
Teased in prior films, Adam Warlock comes to life for the first time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Designed and created as the ultimate weapon, he’s a powerful adversary for the Guardians.
Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel)
Groot is a vital part of the team, and we’ve watched him regrow throughout the Guardians’ recent adventures, after he sacrificed himself for his friends in the first Guardians movie. Now, he’s at a new stage in his life—think high school senior just about to graduate. He uses his new body to help build Knowhere and protect his family, and he’s locked and loaded with bigger and more advanced skills that come in handy for the Guardians!
Kraglin (Sean Gunn)
We first met the former first mate of the Ravager Yondu in the first Guardians of the Galaxy—and how he’s grown since then! Kraglin fought alongside the Avengers against Thanos, and now as an official member of the Guardians, he must master the Yaka arrow to fulfill his potential.
Cosmo, the space dog (voiced by Maria Bakalova)
A new fan favorite, Cosmo was sent into space by the Soviet Union and wound up with the Collector. She made her official debut in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, where she practiced her telekinesis as Rocket coached. Luckily, she’s fetching another round of screentime in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3!