James Gunn, the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, has confirmed that the third film will not undo the death of a major character. While that sort of thing isn’t uncommon to happen in a comic book or a comic book movie, the director is intent that the character stays dead.
Anyone who has seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will know the tear-jerking ending in which – Spoiler alert! – space pirate Yondu Udonta redeems himself after a life of misdeeds by giving his oxygen mask to Peter “Star-Lord” Quill, dooming himself to die in the vaccuum of space in order to save the life of his adopted son. Since the movie’s central theme is about family, his sacrifice is one that emphasizes that sometimes, the friends you care about have stronger bonds than the people that are in your family.
Talking on Facebook, James Gunn very clearly states that he has no intention of undoing Yondu’s demise for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, or any future Marvel movie that he might work on:
“Although it is always possible to see Yondu in flashback or prequel, I personally will never bring him back to life in present time because it would nullify his sacrifice and the love from father to son that affects me so much personally as well as others all around the world. One of the reasons that Yondu is the most popular character from the second film is BECAUSE of this sacrifice, and the idea of bringing him back in Vol. 3 or 4 or on the Yondu Netflix series because he sells a lot of Funko Pops horrifies and sickens me. Like I said, I hate it. And I’ll never do it.”
Gunn also noted that Groot’s sacrifice at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy – which was seemingly undone by the character’s regeneration into Baby Groot – actually did have an impact in his eyes. The Groot that audiences spent the entire movie caring about is dead, and his regenerated form has its own personality and none of the memories of the original. So applying Gunn’s logic here, I guess that means we can expect to see more Funko Pops of Groot, and The Groot Show could be a thing on Netflix (just kidding).
The first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies are available on home video, while a third is in development. The Guardians themselves will appear in both Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel.