Guardians of the Galaxy seemed like a gamble. Sure, Marvel was producing hit after hit, but Guardians starred an untested (at the time) leading man, as well as characters very few people had ever heard of. Plus, the whole movie had a completely different vibe from the other films on the Marvel movie timeline. And it’s set in space!

Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy..L to R: Drax (Dave Bautista), Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)..Ph: Film Frame..?Marvel 2014

Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy..L to R: Drax (Dave Bautista), Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)..Ph: Film Frame..?Marvel 2014

Turns out, Guardians of the Galaxy was a big hit, with $333 million in domestic gross. Guardians has a 91% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Chris Pratt became the action star after Hollywood saw him play Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord. And a sequel was greenlighted pretty quickly.

Why Guardians of the Galaxy? The one thread through all of these Marvel movies is finding Infinity Stones. These stones have special powers. One guy in particular wants them all: Thanos. He was behind Loki’s army in Avengers, and he’s the bad guy behind the bad guy in Guardians of the Galaxy.

See also: Guide to Marvel movies.

Peter Quill steals a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain. With a target on his back, Quill is forced to ally himself with a gang of misfits: Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and secretive Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. After they discover what the orb can do, they band together to fight Ronan and save the universe.

Guardians of the Galaxy / Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy / Marvel

Everything worked in Guardians of the Galaxy. Sure, there was action. But there was also humor, heart and camaraderie. In fact, it’s the camaraderie that makes Guardians of the Galaxy so endearing. Who doesn’t want to see the gang get together, especially when they’re a bunch of misfits? The chemistry and friendship among the cast is the star of the show.

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Guardians of the Galaxy / Disney

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