Concept Cavern: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.4
Oli ponders what a fourth Guardians of the Galaxy film would look like?
Welcome to the Concept Cavern. A safe space where the imagination can create all matter of movie possibilities.
Today we present a concept for: Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 4 - A sequel to the highly successful Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy in a world where our lovable band of misfits, cast and crew all reassemble for one more round.
Set many years after the events of Volume 3, Peter Quill lives his life flustering between high stakes space adventures protecting the galaxy alone and returning to Earth to look after his teenage son: J-Son, born from one of many past lovers. J-Son resents Peter for his parents not being together, his father’s lifestyle and his unusual name. Though he knows about his life in space he doesn’t fully understand the significance his father has had on the world.
In an attempt to form more of a connection with J-Son, Peter defies his mother's wishes and takes him out in his ship for the first time. As the two begin to bond, an unknown assailant who has been tracking Peter defeats them both and kidnaps J-Son, demanding he finds the other Guardians of the Galaxy and bring them to the planet Terrigen in exchange for his son.
Peter immediately jets off to Knowhere to track them down. He finds Drax, who is now a pacifist and a peaceful father to the hundreds of orphans left by The High Evolutionary. Though he refuses to fight, he attempts to offer calm parenting advice to Peter, much to his distress in the situation. The pair approach Nebula (Leader of Knowhere), who tracks J-Son still in space en route to the planet.
Preventing Peter from going after the ship alone, she calls in the current Guardians of the Galaxy roster- including Rocket Racoon and Groot - to intercept the assailant before they get to the planet. Although the Guardians hold their own when engaging in space combat, they are eventually bested and captured aboard his ship. The assailant identifies himself as Thane - The Son of Thanos, who seeks revenge on the Guardians for their part in the death of his father. He slaughters the team, but J-Son distracts him with his fathers music, giving Rocket and Groot just enough time to escape.
Elsewhere, Gamora is still the leader of the Ravagers. Whilst she mirrors the responsibilities of her sister Nebula; she is unhappy and lonely now that most of her original friends and crew have gone. Rocket, who was equally as disillusioned with his fallen team mates, informs Gamora about Thane, asking her to travel to rescue the kid alone instead of joining everyone back on Knowhere (to prevent breaking Peter’s heart again).
Meanwhile, Drax goes in search of Mantis. She is now a therapist on the planet Kree-Pama, who uses her powers to alter peoples moods. Although she is initially hesitant to leave, upon hearing she has a nephew she becomes obsessively excited and drags Drax straight back to the ship in a childish desperation.
On Terrigen, Thane retells J-Son about their fathers battle and how he struggles to live up to the ambitions of Thanos, much like J-Son and ‘Star-Lord’. Exposing himself to the Terrigen mists to amplify his powers, he hears echos of his fathers voice and vows to seek revenge on the Guardians and one day complete his mission to prove himself.
As the Guardians assemble without Gamora and head to Terrigen, she manages to rescue J-Son alone while Thane sleeps. J-Son is initially flirtatious but after embarrassingly realising this is the woman his father has longed for, the two begin to bond over tales of the team and how she is not the Gamora he fell in love with. Through the Terrigen mists, they discover a small rift in the fabric of reality, where Gamora hears her own voice calling back to her: "You love nothing. No-one".
Rocket forms a plan with Nebula, Groot and Peter to takedown Thane, enjoying having everyone back together again but hiding the fact he has already sent Gamora to find J-Son. The ship lands in the distance, giving the team time to split up to attack from multiple angles.
A rage-full Peter approaches Thane, who now has nothing to barter with, whilst the others get into position for an ambush. Thane is able to defeat most of the Guardians but is unable to kill Nebula; emotionally subdued by their family connection. She lambasts her little brother for his treachery. Thane tries to convince her he can bring their father back but before Nebula can warn him of the dangers this will bring, Mantis (in her excitement) and Drax crash land on the battlefield, dispersing the combatants.
Mantis jumps from the wreckage alone demanding to see her nephew, to which Thane awakens and tricks her into believing he is J-Son, drawing her towards the rift in the mists.
As the Guardians awaken in the wreckage, Peter is brought to his feet by Gamora and reunited with his son. After an awkward exchange, Peter urges them to depart to keep J-Son safe, but Nebula alerts them of Thane’s plan to resurrect Thanos, forcing J-Son and Gamora to lead the team back to the rift.
Thane tricks Mantis into using her powers to awaken the earth below, increasing the size of the rift. Just as The Guardians arrive, Thane travels through, but Groot manages to grow around the rift to hold it open for the team to follow…
… arriving on the planet Vormir in the year 2018.
Thane comes face to face with his father Thanos (currently in pursuit of the soul stone with past Gamora). Upon seeing that he is about to kill his sister, Thane realises his mistake and freezes. A distracted Thanos attempts to kill him for interfering - showing no attachment whatsoever.
With Thane held by the throat, J-Son steps up to attack Thanos and protect him (to the shock of everyone else who fears the mad Titan). This action inspires courage in the team, forcing Drax to renounce his pacifism and prompts an all out war on the cliff of Vormir set to YMCA by The Village People.
The Guardians and Thane fight together to take down Thanos, but he still gains the upper hand and throws Gamora from the cliff, only to be rescued by her older self, preventing Thanos from getting the Soul Stone. Finally, to stop Thanos travelling through the rift, the team truly unites once more and manages to remove the Infinity Gauntlet, before Drax punches straight through Thanos’ chest, killing him before he can complete his mission.
With Thanos dead, the rift begins to force itself shut. Groot manages to hold the rift open long enough for Peter to share a tearful goodbye with past Gamora, telling her to stay knowing that the Peter in her universe needs her more now and how happy they will both be (As J-Son and Older Gamora watch). Thane chooses to stay behind with his sister to protect the Gauntlet.
The team reunite back on Terrigen returning to earth to drop J-Son off to his mother. Playing down the severity of their adventure, J-Son looks forward to seeing his father the following weekend, showing a new found respect and affection for him. As Peter flies off back to Knowhere, the team decide to stay together and Gamora embraces Peter, finally displaying feelings for eachother.
POST CREDIT SCENE 1
J-Son receives a Walkman from his father and begins playing a playlist labelled ‘Awesome Mix Vol 4’
POST CREDIT SCENE 2
The Guardians catch Peter and Gamora in bed together, disgusting everyone but Drax who stands still pretending the pair cannot see them… even though they clearly can.
Throughout the entire movie Groot speaks normal English. Only J-Son and Thane hear ‘I am Groot’, as the audience is now able to understand what Groot is saying.
My ideal casting for Thane is Succession actor: Jeremy Strong, mirroring the power struggle / Scared Child dynamic his character has with Logan Roy in the show. I also wanted a redeemable villain to contrast with the other antagonists of the series and draw parallels to Darth Vaders redemption in Return of the Jedi.
Although the story centres around Peter and his son, the heart of the movie lies with Gamora and the theme of living without love for so long - experienced by both the protagonists and antagonists.
The rift in space and time is also a metaphor for the emotional wound on the team, leading back to the moment they were all torn apart. The finale offers catharsis for every character - especially Peter.
AND FINALLY… THE SOUNDTRACK
Do Anything You Want to - Thin Lizzy
Every 1's a Winner - Hot Chocolate
Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush
Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
Liar - Queen
Love Will Keep Us Together - Captain & Tennille
Let’s Stay Together - Al Green
Reasons - Minnie Riperton
Have You Seen Her - The Chi-Lites
Hot Love - T.Rex
Working my Way Back to You - The Spinners
Thank You For The Music - ABBA
YMCA - Village People
Copacabana (At the Copa) - Barry Manilow
Listen to Oli's Awesome Mix here: