Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the final iteration of the current team but where will James Gunns movie end each characters story? It wasnt that long ago that Marvel Studios was said to be taking a risk by turning the Guardians of the Galaxy into a franchise. While the comic team was not well known before 2014 the Guardians of the Galaxys popularity has skyrocketed since then. Theyve had two successful solo movies appeared in Avengers Infinity War and Avengers Endgame and will appear again in Thor Love and Thunder before Gunn gets to close out the trilogy.Even though Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 isnt coming out until May 2023 the film was originally envisioned as the launch of Phase 4. This was before James Gunn was fired due to old tweets and rehired after Disney changed its mind and Gunn agreed to direct The Suicide Squad for DC. Fans are still waiting to see what the third entry in the Guardians franchise will hold and see what Gunn does with the characters he crafted for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Multiple individuals involved with Guardians of the Galaxy 3 have teased it as an emotional ride which has led to increased speculation about which characters will live and which ones will die.
The popularity of the Guardians of the Galaxy characters in the MCU should mean that Marvel wants to keep as many of them around as possible. However Gunn has great freedom with the franchise and is building Guardians of the Galaxy 3 towards a conclusion he has long envisioned. This will likely mean that not all of the Guardians make it out of the third film alive. Meanwhile Gunns insistence that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is the end of this iteration of the team could mean that other characters live but leave the team. There are many possibilities with each character so here are predictions for the fate of each member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
As the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy the entire teams future could rest with Star Lord. A now somewhat polarizing character in the MCU due to his actions in Avengers Infinity War Peter Quill should still be part of the universe after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. It is hard to imagine Gunn or Marvel Studios killing off Star Lord already especially since Chris Pratt is eager to keep playing him. Since hes still one of the MCUs most recognizable faces Pratt should be allowed to continue playing Star Lord in the MCU. That is why this prediction has him surviving Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.Star Lords survival would allow the upcoming movie to set up various parts of his future and that of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The third film could see Quill recruit more people to the Guardians ranks such as cosmic heroes like Adam Warlock Quasar Phyla Vel Moondragon or Nova. Star Lord can then be in charge of leading the next incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy. This could even occur after he establishes a new base for the team such as Knowhere which is the teams base in the comics. As the continued leader of the Guardians Peter can continue to earn his Star Lord name and build the reputation he wants it to have across the galaxy.
It has commonly been predicted that Rocket Raccoon will die in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and it does seem that this is where his MCU story will end. Gunn has repeatedly confirmed that the movie will explore Rockets origins and how he became a scientific experiment. This is expected to tie heavily into the villain of Guardians of the Galaxy 3. The identity of the threat is not announced but High Evolutionary has been rumored to be behind Rockets creation. Since the threequel will be Rockets story primarily this would be the best place to kill him.It will undoubtedly be sad for viewers and the Guardians but it would be fitting that Rocket dies in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 defeating the people who created him and saving his newfound family in the process. While it will also be surprising for the MCU to lose a fan favorite CGI character they could theoretically use forever there are plenty of reasons why Rocket dying makes sense for the film and his overall character arc.
Gamoras fate in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is likely to see her be one of the films survivors. Zoe Saldanas character already died in Avengers Infinity War but Avengers Endgame brought her back from the dead thanks to time travel and the multiverse. Now that a slightly new version of her will be featured in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 it would be quite surprising for Gamora to die again. However she wont be with the Guardians when the movie begins and the search for Gamora is expected to be central to the plot. This sets up the movie to establish what Gamoras MCU future will be and it could be one without the Guardians of the Galaxy at least for the time being.One of the big questions looming over Gamoras MCU future is what will happen between her and Star Lord. The version of Gamora that now exists in the MCU has no memories of their romantic history. This could mean that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will be about Star Lord trying to find her and get her back. However that doesnt mean that is what Gamora will want to do. She could ultimately decide to go off on her own and not rejoin the Guardians of the Galaxy as a romance with Adam Warlock could begin instead. As for what shell do away from the Guardians Gamoras future might lie with helping the very people Thanos army hurt.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could also be where Draxs MCU story ends. Dave Bautista has openly discussed how he feels his time of playing Drax is nearing its end and this movie is the best place to wrap up Draxs arc. Now that hes missed out on getting revenge on Thanos Draxs story could go anywhere but having him die in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 makes sense. He can sacrifice himself to protect the Guardians and even accept that hell now get to rejoin his family. There is even the chance that Draxs death could have a larger impact on the threequel if it introduces Moondragon and makes her Draxs daughter like the comics. If Bautista doesnt want to keep playing Drax and Marvel wants to avoid recasting the character his death can work for Guardians of the Galaxy 3s story and factor in real world elements that would otherwise impact Draxs MCU future.
Karen Gillans Nebula should live through the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. While there is an argument to be made that her MCU journey could be nearing its completion Nebulas exit shouldnt come just yet. She can remain part of the new look Guardians of the Galaxy team with Star Lord and help run the operation after years of working alongside the Avengers.However part of Nebulas fate also needs to be tied to what happens with Gamora. The MCU has managed to keep them apart to this point and prevent the sisters from developing a closer relationship. That could be part of Guardians of the Galaxy 3s story but it would also be nice to see that carried through into the future. Perhaps Nebula takes some time away from the Guardians following the movies events to be with Gamora which could even lead to them forming the Graces an all female team from the comics led by Gamora.
It is difficult to imagine Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 leave Groots fate in any place other than alive. The CGI tree is a fan favorite character and has already been used in different sizes throughout the MCU. Groots future should be with the new look Guardians of the Galaxy team too. After spending time as a baby and teenager it would be a good time for Groot to return to his full size and be the protector of the group again. There is a chance that Groots availability will be limited though as he could take some time away from the team to grieve Rockets death. This might even allow the MCU to visit Groots homeworld Planet X something Vin Diesel has teased could be in his future. Still Groot can be the Chewbacca of the MCUs cosmic franchise and remain a key part of the Guardians of the Galaxy even as the team evolves.
Guardians of the Galaxy 3 could set up Mantis to take on a much bigger role within the Guardians of the Galaxy team moving forward. The empaths story could evolve in several different ways in the movie such as making Mantis Star Lords sister or teasing her place as the Celestial Madonna. Still Mantis should remain with the team regardless. She only just joined the team in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and she can step up to fill the void by left Gamora Rocket and Drax. Mantis played a crucial role in Star Lords formation of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics. She probably doesnt need to psychically influence others to join the MCUs next iteration of the team though. Her future after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 might even include being the one to warn the Guardians of the coming Annihilation Wave which would tease the next big cosmic event for the MCU.