Just How Influenced by Star Wars Was Guardians of the Galaxy?

guardians of the galaxy star wars themed poster Now that the hype and cosmic dust of Guardians of the Galaxy have exploded across the galaxy – we've had two movies, Guardians members appearing in two Avengers movies, and a Christmas special – we can take the time to reflect on just how good the first movie was and wonder why that might be.

Is it because it felt like Star Wars?

For many viewers, it may have been the best fun he’s had at the movies since they saw the likes of Return of the Jedi as children, so maybe there is something there.

Before we go through the Star Wars influences on Guardians, we should note the first comic form of Guardians of the Galaxy was published in 1969, some eight years before Star Wars hit the silver screen.

So this piece of writing is about how the Star Wars movies influenced the Guardians of the Galaxy movie and is not a discussion about what came first.

To clear up any doubt about whether the influences are real or just imagined by rabid Star Wars fans, the film’s director James Gunn was quoted as saying:

“This was intentionally my version of Star Wars. When I was first considering doing the movie, the chance to make something like that was one of the things that got me on board. Not just Star Wars, but Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and other movies like that. The stuff I loved as a kid. I wanted to make a movie that made people feel the way they made me feel.”

Here are some of the specific influences Star Wars had over Guardians of the Galaxy:

  • The duo of Groot and Rocket Racoon pretty much stole the movie over Star-Lord. They were very funny, did some cool things and they had a great personal relationship. Did you notice how Rocket translated everything Groot said for their fellow Guardians? That’s unmistakably a Han Solo and Chewbacca-type friendship right there. Han spends a lot of the Star Wars movies sharing what Chewie thought. C-3PO also totally does this with R2-D2, so this would seem an obvious Star Wars influence on Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • While Peter Quill (Star-Lord) is arguably in the Han Solo mold, Groot is effectively Rocket’s version of Chewbacca. How is Quill like Han Solo? What about his quips for every situation he’s in? What about his sexual tension chemistry with Gamora mirroring Solo and Leia's? And what about how he turns out to be a hero after initially struggling?
  • Evil fathers. As Luke and Leia had Vader as their evil father, sisters Gamora and Nebula had the world-conquering Thanos as their adopted father.
  • There's a puppet master pulling strings. Ronan the Destroyer takes the part of Vader in this film and like Vader serving the Emperor, Ronan served Thanos.
  • Thanos even kills an underling who annoyed him which mirrors Vader’s force choke moves.
  • George Lucas also managed to have a random influence on the post-credits scene in the form of Howard the Duck making an amusing appearance. While Howard is a Marvel product, it was Lucas who directed the movie version. You could argue that a lot of people would only have known who Howard was from having seen the movie (again as a child, many years ago!).

Guardians of the Galaxy is not exactly a copy of Star Wars, but it certainly has been influenced by it.

This is not to say that Guardians of the Galaxy was not influenced by other things as well. The movie has a multitude of references to icons of the 1980s such as Troll Dolls and Alyssa Milano.

Star-Lord is also arguably based on Indiana Jones (which was based on a million other things but is actually another Lucas influence). At one point Quill even makes a passing reference to the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

It's nice to see Star Wars and George Lucas having an impact on movie-making in a great way – it's returning the favor after all
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.