I saw a movie a long time ago. Now I want to talk about it.
Marvel has led the box office for the past six years. Since the first Avengers movie, the comic franchise has seen good investment returns in ticket purchases. Some people might say it is a ravaging mess while others praise its success on being a better sequel than most of Marvel’s movies.
But one thing is certain: This space sequel is swimming in daddy issues, some might say. The true thing is more than one bookworm like me could find the connections to literature and philosophy all over Marvel’s movies.
Guardians of the Galaxy can’t escape intellectual dissection, even informally done on the internet.
Modern Twist on a Classic
Joss Whedon has expressed his taste for classic literature. His attempts in approaching Shakespeare left a romantic comedy in the argot of film. Much Ado About Nothing was a piece celebrating his love for the Shakespearian comedy. So it seems like the company behind his biggest blockbusters has taken a love for classical themes too.
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 develops a simple Greek tragedy theme with a twist: A son that kills his father because of his mother. In the Marvel adaptation, Peter Quill kills his father, Ego, because he confessed he had killed his mother and took the opportunity to have a child who’s half-god in order to conquer the entire universe. Oedipus experience was more human and Peter Quill did not marry his mother (can you imagine audiences enjoying this? No, and so did Marvel) but they did take it to the next level: Peter’s father was a God who had to be exterminated so the galaxy could keep being a harmonious place.
There are two things to examine. Ego was Peter’s dad and what he did to his mom make him deserve death but Ego was also a God and Star-lord had to kill him. Both themes resonate in every intellectual mind. I said what the first was and, as simple as it is, it gives birth to a second theme: The modern philosophy that allows humans to believe they have killed God.
More than just mommy’s boy
Many people still don’t live by this philosophy but many intellectuals say that this is part of our modern ways. In modern times we believe in science, in research, in proof. Any institution, medical, educational, judiciary, or any kind that decides the fate of daily lives doesn’t believe in anything other than scientific proof.
Try to present your teacher with an essay “done by God”. No matter how religious that teacher might be, miracles don’t happen in homework.
A look at today’s society
We live in a society where God has been killed. Not quite literally, though. Guardians of The Galaxy vol. 2 is a metaphor for the new society we live in but we aren’t aware of. Peter Quill starts off his adventure in bounty-hunting with a set of batteries stolen from a culture where rules are strict. Rocket, the genetically modified raccoon, sets off a different kind of adventure when he decides to steal those recovered batteries. When the army of The Sovereign looks for them, the bounty is on the Guardian’s heads. As they start to escape and exactly when there seems no way out, a celestial being appears from nowhere and retrieves them to a safe place.
God acts in mysterious ways, they might have thought.
There is when they find out about this God-Planet and some events take place and Peter Quill knows this man that claims to be his father has killed his mother and plans to take over the whole universe. The gang tries to save the galaxy by killing this Ego God but Peter Quill’s motif seems human, as he was only of that species in the whole movie.
As a society, we have seen the decay of the faith-driven culture. More and more we’re trusting in what science has to tell us and theology seems more like a hobby. We have killed God — but please don’t tell my mom. The millennial generation, the one that’s creating revenue and being more and more active financially gets targeted by every publicist nowadays. That same generation has killed God is more than one way.
I swear it wasn’t on purpose.
Peter Quill’s killing was totally a decision. The God/Father he didn’t know existed had killed his mother. In an attempt to spread himself all over the universe, the love he felt for Quill’s mother was diminished. Poor ol’ kid Starlord had to see his mother die a painful death because his deadbeat Fater/God was trying to control the galaxy.
Don’t blame him for falling into an Oedipal sort of complex. It was the person he loved the most in the world!
The human quality shines through Starlord as he was the only human left in the whole universe. The motivation behind his actions is as modern as it gets. We couldn’t live in a world where a deity enslaves us. We prefer celestial beings that teach us about love and how to be nice to each other.
Getting out of the movie theater
I’m sure the movie had flaws. We all do. What is certain is that it made me think of all the times me and my peers have lived a life with a dead God and we didn’t know. Maybe we’re part of a Marvel storyline and our notion of a deity was murdered so we could live in peace. I guess we are living in peace now, trying to not be mean to each other and living our lives to the fullest. Maybe those who haven’t heard about that modern philosophy are still trying to defend what that Ego scumbag did to that poor woman.
He had it coming. Peter Quill was right to do what he did. It was better that Yondu had raised the kid. Good thing Starlord learned that his father figure was far from perfect but he kept him alive and made him the human being he is, looking for love and bringing some sense of peace to the galaxy.