The Characters of "Guardians of the Galaxy"

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
March 25th, 2014

The most unusual entry into Marvel Studios' shared universe of superhero films is undoubtedly "Guardians of the Galaxy." The story follows a misfit group of interstellar outlaws who band together to fight for the common good despite their clashing personalities and checkered pasts. This entry into the franchise is unique as it features characters who are mostly unknown to the movie-going public and even to the majority of comic book fans.

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1. Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star Lord

In the comics, Peter Quill is the half-human offspring of an alien emperor, abandoned on Earth to be raised by his mother alone. After becoming an astronaut, he is chosen by a mysterious entity called the Master of the Sun to become the Star Lord, an intergalactic peace keeper and protector. He is equipped with an artificially intelligent ship and advanced weaponry.


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2. Zoe Saldana as Gamora

The last survivor of her race, the green-skinned Gamora was raised by the despot Thanos to become the ultimate assassin. She eventually turned on her evil master and has been a fugitive ever since. Her abilities include superhuman strength and agility as well as deadly skill with any weapon.


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3. Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer

The most tragic character of the group, Drax was seemingly killed along with his family by the mad Titan Thanos. However, one of Thanos' enemies saved him and transformed him into a superhuman powerhouse to use as a revenge-fueled weapon against his hated foe. Drax possesses vast superhuman strength and is virtually indestructible.


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4. Vin Diesel as Groot

Groot is a plant-like alien, essentially a walking, sentient tree. Though his vocabulary is limited to only three words, he is exceptionally intelligent and has developed a close rapport with Rocket Raccoon. Groot is strong, heals from almost any injury and commands other plants to do his bidding.



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5. Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon

Rocket is a genetically engineered Earth raccoon created by mad alien robots. He escaped from his masters and has been an interstellar adventurer and smuggler ever since. Rocket is a master marksman, an accomplished tactician and an ace pilot.



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6. Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser

The alien Kree controls one of the largest and most powerful empires in known space, and Ronan is its merciless grand inquisitor. He is tasked at meting out deadly justice to the empire's most hated enemies and pursues his mission with intense passion. In combat, he employs powered battle armor and a hammer capable of wielding cosmic energy.



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7. Michael Rooker as Yondu

A blue-skinned alien from the Alpha Centauri system, Yondu hails from a primitive but very spiritual society. He is a master archer and commands bows and arrows made from an alien wood with special properties.



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8. Karen Gillan as Nebula

Nebula is the biological daughter of the villain Thanos, and she is every bit as nasty and violent as her father. Nebula possesses superhuman strength, high durability and more than a few daddy issues.


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9. Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer

Korath hunts down enemies of the Kree and other fugitives, often at the behest of Ronan. In the comics, he is a brilliant geneticist and cybernetics technician capable of creating and employing weapons of devastating power.


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10. John C. Reilly as Rhomann Dey

Rhomann Dey is a Centurion of the Nova Corps, a group of interstellar peace keepers operating out of the advanced world of Xandar. Powers granted to Nova Corps members include immense strength, energy manipulation and flight.


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11. Glenn Close as Nova Prime Rael

The smart, brave and upstanding Rael is imminently qualified for the rank of Nova Prime, which denotes the leadership of the entire Nova Corps. The Nova Prime possesses vast energy powers and other abilities.



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12. Benicio del Toro as Taneleer Tivan / The Collector

The Collector is a mysterious entity that is millions of years old and is obsessed with amassing objects and beings of power to safeguard the universe against an unspecified threat. Known to be a cunning manipulator, the being's vast age may have driven him mad. He is able to channel cosmic energies and can deploy a vast array of deadly alien weaponry.

A film like "Guardians of the Galaxy" is a risky venture for Marvel Studios, employing so many relatively unknown characters to headline such a major effort. However, their relative obscurity also works in their favor. The audience has fewer expectations going into the film, and the writers can take greater liberties with the characters to create a much stronger story.