Marvel's Kevin Feige recently took time out of his busy schedule as producer on the studio's upcoming sci-fi epic Guardians of the Galaxy to chat with Empire, where he revealed that this Marvel Phase Two ensemble is not the studio's answer to Star Wars before breaking down the back story behind each character.
"We're not making this to make Marvel's Star Wars. We're doing this to explore the other side of the existing Marvel Universe. The fact that Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is a human from our time, that he carries a personal cassette recorder with him, already it's very different. It's not a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it's now in a galaxy far, far away."
"We've already said that Thanos plays a part in it and is a character in it. That in and of itself should tell you it's connected to the other worlds. Ronan The Accuser is very much the main bad guy. And Thanos is lurking above it all. You will learn more about Thanos in Guardians, for sure. Certainly you'll get more than the one turn-around-and-smirk. You'll get much more than that."
He also said that the movie takes place in roughly the same time period as the other Marvel Phase Two movies.
"It's not exactly revealed what year or month it is in relation to the other Phase Two films. But yes, it's the same time."
When asked about the Guardians themselves, he said they come together by coincidence, before breaking down each of the characters individually.
"They are an unlikely band. It's pure circumstance that brings them all together throughout the course of the movie."
Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper)
"Rocket [Raccoon] has been genetically and mechanically altered, he's an experiment from one part of the galaxy."
Groot (Vin Diesel)
"Groot is a species that happens to look like trees look, and is quite communicative if you can understand the different inflections in the way he says, 'I am Groot.'"
Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt)
"Peter Quill left Earth in the mid-'80s, but when we meet back up with him he's very much a citizen of the Universe."
Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista)
"Drax has one goal and one goal only, which is to kill Ronan because of a past tragedy."
Gamora (Zoe Saldana)
"When we meet Gamora, she's a bad guy working with Ronan and Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Korath (Djimon Hounsou), and by extension for Thanos. Gamora doesn't necessarily like doing that anymore, and tries to find a new path for herself. But she has such a reputation as the deadliest woman in the galaxy that people aren't greeting her with open arms."