James Gunn has revealed that Guardians of the Galaxy originally had a Star Wars connection that would have played a big part in the movie. Guardians of the Galaxy was a watershed moment for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it proved that audiences would truly be on board for very unconventional comic book movies, as long as they're good. And by most accounts, Guardians of the Galaxy is quite good. The movie has been compared to Star Wars in the past and, as it happens, there was originally going to be a connection to the beloved franchise in the first Guardians movie.
As he regularly does, James Gunn took some time to engage with his fans via a Facebook Q&A recently. At one point, Gunn revealed that an early draft of the screenplay included a rather surprising connection between Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars, via Star-Lord possessing some action figures from George Lucas' classic space opera. Here's what Gunn had to say about it.
"In the screenplay that was written by Nicole Perlman before I came on to Guardians, Kevin [Feige, Marvel Studios President] had asked that Star-Lord have these Star Wars figures that he loved. And so these Star Wars figures were in the movie and played a big part in it. But I thought that didn't work for me, so I took them out."
Beyond that, James Gunn didn't reveal anything else about these Star Wars figures or how they would have been a "big part" of Guardians of the Galaxy. Though it was previously reported that a Darth Vader action figure would have completely replaced the Sony Walkman that has become so iconic in the series, which would have certainly changed the soundtrack aspect of the movie. When Gunn came on board, he did a re-write on the screenplay and the movie is largely his vision. Even without the action figures, there's still a lot of 70s and 80s pop culture laced into Star-Lord as a character, as those are the years he spent on Earth, so those serve as his reference points.
With that in mind, it's completely understandable to think that Star Wars would have been a part of that. The Star Wars trilogy is as big as it gets when it comes to pop culture and a boy of Peter Quill's age would have almost certainly had some figures from the movie. However, as James Gunn reveals, that it didn't quite work for him, so it didn't make it into the movie. Perhaps having a Star Wars connection in Guardians of the Galaxy would have been a little too on the nose.
It just so happens that Disney now owns all of Marvel, which includes Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars. And it happens that Guardians turned out just fine without the Star Wars action figures. Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have grossed a combined $1.63 billion, with a third installment of the franchise on the way as part of Marvel's Phase 4 plans. You can check out the full Q&A from James Gunn's Facebook for yourself below. GotG poster art above by Matt Ferguson.