Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a Marvel Comic movie directed by James Gunn and was released in 2017. The movie opens with the Guardians fighting an extra-dimensional monster, which they eventually defeat. Naturally, shortly after, the team finds themselves in even more trouble and are soon attempting to escape multiple enemies. With that said, our goal of this site is not to give a complete overview of the film, but rather to document how the movie relates to the meaning of life; and surprisingly, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is packed with gems.
Outside of fighting monsters, running for their lives, etc., one thing becomes apparent early in the movie—everyone has family issues. From Gamora and Nebula fighting each other to Peter Quill (Star-Lord) wanting a father, the movie reflects what life is like for a lot of us.
Peter discovers that his father is a "Celestial", aka a "god" but not "God", named Ego. His father recounts that one day he popped into existence and his first memory was of floating in space, alone. Ego eventually learns how to manipulate matter and energy and becomes a planet. However, this wasn't enough as he desired "meaning." On a side note, a self-aware entity popping into existence via quantum fluctuations is theoretically possible in physics. They are known as Boltzmann brains. Ego appears to have started as one of these Boltzmann brains and states the following about being alone in the universe:
I desired meaning. There must be some life out there in the universe. Besides just me, I thought. So I set myself the task of finding it.
He finds life and is amused for a bit. However, Ego wanted to experience what it would be like to be human, so he takes the form of a human. It reminds me of the following quote.
Later in the movie Ego and Peter have the following conversation.
Ego: Now, you need to readjust the way you process life. Everything around us, including the girl... everything is temporary. We are forever. Peter: Doesn't eternity get boring? Ego: Not if you have a purpose, Peter... which is why you're here. I told you how all those years ago I had an unceasing impulse to find life. But what I did not tell you was how, when I finally did find it, it was all so... disappointing. And that is when I came to a profound realization. My innate desire to seek out other life was not so that I could walk among that life. Peter... I have found meaning.
Ego's quest to self propagate is a natural byproduct of life itself. However, replacing all other life with oneself is not, and is counter productive according to evolution. But, this is of course not the first time we've seen villains have what is considered an "evil" or misguided purpose. Other notable cases that we documented in this blog include Legion (also Marvel) and Get Out.
Later, Ego states the following to Peter about self propagation as the team appears to be defeated:
You cannot deny the purpose the universe has bestowed upon you. . . . What greater meaning can life possibly have to offer?
The movie seems to answer the question for itself with a vision from Peter. Family, friendship, and love.
At the end of the movie, Peter reflecting on his Dad's (Yondu) death, states, "What I'm trying to say here is... sometimes that thing you're searching for your whole life... it's right there by your side all along. You don't even know it."
The Guardians all were look for something, yet they all had exactly what they were searching for by their side the whole time.
We rate the movie:
Overall - 9
Meaning of Life Relevance - 7
Uniqueness – 6