Posted on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 by Peter Sciretta
In The Avengers, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) tells Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) to give herself “…12% of the credit” for creating Stark Tower. Pepper is insulted by the absurdly low number, and later throws the number back at Tony saying that she was “having 12% of a moment”. James Gunn featured a throwback to Joss Whedon’s 12% joke in Guardians of the Galaxy. When Star-Lord announces his plan to the rest of the team in preparation for the third act battle, Rocket Raccon (Bradley Cooper) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) try to explains that 12% isn’t a plan is “barely a concept.”
Joss Whedon had some involvement in the writing process for Guardians – James Gunn worked with him to mold the script. Everyone loved Gunn’s original script… except for Joss Whedon, who said he liked it but that it was too conventional and “it needed more James Gunn.” So Gunn took another pass and really went for it.
The Many Marvel Characters That Appear in Guardians of the Galaxy
While I was visiting the set of Guardians of the Galaxy in September 2013, director James Gunn revealed that his movie would feature the most Marvel Universe characters of any of the Marvel Studios films released thus far:
I actually have to clear everything with legal. We put in little things like graffiti on the walls and stuff like that. There’s a ton, a ton of characters from the comics in this movie, in little tiny roles. But we have to clear everything with legal because once I use their name then I’m screwed in that scene or whatever. We have just tons of reference to you know Marvel Cosmic throughout the movie. And I’m certain probably the most Marvel comics characters ever in one movie. Oh, without a doubt. I would imagine times four, really. If you think about The Avengers, there was a few S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and then all of the Avengers and then be kinda done. With us, we have—almost every little character is named after somebody in the comics. Some of them are far stretches from what they were in the comics. But we try to keep those little things in there for the fans and they can go and they can look them up and see who they are in the Marvel wiki page and stuff like that. But there’s a lot of characters.
So lets take a look at some of the characters from the Marvel comics that you might have missed.
Peter Quill’s Lady Friend Bereet
After escaping Morag, Peter encounters a woman that he forgot he left on his spaceship. The female character played by Melia Kreiling is named Bereet, a name which comic book readers may recognize.
Bereet was a female Krylorian techno-artist who used her alien technology to produce films concerning fictional adventures of herself and the Hulk.
Bereet became involved with the Hulk on Earth after the big green monster gained Bruce Banner’s intelligence. Below is a photo posted by Gunn from the set:
Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker) is almost nothing like the comic book version of the character. The comic book version was a game hunter/archer from the Zatoan tribe native to Centauri IV. Yondu is notable as being a founding member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, which came together after an escape from a Badoon prison. While the character in the movie is much different than the character seen in the comics, they did adapt Yondu’s expert archery skills into a superpower which allowed the character to control a magical arrow with the sound of a whistle.
The Badoon = The Sakaarans
Ronan hired a bunch of troops to work for him. When I was on set, I saw concept art on the walls calling them “Badoon troops.” Like the pieces above which have been released online, which you can read more about here. The Badoon are a reptilian alien species from the comics who have a lot of history with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Unfortunately 20th Century Fox owns the rights to the Badoon because they first appeared in Silver Surfer Volume 1 Issue #2. The Badoon were replaced them with the Sakaarans, another alien race from Marvel comics. Here is what they looked like in the film:
The species is split into two ethnic groups such as the red skin Sakaaran Imperials and the grey skin Shadow People. The red skins are the ruling class whilst the grey skins live as nomadic warriors or in small villages around the planet.
The Sakaaran troops wear creepy faceless masks made of an organic-looking shell material, which is also used to create their weapons and ships. Without a mask, the Sakaaran look like men, if the front of a man’s face was ripped off from the roof of his nose to his chin. The Sakaaran serve a major role in the Planet Hulk storyline, so if the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings that story to the big screen (something thats been rumored for some time), some of the players will already have been established.
Ophelia Lovibond plays The Collector’s pink-ish colored tortured alien assistant, but her relationship with the collector might be a lot more complicated than we’re led to believe. Her official credit lists Lovibond as Carina so its possible she is playing Carina Walters, the daughter of the Collector and future wife of Michael Korvac (the villain known as The Enemy).
Peter Serafinowicz plays Denarian Saal. We don’t know the character’s full name as Denarian is his Nova rank. In the comics, Garthan Saal was a member of the Nova Corps, was one of the few Xandarians who survived the destruction of Xandar at the hands of Nebula. Saal became the original Supernova.
John C. Reilly plays Rhomann Dey. In the comic books, the character was the leader of Xandar’s Nova Corps and he was one of the few survivors after Warlord Zorr devastated the planet. The attack killed most of the population of Xandar, including Dey’s wife and children. The ending montage showing Dey embrace his family might also be an inside reference to this comic book storyline.
Here is another piece of Nova concept art by artist Justin Sweet (see a bunch of his early VERY DIFFERENT character designs here):
We saw the Nova Corps. in the film but we did not see Nova proper, despite a plan once being in place to feature him in the movie. Above you can see a piece of concept art created for Guardians of the Galaxy showing what the movie version of Nova may have looked like. Read more about that here. Generally Nova is a uniformed human man, Richard Rider, who is buffed up by power and authority. He’s somewhere between a galactic cop superstar and Xandar’s own Captain America. Now we’ve got Nova concept art, detailing one ideas for his on-screen incarnation.
Another Marvel character that appears in the film is Broker, played by Christopher Fairbank. Director James Gunn explains the inclusion of the character:
Broker is another small character from the comics (debuting in Force Works #15) I peppered in for Marvel fans, and I couldn’t hope for a better actor than Chris. A true professional with a long list of credits, Chris was in the pocket on every single take, bringing humanity to what could seem initially like a simplistic character. He’s a favorite of mine and of Kevin Feige’s.
Rocket Raccoon’s Backstory
In the film, Peter Quill notices Rocket Raccoon’s back is scarred and features all sorts of weird implants. In a later scene, a drunk Rocket yells about being torn apart and being genetically experimented on. All of this is part of the character’s backstory, which also appears in the comic books. Rocket was one of many animals that were genetically manipulated to become bipedal caretakers for the mentally ill on the planet Halfworld in the Keystone Quadrant. Rocket became the Halfworld’s chief law officer (“ranger”), protecting the colony against threats from the outside galaxy. Rocket left the abandoned colony with his first mate Wal Russ (a talking walrus).
So what about the future of Guardians of the Galaxy? What can we expect to see in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, due out July 28th 2017? Click here to find out EVERYTHING we know about Guardians of the Galaxy 2!
We have used a lot of sources to collect the information in this post. I have tried to link all of them when appropriate. Here are a few websites that provided more than one piece of information used in this piece: StitchKingdom, Reddit, wikipedia and bamsmackpow. Also Mr Sunday movies put together a video detailing many of the Guardians of the Galaxy easter eggs, watch that below: