Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Will Marvel's misfit heroes return?

The latest Marvel Studios movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, is the end of the rowdy heroes' story as a team, but what does this mean for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?

Chris Pratt returns as the Guardians leader Peter Quill in the Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Chris Pratt returns as the Guardians leader Peter Quill in the Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.  © IMAGO / Everett Collection

Tears, shocking deaths, and an emotional ending.

As teased, the last flick in the Guardians of the Galaxy film trilogy is the conclusion of the misfit superheroes' storyline.

The latest film in the MCU's Phase Five picks up from the ending of Avengers: Endgame and follows Chris Pratt as the team's leader, Peter Quill, who rallies the remaining Guardians while also protecting one of their own.

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Despite the film's lengthy runtime, from start to finish, James Gunn's directorial hand has given MCU fans a blessing once again.

But what does this final journey for the Guardians mean? And what about those post-credit scenes?

Here's how Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will affect the MCU! Warning: a few spoilers lay ahead!

Will the Guardians of the Galaxy return in Phase Five or Six?

Will Poulter plays the terrifying villain Adam Warlock in the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
Will Poulter plays the terrifying villain Adam Warlock in the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie.  © IMAGO / Everett Collection

The movie not only wraps up the Guardians saga but also introduces a few new characters that may play a bigger role in the MCU.

Among the newbies is Adam Warlock, played by Will Poulter, who was initially created to destroy the Guardians.

But by the end of the film, Warlock winds up joining what's left of Marvel's oddball gang.

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Yet comic book fans familiar with this character's origins may recall that Warlock actually debuted in the comics during the Fantastic Four arc.

Since a Fantastic Four reboot is coming in the MCU's Phase Six, it's likely that the Guardians, or at the very least Warlock, will be around for the anticipated 2025 film.

Will Peter Quill stay in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 teased the return of Peter Quill, played by Chris Pratt, in future MCU installments.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 teased the return of Peter Quill, played by Chris Pratt, in future MCU installments.  © IMAGO / Everett Collection

Then there's the mysterious Phyla, portrayed by Kai Zen, who had a minor role but is still a significant comic book character.

Readers probably recognized that name as referring to Phyla-Vell, daughter of the original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell.

Phyla had a very minor introduction, but it seems Marvel is beginning to slowly build the new Avengers.

But what about Quill?

Not to give away too much, but the leader of the Guardians has decided to step away from his hero role for a chance at life on Earth.

That certainly doesn't mean he won't pull up when his former allies need him, as the movie's final title card declares, "The Legendary Star-Lord Will Return."

Don't miss these superheroes' last rodeo! Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is now in theaters everywhere.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Everett Collection

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