In addition to the first official photo from their new space epic "Guardians of the Galaxy," Marvel gave the world another New Year's Eve gift: an official synopsis. Now you may not think this is the most exciting thing in the comos, but the new information certainly sheds some light on what kind of trouble Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroy, Groot and Rocket Raccoon will get themselves into later this year.
As a quick recap, here's the synopsis that went out with Disney's 2014 schedule press release:
"An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits — Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand — with the galaxy's fate in the balance."
Reading this synopsis at face value, none of this is particularly insightful. Director James Gunn addressed the release on his Facebook account, explaining that he worked closely with Disney to keep the synopsis spoiler-free, and for the most part, he's successful.
Post-"Thor: The Dark World" however, there's more to this plot summary than meets the eye.
If you saw Marvel's second standalone movie for the god of thunder, you'll no doubt remember the wonderfully off-beat post-credit scene featuring Benicio del Toro as his "Guardians of the Galaxy" character The Collector, an immortal being obsessed with adding unique cosmic items to his ever-growing trove. In the scene, Sif and Volstagg deliver the powerful Aether to The Collector because they don't think it wise to keep it in the same location as the Tesseract from "The Avengers," since they're both Infinity Stones, six powerful gems that separately control one aspect of the universe and together turn the holder in a god.
Since Marvel established the presence of two Infinity Stones in their cinematic universe, it only became a matter of time before the other four show up, and based on the "Guardians of the Galaxy" synopsis, it would be smart bet to put your money on the "mysterious orb" being one of them.
However, the biggest missing piece of the puzzle here is Thanos, the death-obsessed purple dude you saw at the end of "The Avengers," so now it's time for a little Marvel logic. It is a truth universally acknowledged that if Thanos exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he must be in want of Infinity Stones. The synopsis may focus on Ronan as the main villain, but Thanos will be in "Guardians of the Galaxy" and he will want to get his hands on that orb. So while we figured that the Infinity Stones would factor heavily into "Guardians of the Galaxy," we didn't know just how essential at least one of them would be to the story. Assuming we're right, of course.
We'll find out for sure once "Guardians of the Galaxy" opens on August 1. (Which we can finally say is this year.)