GALAXY GUIDE #20: A Galaxy Not So Far Away

Star Wars

In the wake of Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, and with it, the "Star Wars" franchise, there has been much speculation about one particular corner of that multimedia juggernaut, namely the "Star Wars" comic books. Produced exclusively by independent publisher Dark Horse since 1991, questions immediately arose about the future of the "Star Wars" comics in light of another Disney acquisition of the past few years: Marvel Entertainment, which among other things is the comic book industry's leading publisher.

According to recent reports, a decision has been made, and Dark Horse will lose the license to Marvel after 2013, with new "Star Wars" comics coming from Marvel in 2015. But could the Marvel/Star Wars connection extend beyond the comic book arena, and even onto the big-screen? Marvel has their own space opera in "Guardians of the Galaxy" hitting theaters in 2014, so we thought it might be fun to compare and contrast the characters populating these respective space epics, and see how they might fit together… or not.

Star-Lord Vs. Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker is a great more idealistic than Peter Quill, owing to his idyllic upbringing in the care of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, tragedy only striking once he had reached maturity. Peter, on the other hand, had the trauma of seeing his mother murdered before his eyes when he was still a child. Still, they both have in common that loss of parental figures that is so often found in heroes, and they also share the background of growing up in a mundane existence, yearning to reach the stars. Both have destinies thrust upon them by wise and enigmatic mentors; Luke has Obi-Wan Kenobi to teach him the ways of the Jedi, while Star-Lord had his powers bestowed upon him by the Master of the Sun. Both are skilled combatants, although Star-Lord sticks to his guns, while Luke prefers an elegant weapon from a more civilized age. But perhaps their most important common ground is that each bears the responsibility of leadership among their friends and allies, a role both accepted reluctantly.

Gamora Vs. Princess Leia

Women of action, neither Gamora nor Leia willingly accept the role of damsel in distress, preferring to take matters into their own hands whenever possible. Leia tends to make use of her diplomatic skills before resorting to the blaster however, while Gamora is more likely to go straight to some sort of sharp-edged instrument for resolving disputes. Leia saw her entire world of Alderaan destroyed by the Empire's Death Star superweapon; Gamora also faced the horror of genocide when her people were exterminated by the forces of the Magus. Both have some serious father issues; Leia's dad happens to be the Dark Lord of the Sith known as Darth Vader, while Gamora was adopted by the Mad Titan, Thanos. Both have had great romances in their lives, but Leia is more of a one-man woman in her relationship with Han Solo, while Gamora has had dalliances with everyone from Warlock to Nova.

Drax The Destroyer Vs. Han Solo

Every team needs an outlaw, the guy who brings a bit of danger and a smart remark to the proceedings. Drax and Han fit that role for their respective teams, although they come at it from very different angles. Han has that old Solo charm, while few people would accuse Drax of being charming in the slightest. And Drax prefers to get a little more hands on in his confrontations, while Han knows when to cut and run. Still, when faced with a sticky situation, both are the type to shoot first, and ask questions later. And both have a gruff, seemingly cynical exterior that can be shed (literally, in Drax's case) when their friends are in need.

Rocket Raccoon Vs. Chewbacca

Covered head to toe in body fur? Check. Armed to the teeth? Check. Handy with technology? Check. Rocket Raccoon is perhaps a little more erudite than the mighty Chewbacca, but either one of them are extremely valuable in combat situations. They're also loyal friends, Rocket to his longtime buddy Groot, and Chewie to the captain of the Millenium Falcon, Han Solo. Rocket may have the edge in terms of planning and tactics, but you probably wouldn't want to dispute that with Chewbacca; as in most cases, it's usually best to let the Wookiee win.

Groot Vs. R2-D2

Sometimes the members of the team who say the least are the ones you should most listen to. That certainly applies to both Groot and R2-D2. One relies on his name to fill out those awkward pauses in conversations, while the other beeps a lot when excited, but those closest to them understand what they're trying to get across, and they often provide valuable advice on getting out of jams. In terms of their roles in combat, the two really couldn't be more different; R2-D2 is the go-to droid for interfacing with X-Wing starfighters, while Groot generally only gets involved in a fight once he reaches his full, gargantuan tree size. But each consistently proves what he's made of when the chips, be they silicon or wood, are down.

Thanos Vs. Darth Vader

Heroes are proven by the villains they face, and both the Guardians and the Rebel Alliance have fearsome ones, although their motivations and ambitions are somewhat different. Darth Vader serves as chief enforcer for the Galactic Emperor, while Thanos seeks to win the affections of his beloved Death. Vader began life as the heroic Anakin Skywalker, while Thanos was always just a bit peculiar, even from childhood. However different their paths, both turned out to be brutal killers, with Vader leading the extermination of the Jedi, and Thanos wiping out half the life in the universe, before each man's plan was undone by the heroes opposing them. And yet both at times have sought redemption, Vader turning on the Emperor to save his son Luke Skywalker, and Thanos seeking the counsel of his confidant Adam Warlock to turn over a new leaf. But despite these forays onto the side of angels, both will long be remembered as villains, first and foremost.

Our weekly Galaxy Guide takes you through the cosmic side of comic book movies, from "Guardians of the Galaxy" to infinity and beyond. Tell us what you think in the comments section or on Twitter!

Previous Galaxy Guides:

» Five Future Guradians

» Five Villains For Josh Trank's 'Fantastic Four' Reboot

» Lost In Space: Five Heroes To Have Along For The Ride

» Reading Into Rom

» Exploring Malekith's Kurse

» Blasting Off with Nova

» Iron Man Goes to Space

» Bendis And McNiven Go Galactic

» Thanos' Greatest Schemes

» Who is Rocket Raccoon?

» Who is Groot?

» Who is Gamora?

» Who is Drax the Destroyer?

» Who is Star-Lord?

» Plotting a Course for "Guardians"

» Gunning for the "Guardians"

» Surfing Across Universes

» Who Should Direct The "Guardians" Movie?

» Who Are The Guardians Of The Galaxy?