From Luke Skywalker to Frodo Baggins, across galaxies and supernatural universes, Joseph Campbell’s Hero Journey myth is used throughout Hollywood’s blockbusters. In 2014 when Disney released Guardian’s of the Galaxy, it took the audience by storm for the use of satire throughout the Guardians journey in space.
Within the introduction, the audience encounters Peter Quill, who was born in his ordinary world of Earth. He listens to 1970’s classic tunes, which humanizes him by making him more relatable to the audience. After the heartbreaking death of his mother, he is captured by Yondu’s spaceship, a bounty hunter hired by Peter’s father. Peter is taken out of the ordinary world of earth and into a mysterious galaxy far from Earth.
Twenty-four years later, Peter is searching for the mysterious orb that turns out to be more than just an valuable object to sell. With this call to adventure, he is hunted across the galaxy by Ronan the Accuser and Yondu. Once Peter discovers the danger of the orb, Peter wants to sell the orb as fast as possible and get it off his hands, this becomes his refusal of the call. Ronan the Accuser sends Gamora to find the orb because of it’s power to destroy the universe. After Peter’s violent encounter with Rocket and Groot trying to kidnap him for Yondu’s bounty and Gamora trying to steal the orb, Peter realizes the value of the orb. This becomes his motivation to accept the call to adventure and make some money. In this realization, Peter along with Groot, Rocket, and Gamora are all arrested and put into a space prison.
Peter has many mentors throughout his journey. While in prison, Groot, Rocket, Gamora, and Peter, create a friendship. At the prison, they all begin to overcome their egotistical differences and become the Guardians of the Galaxy. They each bring a sense of guidance and mentorship towards Peter. Gamora has a high buyer for the orb across the galaxy which intrigues Peter, Rocket, Groot, and Drax. This sets up Peter’s journey to cross the threshold. They all realize the value of the orb but not the power. Their goal is to break out of space jail, to reach the dealer, and to make pay day. The whole team breaks out of the space jail, arrives at Peter’s ship, and take off to fulfill their destiny.
The long road of trials for the team begins. Peter’s judgements of his enemies and allies are first tested while trying to sell the orb and the arrival of Ronan at Knowhere. Peter is discovering who he can trust and who he can’t. After the failure of the transaction and while battling Ronan and protecting his team, the archetype for Gamora surfaces of being a damsel in distress. Her ship gets destroyed by her sister Nebula. Peter risks it all as he goes out to save her. After Peter reaches Gamora, Yondu arrives capturing Peter and the scheming a greater plan would be approaching to the inmost cave.
Peter is making final preparations before taking the final step and leap into the final battle against Ronan. The Supreme Ordeal is the most dangerous tasks and where Peter realizes his real call to adventure, which is to protect the galaxy from Ronan. Peter, the guardians, Yondu’s crew, and the Nova Corps join together to protect the galaxy, while Ronan is enroute to destroy the galaxy and everything in his path.
The pivotal moments of the battle take place on the ground where Peter encounters Ronan. This scene is more comical than other Marvel movies by Peter distracting Ronan and challenging him to a dance contest. This shows the greater power/insight that is necessary to fulfill Peter’s destiny.
After the battle and saving Xandar, the guardians decide to stay together. This band of misfits are transformed into guardians by protecting Xandar. Peter’s elixir or treasure is to find closure in his mysterious beginnings. He finally opens the last gift and note from his mother, which is another mixtape.
Overall, in Guardian’s of the Galaxy, the hero’s myth patterns and archetypal characters are evidently used throughout the movie. Peter Quill is a relatable character to all audiences. He overcomes adversity in perilous times of adversity. Peter’s hero myth is a little different than Harry Potter or Indiana Jones on the surface, but overall is successful in following the hero’s journey.