The Guardians of the Galaxy are some of the most popular Marvel Comic book hero groups that ended up earning their own Marvel Studios series of movies. Of course, there are plenty of fans of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies because of the comedic value that they bring to the MCU. And this entire dysfunctional group is incredibly entertaining to watch, especially when they are going up against powerful opponents.
There is already a good number of Guardians of the Galaxy movies. In fact, there are some movies that technically aren’t part of the Guardians of the Galaxy series of films but still feature the group. So, with that said, let’s look at all of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies in order, including the holiday special.
Guardians of the Galaxy Movies in Order (At a Glance)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
- I Am Groot – just the first episode (2022)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
- I Am Groot – the rest of the episodes (2022)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
- The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
Guardians of the Galaxy Movies in Order (Fully Explained)
1. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy, released in 2014, is the movie that started the entire franchise as Kevin Feige enjoyed the fact that the Guardians of the Galaxy comics were revamped to make them fun and more entertaining. In that regard, he believed that making a film out of this new angle in the comics would be more entertaining than ever, and that was why James Gunn was called in to direct the movie.
Thanks to the entertainment factor that Guardians of the Galaxy provided, the entire movie became a huge hit and is still one of the best MCU movies to date. The film, of course, explores the beginning of the Guardians of the Galaxy and how a band of misfits became a heroic group that travels all over the galaxy to save people from different threats.
Guardians of the Galaxy takes place before Avengers: Age of Ultron in the timeline of the MCU. In this movie, Peter Quill is able to acquire the Power Stone as he ends up becoming the target of many different people due to how valuable this stone is. He ends up on the radar of Ronan the Accuser, who wants to take revenge on the Nova Empire on Xandar.
Of course, Quill ends up meeting Rocket, Groot, Gamora, and Drax in the most unusual way as they have to escape prison together. They ended up forming a team in an attempt to try to stop Ronan. In the end, they had to work as a single yet dysfunctional unit to defeat Ronan and stop him from using the Power Stone to destroy Xandar.
2. I Am Groot (2022)
I Am Groot is an MCU project released on Disney+ as a series that’s child-friendly. The entire series chronicled the events of Baby Groot after he was born following the death of the original Groot in the events of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
The first episode of I Am Groot takes place right after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy, as it talks about Baby Groot’s first steps. While this series isn’t really necessary for people to watch to understand the entire Guardians of the Galaxy storyline, it still is an entertaining break from the mainline movies.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the sequel movie to the first movie, which was an instant box office hit. Of course, the story of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the events that were already established at the end of the first movie, where we learn that Peter Quill wasn’t exactly human in terms of his genetic makeup. As such, Vol. 2 talks more about his history and parentage as it was able to shed some light on who exactly Quill’s father is. It was also in this movie that Mantis joined the Guardians.
The movie starts off with Quill and the Guardians of the Galaxy fulfilling a mission for the Sovereign. Of course, they ended up offending the Sovereign due to the very nature of what the group is, but that’s a different story to tell.
In Vol. 2, the Guardians were able to meet Ego, who is actually a Celestial that takes the form of an entire living planet. Ego introduced himself as Quill’s father, as he went to Earth many years ago and fell in love with Quill’s mother. In that regard, he wanted Quill to take his place by Ego’s side on his planet.
However, things weren’t exactly happily ever after because it was revealed that Ego had impregnated numerous women throughout the galaxy, only to find out that Quill was his only compatible offspring. He was about to brainwash Quill into joining him in his mission to take over the entire galaxy, but Star-Lord found out that Ego was the one that placed the cancer in his mother’s body, as that was what prompted him and the Guardians to go against the Celestial and kill him. However, in the process of doing so, Quill lost Yondu, who was more of a father figure to him than Ego ever was.
4. I Am Groot (2022)
We continue with I Am Groot as all of the episodes of this series (except for the first one) take place right after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and before the post-credit scene of that film, as Groot was already a teenager there. That means that the window between Ego’s defeat and the post-credit scene of Vol. 2 is where the bulk of I Am Groot takes place.
5. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War is the first-ever huge crossover event in the MCU, as it involved all of the mainline characters of this cinematic universe in a war against Thanos, who wanted to gather all of the Infinity Stones in his attempt to erase half of the universe for the sake of the preservation of the planets that were running out of resources. In that regard, the Guardians of the Galaxy also take part in this movie.
The Guardians appeared when they answered a distress call coming from the ship of the Asgardians before it was destroyed by Thanos. They ended up meeting Thor, who was floating in space after his ship exploded but was still alive. That was when they learned more about what Thanos wanted to accomplish and what he was doing. And because the members of the Guardians have a history with Thanos (Gamora is his adopted daughter), they decided to join Thor in his attempt to stop the Mad Titan.
Rocket and Groot went with Thor to forge a new weapon that he needed to stand a chance against Thanos. Meanwhile, the rest of the Guardians went to the Collector to try to prevent Thanos from acquiring the Reality Stone. While they failed in that regard, Gamora was taken by Thanos and was eventually killed as his sacrifice to obtain the Soul Stone, as the rest of the Guardians were unaware of that when they teamed up with Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man to try to defeat Thanos in the ruined planet of Titan.
The Guardians failed to defeat Thanos, as he acquired the Time Stone and went to Earth, where he acquired the Mind Stone from vision. Thor came in time to deal a mortal wound to the Mad Titan, but he failed to kill him as Thanos used the Infinity Stones to snap half of the universe out of existence, including Peter Quill, Mantis, Drax, and Groot. Nebula, who patched things up with Gamora in Vol. 2, became a member of the Guardians in this movie.
6. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Following the events of Avengers: Infinity War, the Guardians appeared in Endgame as well as Rocket and Nebula actively worked alongside the Avengers in their attempt to bring back everyone that perished due to Thanos’s snap. Taking place five years after Infinity War, Endgame allowed us to see Rocket and Nebula returning to the past along with the rest of the Avengers to try to take the Infinity Stones from different timelines after Thanos destroyed the ones from their timeline.
When Nebula went back to 2014 (before the events of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie), that was when things became more complicated as Thanos found out about what they were doing. As such, using the present-day Nebula, Thanos and his army were able to time travel to the present-day timeline just shortly after the Hulk used the Infinity Stones to bring half of the population of the universe back. This led to an all-out war between the Avengers and Thanos’s army, as it concluded when Tony Stark used the Infinity Stones to erase the Mad Titan and his army at the cost of his own life.
At the end of the movie, Thor decides to give up his status as the king of Asgard because Valkyrie is a better leader. He also proclaimed himself a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy as it was clear that he was about to embark on different adventures with them.
7. Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
Thor: Love and Thunder opened up with Thor adventuring with the Guardians of the Galaxy, as it was clear that he was their big gun while they were helping different people all over the universe. The dynamic between Thor and the Guardians was very entertaining, but his adventures with them were cut short when they learned that someone had been killing gods all over the universe.
In that regard, Thor needed to get to the bottom of this personally, as he decided to return to investigate the death of the gods. Meanwhile, the rest of the Guardians had to answer distress calls from different planets all over the universe after the deaths of their gods had affected them. That was when they had to part ways, as Thor now embarked on a more personal journey involving his relationship with Jane Foster. Of course, he had to go up against Gorr, the God Butcher, who was powerful enough to slay entire pantheons of gods all over the universe.
8. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is a Disney+ involving the Guardians themselves, as it takes place after Thor leaves the group. In this special, the Guardians decide to make Christmas more special for Peter Quill, who was missing the holidays after spending so many years away from Earth. That was when the Guardians went to Earth to find the perfect present that would make Christmas feel more special for Quill.
9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
Releasing in 2023, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will follow the adventures of our favorite band of misfits after Thor parted ways with them. In this movie, Quill is still affected by the loss of Gamora while they are still protecting different people from some of the most dangerous elements in the galaxy. However, they are now tasked with a dangerous mission that could put the entire fate of the Guardians on the line.
Not much is known about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 at this point, but it will introduce characters like Adam Warlock, who is quite possibly a creation of the Sovereign, into the MCU. James Gunn also said that this movie is going to conclude the story of this Guardians group.
While Gunn did say that this will wrap up the storyline of this Guardians group, it is possible that there will still be more movies involving a new set of Guardians in the future. Of course, it depends on what will happen in the events of Vol. 3.