With character and world building out of the way, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is free to explore a much bigger narrative universe. Or they could just continue their flippant swashbuckling, which is exactly what fans latched on to in the original film and is the focus of this trailer.

As the most independent part of the MCU, Guardians has an unparalleled ability to follow fan outpourings, and fans have been very clear about what they wanted: more Baby Groot. After the dancing sprout surpassed the irascible raccoon and the very literal muscle in popularity, he’s been made a major part of the sequel’s marketing campaign and its planned merchandise line.

In fact, the trailer seems to prioritize Baby Groot, Rocket, and Drax over group leaders Star-Lord and Gamora, perhaps because the latter duo’s scenes will be more intimately tied to the film’s narrative. There seems to be a conscious effort to avoid laying out the plot, instead letting the characters, banter, and danceable soundtrack do the selling.

source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

That was more than enough to keep the original film from tripping on its familiar space western tropes, and with writer/director James Gunn again leading the way, I doubt the formula is going to change much. In fact, the sequel promises a flesh and blood appearance by Nathan Fillion, whose beloved staring vehicle Firefly is perhaps the closest in spirit to the Guardians style. Just throwing that out there in case fans weren’t already losing their minds over Baby Groot with a bomb detonator.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista. It will be released in the U.K. on April 28th, 2017 and in the U.S. on May 5th, 2017. For international release dates, click here.

Do you think Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be even more lovable than the original? Let us know in the comments!

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