Guest Post!!~ A Perspective on Guardians of the Galaxy

5 Aug

New friend, Asher, is back with another post! You might remember his recent post on SDCC panels

 GotG

(beware spoilers) I had no idea.  No clue.  No warning.  This movie delved deeply into the pain of loneliness and then used perfectly witty and candid humor to lovingly soothe the old battle scars from past experiences that we probably locked away long ago.  Starting with young Peter’s use of music to deal with the tragedy of losing his mother… and then dealing with the regret of not being able to just take her hand for that one last time, followed by being kidnapped by aliens… thank God Peter had a sense of humor!  By the way, a better cast could NOT have been picked for this movie.

GotG crew

Anyway, there are several sub-themes that should not be overlooked by viewers.  The first, of course, is loss and how it brings about grief and anger.  The second is loneliness and the way it can suddenly coerce us into thinking that we no longer care about others.  The third theme captures the consequences of what our own rage can bring to us if we choose to avoid the pain of our loss by wrapping it up in an explosive package of vengeful hatred and bitterness.  Another sub-theme begs the viewer to remember that our strength comes through connection and choosing to be vulnerable enough to trust.  My favorite characteristic—humility—was an underlying theme in the lessons learned in this amazing adventure.  By humility, I mean the selfless act of radically understanding that our existence is only a discrete part of something so much more than we are even capable of understanding, and the only time that we can ever be worthy of discovering such knowledge begins the moment when we are willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for nothing other than it being the right thing to do.  The sixth sub-theme I would like to point out is something I already touched on.  Humor.

A-holes

Ah, sweet humor!  Our best friend that knows just when to show up.  True humor is a gentleman/lady.  It is always on time and speaks with gentle wisdom, allowing us to cope with truth, which alas, can be treacherous at times.  Humor is a universal language, and yet, draws intimacy.  I sat in the theater, with loved ones, but also with a couple hundred strangers.  I noticed we had different cultural backgrounds and lifestyles, but we shared in the enthusiasm of being able to enjoy this very film.  And wouldn’t you know it… with all of our different histories and upbringing, we were brought together as a unified front, most notably, when it was time to laugh.  No, there weren’t a few snickers here and there during funny parts.  When it was time to laugh, we, as a crowd, created an uproar together.  We cheered and clapped, together.  We celebrated.  We felt the relief of that increase in oxytocin within our brains that allowed us feel the human experience together.  These strangers were just like me.  Which brings me to the final sub-theme I will discuss: compassion.  Or shall I say… Groot’s compassion?  His final line in the movie is: “We are Groot.”  Replace the word Groot with the word human or even alive and that’s all I need to even say for most of us to understand the power of that line and what compassion really is.  Wow!  This character was the most bullied and beloved by the others in the film.

But, why?

Groot&Rocket

Because, he was the one with the most compassion.  And true compassion never runs out.  The more compassion you have, the more you get.  That’s why he was able to regenerate his limbs.  That’s why he was able to stretch out as long as he wanted.  He always had enough.  This humble, gentle, seemingly naïve and dull but in actuality, all wise character, was the one with the power to remain both defenseless and protective at the same time.  Remember Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree?  If you haven’t read the book yet, it’s worthy of attention.  It has the same sort of sentiment as Groot’s character.

It goes without saying that factors such as heroism, courage and loyalty were also thematic.  But, I’m sure we would all agree that those can be considered necessary components of any superhero movie.

GotG title

So, how would I rate Guardians of the Galaxy?  That’s a silly question.  It was sheer awesomeness.  Personally, I’m a DC fan because of Superman, but Marvel is really doing an excellent job at attempting to shake my loyalty.  Especially since they gave an equally exhilarating experience in Days of Future Past.

I want to conclude with this final thought.  We can all be Guardians of our own Galaxy if we can remember to stay connected and compassionate, even when it hurts, when we feel alone, when we’ve lost everything we ever thought we cared about, or even when things are going great.

Gamora&Quill

Our thoughts and intentions grow into and create something greater than each of us, and then we all become part of it.  Like characters in a story we are all writing together, collectively we become a larger matter or a broader picture.  If each individual can quell the ego’s need to feel like he or she is the center of that story, then just like Groot, “I” becomes “We” with the realization that the center is merely an illusion for those who cannot see beyond what is directly around them.

(All photos courtesy of google.com keywords Groot, Peter Quill, and Guardians of the Galaxy)

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