Guardians of the Galaxy - 2014
Age-appropriateness: moderate sci-fi action, some language and violence
Overview: A group of intergalactic criminals must pull together to stop a fanatical warrior with plans to purge the universe. On their own, they couldn’t accomplish a whole lot. But when a band of misfits joins together to form the Guardians of the Galaxy, they are able to do a lot of good. Five heroes come together and they must learn friendship, unity, teamwork, and sacrifice if they are to save the world.
Themes: leadership, teamwork, family, friendship, death/grieving, stealing, trust, sacrifice, expressing emotions
The Quick 3
Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.
1. Friendship. What do you think makes a really good friend? When you think of your closest friends, what parts of their character do you appreciate the most?
Halfway through the story, Peter explains why none of the Guardians have any friends. He says that 5 seconds after meeting somebody, they are already trying to hurt them or steal from them. They act selfishly, and it’s really hard to make friends when you’re only thinking of yourself.
2. Teamwork. Have you ever tried something on your own, but just couldn’t seem to get it done? Have you ever considered trying to accomplish that with a team instead of doing it by yourself?
When each the Guardians try to accomplish things on their own, they always fell short. However, they were able to do incredible things as a team. They were even able to withstand holding the power of an Infinity Stone in their hand!
3. Defending Others. How much must someone love you to be willing to give up their life for you? Did you realize that Jesus did that very thing for you?
In a moment of love, sacrifice, and unity, Groot proclaims, “We are Groot.” He then lays down his life for his friends. John 15:13 says, "There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
After The Movie Discussion Guide
Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.
1. Check out this article on the Strengths and weaknesses of all of the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
2. Peter Quill’s self-proclaimed outlaw name is “Star-Lord”. The word “Lord” is used many times in the Bible to describe God. One way to think of the meaning of “Lord” is to think of it as “master”. When someone receives Jesus and makes Him the “Lord” of their life, they’re saying that he’s in charge. They’re agreeing to try to live their life God’s way because, well, he is the “master". How would your life be different if God were truly in charge of your every decision?
3. Halfway through the story, Peter explains why none of the Guardians have any friends. He says that 5 seconds after meeting somebody, they are already trying to hurt them or steal from them. They act selfishly, and it’s really hard to make friends when you’re only thinking of yourself. What do you think makes a really good friend? When you think of your closest friends, what parts of their character do you appreciate the most?
4. When each the Guardians try to accomplish things on their own, they always fell short. However, they were able to do incredible things as a team. They were even able to withstand holding the power of an Infinity Stone in their hand! Have you ever tried something on your own, but just couldn’t seem to get it done? Have you ever considered trying to accomplish that with a team instead of doing it by yourself?
5. Ronin’s motivation as a leader was entirely self-centered. He never gave forgiveness and didn't have any shame. Outraged by the peace treaty, he wanted to destroy all of Xandar to get his revenge. He was a terrible leader and wreaked havoc wherever he went. Why do you think self-centered leaders cause destruction? How could Ronin become a better leader?
Minute By Minute Guide
Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.
:03 Young Peter Quill is at his mother’s bedside when she passes away. Have you ever lost someone or something that you loved? How do you think this moment impacted Peter for the rest of his life?
Here's an article about How to Talk to Your Kids About Death/Grieving.
:12 Yondu says that Ravagers have a code. Peter gives his opinion, saying that code is to “steal from everybody.” In Exodus 20, God gives us the Ten Commandments. In verse 15, one of the commandments says, “you must not steal”. Why do you think people steal things from other people? When was the last time you took something that wasn't yours?
:22 Peter, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot are transferred to the Kyln, a high-security prison. In Philippians 1:12-14, Paul writes about a time that he was in prison. He explains that he used his time in prison to advance the Gospel: "And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear." How can you have a similar perspective during your difficult times in life? How can you make the most of every situation to tell people about Jesus?
:31 When Drax is about to hurt Gamora, Peter convinced him to keep her alive. Peter saw a vulnerable person and he stood up to her defense. Psalm 82:4 says, "Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people." Who is someone in your life that is in need of protection? How can you love and serve that person?
:45 Peter and Gamora talk about trusting each other. Trust is to believe that someone is honest and sincere. How easy is it for you to trust others? How trustworthy are you as a person?
:54 Rocket takes exception to being called insulting names like “vermin” and “rodent”. He’s offended and his feelings are hurt. Have you ever been called a name that really hurt your feelings?
:57 The Collector explains a story about the Infinity Stones and the beginning of creation. He says before the world even existed, the six singularities (what are now the Infinity Stones) existed. Then, the universe exploded into existence. It has some similarities to how the world actually started. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have always existed, even before Creation. Then, God created everything. Read Genesis 1. What questions do you have about how the universe was created?
1:06 Peter sacrifices himself to save Gamora. He’s willing to die so that she may live. Romans 5:18-19 says, "Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous." Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, we can be with God again! How much must Jesus love you, knowing that He gave up His life for you?
1:09 Drax identifies that his anger and rage were just a way to cover his feelings of loss. Instead of dealing with his emotions, he buries them deep and becomes harsh, angry, and mean. Do you express your emotions in a healthy way? How often do you become angry because you don't want to deal with your negative feelings?
Check out this article about How to Talk to Your Kids About Expressing Their Emotions.
1:19 In a moment of team bonding, the Guardians unite together and decide to help one another, no matter what it costs. Peter shows a moment of vulnerability, saying he needs help. He’s admitting he can’t do it all himself. Vulnerability is sharing openly and honestly with someone knowing you are risking being hurt. Do you ever admit your weaknesses? How easy is it for you to ask for help when you need it?
1:29 Drax defends his friends from Nebula, who says a bunch of mean things to them. What is your typical response when someone says something negative to your friends?
1:39 In a moment of love, sacrifice, and unity, Groot proclaims, “We are Groot.” He then lays down his life for his friends. John 15:13 says, "There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” How much must someone love you to be willing to give up their life for you? Did you realize that Jesus did that very thing for you?
1:50 In a letter, Peter’s mother says he is the “light of her life”. Matthew 5:14-16 refers to Jesus’ followers as the “light of the world”. What do you think it means to be the ‘light” in someone’s life? How can you bring light into the world?