James Gunn’s First Two Films “Guardians of the Galaxy” the movie is clearly about Peter Quill. Peter, to remind the reader, is a character so convinced of his own flamboyant heroism that he nicknamed himself “Star-Lord”. Like anyone who chooses a nickname for himself, Peter is a pretty tough guy who can be a capable hero in times of trouble, but isn’t the most gracious. Peter is obsessed with 1980s pop culture — or what he remembers about it before he was abducted from Earth as a child — and is eager to be insolent and “funny.”
Peter’s behavior, the audience soon learns, is a defense mechanism for some deep-seated trauma. As a child, he watched his mother pass away, making his first film about interrupted motherhood and the child it creates. The second “Guardians” movie is about Peter meeting his biological father, a distant planetary intelligence that has nourished many aliens throughout the galaxy. Appropriately called Ego (Kurt Russell), Peter’s father is a toxic narcissist. The second film is about a stalled father-son relationship.
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Peter is finally forced to look inward. As he begins the film in a state of ecstasy, it seems like he’s struggling with what he’s seeing. He has also lost his soon-to-be lover Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), only to find her replaced by a clone with no memory of him.
Towards the end of the film, Peter has to admit that he never really grew up and due to access to a spaceship, he returned to Earth to find himself. He moves in with his grandfather (Gregg Henry) and begins to learn how to be human again. In short, the frat boy has grown up. If only a little.