Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Characters Most Likely To Die In Guardians Of The Galaxy 3

As reported by ComicBook.com in April 2020, writer/director James Gunn has confirmed that someone is going to die in the upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." Fans immediately began speculating about who wouldn't make it to the end of the trilogy, using everything from behind-the-scenes drama to an interesting theory regarding the color of the various film logos. But the reality is, of course, we're not going to know until the film hits theaters in 2023. 

Not to mention that Gunn could be having a little fun with the fans. One asked Gunn "Will someone die in gotg 3" and Gunn answered "yes," without further elaboration. The fan didn't ask if a Guardian would die, just if "someone" would die. Technically speaking, "someone" has died within the first few minutes of both "Guardians" films released so far — Meredith Quill (Laura Haddock) succumbs to cancer in the opening scene of the first film, and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) kills the extra-dimensional beast the Sovereign hires the team to slay in the beginning of the sequel. Then there's all the mostly-nameless Nova Corp, the Sakaarans, the prisoners of the Kyln, the Ravagers, etc.

But, assuming Gunn took the question as it was intended — as if someone with narrative weight in the "Guardians" films would die — we've got what we think are some pretty good guesses. From Guardians to villains to sidekicks and more, here's who we think is most likely to die in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."

Drax's mission is over

There's a fan theory regarding Drax's (Dave Bautista) potential death in "Guardians 3." As reported by Cinema Blend, some fans believe the logos of each "Guardians" film corresponds with a main character who dies. The color of the first logo is kind of a golden brown, which some think corresponds to the bark-like skin of the adult Groot. The logo for "Guardians 2" was blue, and the blue-skinned Yondu (Michael Rooker) sacrifices himself toward the end of that film. The logo for the upcoming sequel is gray, leaving some to assume Drax is next on the chopping block. 

There are other reasons beyond fan theories to believe Drax won't survive the third film. Drax's mission is over. Thanos (Josh Brolin) is dead. He dies without Drax contributing very much to his downfall, and Bautista was vocal on Twitter in August 2021 about being confused and frustrated with the characters' shared history getting "swept under the rug." Plus, Bautista has said he won't play Drax after "Guardians 3."

And let's face it: Bautista and Marvel Studios aren't exactly besties. Bautista is much more openly critical of Marvel than other actors. In particular, when James Gunn was fired from "Guardians 3," he was the only "Guardians" cast member who publicly blasted Marvel for the decision, and said he would not appear in the film if Marvel didn't at least use Gunn's script. Gunn's re-hiring settled the matter, but it doesn't seem like Drax's death would result in a lot of Marvel or Disney executives losing sleep.

Rocket's lifespan isn't that long

Speaking of the logo color fan theory, some fans agree that the color is telling us who's going to die, but that the gray of the "Guardians 3" logo isn't pointing to Drax, but to the fur of Rocket. 

if it is Rocket who's on the way to the morgue, then it might not even be any physical danger that ends the raccoon, but old age. In the first "Guardians" film, as the different team members pledge themselves to saving Xandar, Rocket finally gives in and says, "Oh, what the hell. I don't got that long a lifespan anyway." The line's played mostly for laughs, but there's no reason to think he's lying. Raccoons generally live between 2-3 years in the wild, but in captivity can get as old as 20, according to PBS. If we assume Rocket lived at least a year or two before the events of the first "Guardians" film, then he's at least a decade old by the end of "Avengers: Endgame." That's a pretty old raccoon. 

Then there's also the fact that James Gunn has said for a while that "Guardians 3" is where he intends to tell Rocket's origin story. We may finally learn exactly who named him "Subject 89P13" and why. If Gunn stays true to his word, we may see an end to Rocket's character arc, which in turn will open the possibility of his shuffling off to the well-stocked trash can in the sky.

Ayesha can only escape justice for so long

In "Guardians 2" we meet the gold-skinned Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) and her people, the Sovereign. While clearly seeing the Guardians as inferior beings, Ayesha has no beef with the heroes until Rocket steals some of the same Anulax batteries he and the other Guardians were hired to protect. Once the theft is discovered, Ayesha becomes one of the film's villains, sending a fleet of drone ships after the heroes. The Sovereign fleet makes the Guardians' final battle with Ego (Kurt Russell) a lot more complicated, but in the end they prevail. Still, from the moment Ayesha unleashes her fleet to the film's end, she never physically confronts the Guardians.

That's sure to change in "Guardians 3." In one of the five mid-credit scenes of 2017's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," Ayesha appears and teases the coming of Adam Warlock — a Marvel character fans have been anticipating for quite a while. Shortly after the release of the film, Gunn confirmed he plans to bring Ayesha back for the third movie, calling Debicki one of his "favorite actors" to work with. 

Assuming Gunn's plans remain the same, it would seem unlikely for Ayesha to survive her second go at the Guardians. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) likely already has a bone to pick with her considering the Sovereign's contribution to the situation that led to the death of Yondu. You can bet she won't be able to hide behind her drones forever.

One of Yondu's old comrades will reunite with him in the afterlife

While the "Guardians" films largely take their inspiration from the 2008 comic book revival of the franchise by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Paul Pelletier, Gunn has made sure to pay tribute to the original incarnation of the team that debuted way back in 1969's "Marvel Super-Heroes" #18. Yondu begins his comic book life as one of the OG Guardians, and the second film introduced other old school Guardians like Charlie-27 (Ving Rhames), the crystalline Martinex (Michael Rosenbaum), and of course Sylvester Stallone's Stakar Ogord, aka Starhawk. Of course, while this version of the Guardians starts off as a group of freedom fighters from the future in the comics, in the films their counterparts are more concerned with lining their pockets.

There are rumors that Sylvester Stallone will be returning as Stakar Ogord for the third film, some of which surfaced in July 2021. If any of the OG Guardian actors reprise their roles, there's a good chance we'll see them get taken out; perhaps even all of them. While they're thieves, as we learned in the first film, the Ravagers aren't above doing the right thing every once in a while. Also, seeing these echoes of the original team sacrifice themselves heroically would be a fitting end to Gunn's trilogy. 

The Collector's fate may finally be unveiled

Of all the questions that remain unanswered in the MCU, one of the biggest revolves around the fate of Taneleer Tivan, aka the Collector (Benicio Del Toro). While he appears in 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War," the scene proves to be an illusion. Thanos sets his collection on Knowhere ablaze, leading us to believe Tivan's corpse could be among the flames, but it also might not. In a superhero movie narrative that sees heroes and villains resurrected all the time, it's foolish to assume a character is dead even when you see the body; to assume they're dead when you don't is just silly.

It seems one of two things will happen with the Collector in "Guardians 3": either audiences will finally get confirmation that Thanos killed the Collector in "Infinity War," or he will make an appearance as one of the villains of "Guardians 3" and will die by the end. 

It is, after all, long past time the Collector took more of an active villainous role in the MCU. While he's clearly portrayed as someone with few moral scruples, in spite of appearing in three Marvel movies, he's never actually come into conflict with any of Marvel's heroes. It's kind of ironic, really, that the most active we've seen the Collector was in Episode 2 of "What If...?"

Kraglin has a target on his head

It isn't fun to think about, and it isn't fun to say it, but there's a really good chance that Kraglin — played by James Gunn's brother Sean Gunn — could be rejoining his old captain Yondu by the end of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." While Kraglin's absence in "Infinity War" had some fans wondering if he had split off from the team, James Gunn confirmed in May 2020 that Kraglin will return for "Guardians 3." 

No, Drax probably won't find out it was Kraglin who skewered him with Yondu's arrow in the mid credits scenes for "Guardians 2" and will rip him in half for it. And hopefully, the Ravager won't accidentally take himself out while practicing with the arrow. 

It's just that Kraglin kind of has a target on his head. James Gunn is going to want some big, emotionally powerful moments for his final "Guardians" chapter and, as far as killing off characters, Kraglin's the perfect choice. In terms of audience reaction, he could be to "Guardians 3" what Phil Coulson was to "Avengers" — he's prominent enough for his death to sting, but low enough on the totem pole that the sting won't be too bad. He's the Goose to the Guardians' Maverick, the Boromir to the Guardians' Aragorn, the Wilson to the Guardians' Tom Hanks.