Episode 462: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Whistle While You Work

On the Overthinking It Podcast, we tackle Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana.

Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather form a small podcast family to fight endlessly about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which we read primarily as a movie about parents and children, growth and care, learning and development. Special reference to the developmental psychology of Erik Erikson.

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Matthew Wrather started Overthinking It in 2008 with his smartest, funniest friends, and has hosted over 500 hours of podcasts on the site. An LA native, he is an actor and computer programmer, but has worked as a writer, tower bell-ringer, birthday party clown, poet, janitor, and call center manager. He also has a Twitter and a Tumblr.

7 Comments on “Episode 462: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Whistle While You Work”

  1. clayschuldt #

    I listen to the Vol. 2 soundtrack a lot recently. The opening track on the soundtrack is “Mr. Blue Sky”. Baby Groot dances to it during the opening credits.
    I suspect the song is subtle foreshadowing for the film. Of course this is based on the assumption that Yondu is a reference to “Mr. Blue Sky”.

    Reply

    • Peter Fenzel OTI Staff #

      I love this reading. It’s beautiful and happy and sad. Sublime.

      It can also apply to Baby Groot, and to the movie franchise coming back after an absence of a few years, and to Ego leaving and coming back to Quill’s mom and Quill being something of a “return” as well.

      But the Yondu reading is really beautiful.

      Reply

  2. Jay #

    I think there’s something to be said about the way humour is used in this film, to subvert and redirect the audiences expectations of what is supposed to be important.
    In the opening scene with the team having a battle but the camera focusing on Baby Groot dancing in the foreground, is a theme that recurs throughout the film, of “you thought that earlier thing was important, but no, this other seemingly silly thing at first glance is the thing you should be looking at”

    Its done again with the Centurions, first coming across as imposing but descending into ridiculousness as the film progresses, and also with Taserface.

    But the other things, like the conversation of Mantis and Drax and Rocket stealing the batteries, among others, first begin from a point of being played for laughs, and progress to reveal important character motivations that give the story it’s heart.

    Reply

  3. Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff #

    One little detail I find myself thinking about and admiring more and more is the Zune that Peter receives at the very end from Yondu’s second in command. Apparently Yondu was holding onto it for when Peter came back to the Ravengers.

    The Zune is a truly wonderful bit of screenwriting that serves so many narrative purposes. First, it cements the bond between Peter and Yondu; the Zune is indeed the perfect gift for Peter, and one that he will doubtlessly be using every day. (It’s especially perfect given that Ego just destroyed his beloved Walkman.) Secondly, it continues the theme of the soundtrack of Peter’s life being currated by his deceased loved ones. (Although we have no reason to believe that Yondu personally selected the songs on that Zune, I will certainly be thinking of it that way when we finally learn what’s on there.) Thirdly, it sets us up for the inevitable classic rock playlist that will be the backdrop of Guardians Vol. 3. That music had to come from somewhere within the world of the film, and now we know where.

    But it also does something else very important – it gets us out of the 70s. The Zune dates from 2006. So the music for Vol. 3 could span the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. Peter is no longer frozen in time musically from the moment he was snatched. Now presumably, he could have easily gotten more Earth music at any point, but psychologically he seemed incapable of going back there and/or listening to any music that wasn’t specifically gifted to him. This gift allows him to move on (while at the same time keeping him in the same situation where the music is a constant reminder of what he’s lost).

    And finally, the Zune continues the joke that despite Peter’s unbelievably advanced arsenal of toys, his music playing technology is super out of date (“300 songs!”). It’s really ingenious, and it feels more organic than the last film’s unopened present from his dead mother (which was sweet but felt a little forced).

    Can’t wait to find out what’s on that Zune. For some reason, the first thing I thought of was “Hit Me Baby One More Time.”

    Reply

    • clayschuldt #

      We do know the Zune has some Cat Stevens so I am certain many of the songs will still be throwbacks to earlier the ’70s and ’80s. I suspect we will get a few ’90s songs. I suspect “Baby Got Back” will appear on Vol. 3 alongside some early ’90s Grunge.

      Reply

  4. Levi #

    Almost every sequel ends up inevitably compared to The Empire Strikes Back, but I couldn’t help notice many parallels with the asteroid belt chase, ice planet, meeting of the father and the design of the ship and Ego’s planet had a bit of Cloud City vibe in design. Hadn’t really heard many critics mention that oddly enough.

    Reply

    • JSC Well Actually #

      I was thinking about Empire Strikes Back parallels with the asteroid chase, and how they were deliberately playing up them up and subverting them. It’s not just an asteroid field but a “quantum asteroid” field, whatever that is. Not just the best pilot in the galaxy but the two best, both fighting for control. Especially, since actual asteroid fields tend to be just like the rest of space, everything being so far apart in real space. I thought it was another nod to, “we’re really going to have fun with this movie”.

      Reply

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