Aliens as Races: Guardians of the Galaxy


      Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie that takes the audience on a journey with a group of social outcasts from different galaxies led by a human named Peter. The characters in this group, Peter, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket,  start out as strangers, but by the end of their adventures they together become a close knit family. Their expedition to save the world from an all powerful infinity stone incorporates aspects of visionary fiction as the movie discusses how not all superheroes have to look a certain way, and as long as they have a good heart then that is all it takes to be a superhero. The societal problem of racism is presented through the physical discrimination within the aliens, and it is essential for the audience to analyze the characters and the way they are treated because it reflects how not all races are not treated equally, and all races should be or else only certain parts of humanity can prosper and a portion of it can help society progress.

     Guardians of the Galaxy discusses racism by having its alien characters not be treated as well as the lead role, Peter. First off, the main character is played by a white actor, while every other character is an alien, which suggests that the lead character should ideally be a caucasian male, thus demonstrating society’s expectations of how the superhero should look like. Additionally, the only other main actor from the movie in real life of color is Gamora, and in the movie she is green which hides her true darker skin tone, thus supporting how society expects its superheroes to not be of color. Aside from the actors and actresses themselves, the way their characters are treated in the movie also reflect the racism presented in society. Rocket for example, is a raccoon with a high intelligence in bounty hunting and battle tactics, but because he is a raccoon he often gets treated like a simple animal when all he wants is to be respected “like a human” or as equally as the rest of his friends. During the movie, Rocket gets frustrated and yells “He called me vermin! She called me rodent!”(Feige and Gunn, 2014). This reveals his insecurity of being a creature that does not get treated the way he wishes to be. If his friends did not show reverence for Rocket and his intelligence, they would not have gotten out of the prison. This is a parallel to how non white people in our society are treated, since they are not expected to succeed as much as Caucasians, thus they are rarely given the opportunity to show or develop their intelligence or talents.

      It is important that the audience realizes that the different aliens from different galaxies resemble different races on  our planet, because it will then become obvious how if the characters let their differences and backgrounds of who they are get in the way of the mission, then the galaxy would have never been saved. It is also vital that the audience recognizes how the aliens from different galaxies become a family because it demonstrates that people from different races can also form a kinship. Humans need to attend to racism because with this issue standing in the way, we let Caucasians only be successful and we only let them help humanity progress because they are the only ones who are given the opportunity. Racism also causes people to form groups of their own race, and each race has several of its own cultures, thus preventing cultural knowledge to be shared with other people.  Other races are equally as intelligent and capable, and if we give them the chance like the characters did to Rocket, then more people can help humanity advance and make the world a better place by being their own type of superhero.

Vennela Gadde

Guardians of the Galaxy. Dir. James Gunn. Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures, 2014. DVD.


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