Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 might have been baggier and less-focused in some ways than its acclaimed predecessor, but it arguably zeroed in on its characters even more. In particular, it did an amazing job of thoroughly humanizing Michael Rooker’s Yondu. Peter’s childhood kidnapper being reinterpreted as his adoptive daddy could have felt cheap, but the actors and James Gunn’s writing really sell the dysfunctional father-son dynamic.
It catches you by surprise, then, when you find yourself welling up when Yondu sacrifices his own life to save his “son,” when he gives Star-Lord his air supply – in a neat mirror of Peter’s own heroic act towards Gamora in the first movie. The ensuing funeral scene is also very touching, with Peter’s “Hasselhoff” speech just injecting the right amount of light humour into the moment before it undercuts the emotion.
With such an increased role for the character in Vol. 2 then, some fans were upset that he was killed off so soon, as it felt like we were just getting to know him. And so, in the time since release, many have been calling for Yondu to be resurrected. According to Gunn, however, that’s just not going to happen.
Taking to Twitter this week, the writer/director addressed the situation, saying he has no intention of bringing Rooker’s character back.
He will never be brought back to life as long as I’m around. His passing needs to mean something.
Frankly, he makes a good point here. Too many times we’ve seen characters resurrected due to demand from fans and it only cheapens their death. Like Gunn says, his passing needs to have meaning, and it did – so long as he’s not brought back.
That being said, we do understand where people are coming from and we, too, can’t help but wonder what the franchise will be like without Yondu and his remarkable personality. Michael Rooker was undoubtedly one of the standout stars in the first two movies and the next film will certainly be poorer without him there.
Still, even though he’s gone, he’s certainly not forgotten. We’ll always remember Yondu for the hilarious Mary Poppins memes and jokes and treasure him for the depth that he brought to the series. While Groot might be the cute one and Rocket the funny one, Yondu will always be the heart of the Guardians of the Galaxy.