The comic book genre has a terrible habit of killing off characters, only to bring them back shortly after, and even before the movie in question is over in some cases. While the initial demise of a major player can have a huge impact on the story or audience in the short term, making death a temporary obstacle that’s easy to overcome massively lessens the emotional stakes.
When Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel was buried at the end of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, nobody believed for a second that he wouldn’t be back in Justice League, while Tom Hiddleston’s Loki has died several times over but Marvel Studios will use the multiverse loophole to have the 2012 version that escaped from Avengers: Endgame headline a Disney Plus TV show.
However, if James Gunn has his way, then don’t expect Yondu to return to the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. The blue-skinned Ravager may not have been Peter Quill’s father, but he was his daddy, and there were tears shed in theaters around the world when he met his demise in Vol. 2.
In a recent social media exchange with fans, the filmmaker revealed why Michael Rooker won’t be seen in the franchise again unless it’s part of a flashback, and it’s clear that Gunn doesn’t want to reduce the power that Yondu’s death had on both the fans and Quill’s character arc, as you can see below.
I get sometimes you can bring back characters in a cool way. But usually, if a character dies, & it's a meaningful part of the story, the character should stay dead. So unless it's a flashback, Yondu will stay dead, as far as I'm concerned. Otherwise, it ruins his sacrifice. https://t.co/Z3enj0LEdM
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 24, 2020
And that’s exactly why, as long as I have the power, Yondu will stay dead. I don’t want to cheapen moments like these. ?❤️ https://t.co/OcWqhcb0Mx
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 25, 2020
Rooker has gained something of a reputation as Gunn’s good luck charm, having worked together multiple times over the last decade or so, but a flashback seems like the only way that we’ll see Yondu appear again in a future Guardians of the Galaxy movie.