Before tonight’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 preview, we’d seen some fun “coming-soon” glimpses of the upcoming sequel to the 2015 breakaway success—funny banter between Star-Lord, Rocket and Baby Groot, an introduction to the strange abilities of the odd-looking Mantis—but nothing to show us what the movie would be about. Tonight’s new trailer finally gives us a better understanding of what to expect from this May’s much anticipated sequel in the areas of plot and villains.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

First let me say this: I am stunned by how visually complex the Marvel films have become, especially GoTG. The environments are so colorful and rich; it feels like multiple viewings could never reveal all the details layered into the elaborate fore and backgrounds. I watched the trailer on my 65 inch tv with full Dolby Digital, but I cannot wait to see it on the big screen! While waiting for the trailer to drop, I caught a parody video of Dr. Strange, and it wasn’t as moving, visually, as it was on the big screen. I’m so happy to see that Marvel Studios is giving us a reason to see these films in the theaters, on large format screens.

The tone of the trailer carried the same snarky, sarcastic mood of Vol. 1 (is that what we’re going to have to call it?), something that really sets the franchise apart from its fellow superhero flicks. Peter and Gamora, Rocket and Ayesha (the golden villainess), Drax and everyone, the banter is all there. I am hopeful that most of the good lines from the movie weren’t wasted on the trailer…it happens more often these days than I’d like. One thing that is reinforced in this new sneak peek is Drax’s use as the film’s comedic relief. It goes so much against his character’s type to be funny, and it worked so well in Vol. 1, I’m glad that we are seeing the promise of his misunderstood commentary in Vol. 2.

Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki)

Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki)

By way of plot introduction, it seems that Ayesha is the leader of a force set out to remove all undesirable traits from the galaxy, which puts the petty in-fighting Guardians high on her “to-do” list. While this isn’t as pressing of a threat as recovering an Infinity Stone, the trailer seems to suggest that Ayesha intends to destroy more than just the Guardians, giving the team just cause to pull out all the stops to prevent that from happening.

The theme of “friends are the family we choose” continues to move the franchise forward, and the preview gives us plenty of looks into that dynamic. Gamora and Nebula are still at each other’s throats. Peter’s murderous adoptive father, Yondu, seems to be part of the Guardians inner-circle. After the end of Vol. 1, there is obviously some explaining to do in order to understand why Yondu is now part of the team, as well as how they picked up Mantis.

Rocket (Voiced by Bradley Cooper)

Rocket (Voiced by Bradley Cooper)

I’m a prop guy, and while the rifles, blasters, and ships were cool, my interest was immediately piqued by the retro-looking tracker/sensor that Peter Quill holds in the beginning of the preview. It looked like a mash up of a Star Trek tricorder and a 1980’s era handheld football video game. I’ll be interested to see how long it takes before a talented artist has a version of it up online for 3d printing. Not long, I hope—I totally want one.

I won’t spoil the big twist (yes, the trailer has a twist), but Peter will have a chance to come to terms with his past in the sequel. From what I know from reading the recent Guardians comics, this doesn’t go well for those parts of his past. The good news is that the twist will most definitely add a multi-layered approach to the film which should give us a fun 2 hours

Check out the latest trailer and let us know what you liked most.