In the world of Marvel Comics, Guardians of the Galaxy is a distant second cousin to the more well-known franchises of Spider-Man and The Avengers. More people have probably heard of Howard the Duck than this group.
For those of you who don't know the comic, or need a refresher course, here's a look at some of the characters in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie. (REVIEW: "Guardians of the Galaxy" a cosmic blast of action, humor)
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)Character: An interstellar adventurer — also known as Star-Lord — who was kidnapped from Earth when he was young. He becomes the smooth-talking, wise-cracking, trouble-making head of a gang of criminals.
What Pratt says about Quill: "He's very much a kid at heart. He has spent his life being told to toughen up. But deep down he is lonely. Through the course of the story he learns to care again."
Gamora (Zoe Saldana)Character: She's a green-skinned orphan who was raised by the mysterious Thanos. Her skills make her the perfect assassin.
What Saldana says about training for the movie: "I actually stepped down from the training. I have done so many action movies. There's a lot of muscle memory from what I have done the last seven or eight years so I was able to kind of relax with my body."
Drax (Dave Bautista)Character: The man-mountain has a personal vendetta against Ronan, who killed his family.
What Bautista says about joining the Marvel film universe: "I didn't look at it so much as being a Marvel movie. I just looked at this as something that was something new, original and fresh."
Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper)Character: The bounty hunter and mercenary, who is a master at building weapons, happens to be a talking raccoon because of a biological experiment.
What director James Gunn says about Cooper: "We auditioned a lot of regular actors — famous and otherwise — and they often couldn't pull off the comedy. Bradley is able to do both comedy and drama."
Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel)Character: He's the descendant from a race of walking flora and resembles a sentient tree. His vocabulary is limited but proves to be a valuable ally to the team.
What Diesel says about playing a tree: "When I was a child actor, I had the fear that I was going to be cast as a tree. This was a way for me to face my fears."
Ronan (Lee Pace)Character: A Kree radical who continues to fight an ancient war with the Xandarians. He's formed an alliance with Thanos.
What Pace says about playing Ronan: "He sees a very specific kind of justice and I don't think you need to look too far to see those figures in society. He's a bad, bad guy."
Nebula (Karen Gillan)Character: The blue-skinned deadly assassin is a loyal lieutenant to both Ronan and Thanos.
What Gillan says about the role: "I was totally liberated by the experience. It's a whole identity change and I found that it helped me inhabit the character."
Yondu (Michael Rooker)Character: A blue-skinned bandit who originally kidnapped Quill. He's the leader of a band of outlaws known as the Ravagers.
What Rooker says on being in a big comic book movie: "That's not something I think about when I'm picking a role or offered it. After I get the role, then I will think 'Wow, this is going to be big when it comes out.' But you just do the best you can do."
Taneleer Tivan (Benicio Del Toro)Character: Better known as The Collector, Tivan deals in valuable items and has a particular interest in a special set of gems.
What Del Toro says about the role: "I felt like an animal in a cage and someone opens the door. I was very tentative to take chances but (director) James (Gunn) was nice to me."