theme and the MCU
August 26, 2016
When I drove home earlier this week, it wasn’t particularly late but I was very tired because I’d already been on the road ten hours. So I put on the “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” from Guardians of the Galaxy, which has become my go-to driving while tired album. It’s big, brassy, danceable, and keeps me awake. As often happens with a good soundtrack, I got to thinking about the movie, especially the last montage during “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and I think I might have hit on something.
Guardians is all about family, right? Finding a family when you’ve lost yours, fighting for your family, coming together and supporting each other. But then — isn’t the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe about family?
I know as themes go that’s super broad and kind of all encompassing. But I went character by character. Thor dealing with his place in his family and his contentious relationship with his brother. Natasha having all access and possibility of family cut off — and so she adopts Clint’s, and protects her fellow Avengers like family. Steve Rogers struggling to replace families that keep getting taken away from him. Bruce rejecting family — for their own protection, he thinks. And even Scott Lang doing what he needs to do to get back to his family. And Tony — Tony, who can’t seem to keep a family together no matter how much he wants to.
I don’t think this is something the filmmakers necessarily thought about ahead of time, beyond the fact that “family” as a theme makes for really powerful storytelling more often than not. But I so like the idea of this one theme or concept tying all these movies together, even beyond the interlinking stories. It gives me some ideas of where the MCU might go from here, and gives me some confidence that the movies will continue to hold together.