Movie Structure Breakdown: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Format: Movie

Released: 2017

Written By: James Gunn

Directed By: James Gunn

Run Time: 127 minutes

Character(s): Peter “Star-Lord” Quill, Rocket “I’m not a raccoon” Raccoon, Yondu Udonta

With its multiple character arcs and split storylines, the second installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy is a bit more complex than the first. As such, the central plot is shared between Quill’s quest to know his father, and Rocket and Yondu’s connected journeys of redemption, all tied together by the central theme of family.


A character in an Imperfect Situation faces Oppressive Opposition as he pursues an Initial Goal. But when there is a Disturbance to his routine, he faces a Dilemma regarding his situation, and must assume a New Role.

The Guardians are having a hard time keeping their family together (the imperfect situation) and are still wanted by the Kree and the Ravagers (oppressive opposition) as they attempt to protect Anulax batteries for the Sovereign (initial goal). But when the Sovereign realize Rocket stole some of the batteries and come after them, (the disturbance) they are saved by a man claiming to be Quill’s father who invites them to his planet (the dilemma) to prove Quill is his son (the new role).

The Imperfect Situation: The Guardians are realizing that keeping a family together is a bit more difficult than forming one. They bicker over minutiae. They’ve contracted themselves out to conceited douchebags, the Sovereign.

And that was when he learned the difference between left and right.

Initial Goal: The Guardians want to protect the Anulax batteries from an Abilisk for the Sovereign in exchange for Nebula.

Oppressive Opposition: The Kree and the Ravager’s are still after the Guardians. Gamora denies interest in Quill.

The look of love.

Rocket feels held back by Quill and the others.

Turning Point Catalyst – The Disturbance: Start Time: 15 of 127 minutes (11.8%) – The Sovereign come after them after realizing Rocket stole some of the batteries. The Guardians are saved by a one-inch man but crash land on Berhart.

Turning Point One – The Dilemma: Start Time: 22 of 127 minutes (17.3%) – On Berhart, the Guardians all argue. The one-inch man shows up and reveals himself as Quill’s father, Ego, who’s actually much taller than one-inch. He invites Quill, Gamora, and Drax to his home planet, while Rocket and Groot remain behind to repair the ship and guard Nebula. Quill must choose between remaining a fatherless orphan boy, or believing this aging anti-hero is his dad.

Meanwhile, on Contraxia, Yondu is shunned by his old Ravager buddies before being approached by the Sovereign’s high priestess, Ayesha, who offers him a million units to retrieve the batteries. Yondu must choose between his crew and his son.

The New Role: Quill assumes the New Role of Ego’s son and a member of a real family. Yondu assumes the New Role of Quill’s daddy, kinda.

Act End: On Ego’s ship, Quill takes out his picture of David Hasselhoff while Mantis puts Ego to sleep.

Act Run Time: 34 of 127 minutes (26.7%)


The character Learns the Rules of an Unfamiliar Situation and faces Incidental Opposition in pursuit of a Transitional Goal. But when he receives a Reality Check, he makes a Commitment to his New Role.

Act Start Time: 34 of 127 minutes (26.7%)

Quill, Gamora and Drax travel to Ego’s strange planet (the unfamiliar situation) while Rocket is attacked by Yondu’s ravagers on behalf of the Sovereign (incidental opposition) as he tries to fix the ship (transitional goal). But when Taserface’s mutinous Ravagers execute Yondu’s men, and Mantis reveals there’s more to Ego’s story than meets the eye, (the reality check) Yondu and Rocket formulate an escape plan to rescue Quill (the commitment).

The Unfamiliar Situation: Quill, Gamora and Drax go to a strange planet with a man claiming to be Quill’s father. There they learn of celestials and other such craziness.

Meanwhile, Rocket, Groot and Yondu are captured and imprisoned by mutinous Ravagers.

Transitional Goal: Quill, Drax and Gamora want to figure out who this Ego and Mantis are. Rocket wants to fix the ship and guard Nebula.

Incidental Opposition: Rocket’s attempts to fix the ship are interrupted by Yondu’s Ravagers who want to collect the bounty offered by the Sovereign. Nebula helps them as a means of escaping captivity and going after Gamora. Ego and Mantis aren’t forthcoming with their true intention.

Turning Point Catalyst – The Reality Check: Start Time: 48 Minutes (37.7%) – Taserface’s Ravagers begin executing Yondu loyalists. When Rocket insults Taserface, Nebula intervenes stating that both he and Rocket are worth more alive than dead. Given a ship by the Ravagers, she goes after Gamora.

Quill and Ego continue discussing Quill’s mom. Ego convinces Quill that he loved his mom and the two bond over a game of space catch.

Drax and Mantis discuss his family and she nearly tells him of Ego’s true motives before Gamora interrupts, asking to be shown to their quarters. On the way, Gamora confronts Mantis about what she was going to tell Drax and becomes suspicious when Mantis denies having anything to say.

Turning Point Two – The Commitment: Start Time: 58 of 127 minutes (45.6%): Rocket and Yondu are thrown into the brig. Yondu reveals why he deserves to be exiled by the Ravagers; because he was dealing in children. Yondu comes up with an escape plan.

Act End: Yondu tells Rocket: “We’re gonna need your little friend.”

Act Run Time: 37 of 127 minutes (29.1%)


The character stumbles into the Central Conflict and faces Intentional Opposition in pursuit of a False Goal. But when there is a grave Turn of events, he has a Moment of Truth.

Act Start Time: 61 of 127 Minutes (48%)

The Guardians are placed at odds with Ego and the Sovereign (the central conflict) who have hired the Ravagers to capture the Guardians (intentional opposition) before they can rescue Quill (false goal). But when Taserface sends the Sovereign the coordinates of Yondu’s ship, and Quill and Gamora have a falling out (the turn) Gamora and Nebula reconcile and stumble on the remains of Ego’s progeny while Mantis reveals Ego’s true intentions to Drax and Yondu calls Rocket out on his flaws (the moment of truth).

The Central Conflict: The Guardians versus Ego the Living Planet and the Sovereign.

False Goal: Rocket and Yondu want to escape confinement and take back the ship. Gamora wants to figure out what’s really going on with Ego. Quill wants to get to know his dad.

Intentional Opposition: The Ravagers attempt to stop Yondu, Rocket and Groot from escaping.

He’s too adorable to kill… oh, he just killed someone.

Taserface gives Yondu’s coordinates to the Sovereign. Nebula arrives at Ego’s planet and attempts to kill Gamora. Ego reveals his true purpose to Quill, while Mantis reveals it to Drax and Gamora.

Turning Point Catalyst – The Turn: Start Time: 69 of 127 minutes (54.3%) – Taserface sends Yondu’s coordinates to the Sovereign. Rocket plugs in 700 jumps to get to Ego.

Gamora unsuccessfully tries to contact Rocket. Quill and Gamora dance to Sam Cooke then argue about their unspoken thing and how she thinks something doesn’t feel right about Ego’s planet. She storms out.

Turning Point Three – The Moment of Truth: Start Time: 74 of 127 minutes (58.2%) – Gamora goes into the fields to get a signal and is attacked by Nebula’s spaceship. Gamora rescues Nebula from the wreckage of her ship only to be attacked again. When Nebula realizes she has Gamora beaten she admits all she ever wanted was a sister.

Ego approaches Quill and tells him how they’re the sailor in Brandy by Looking Glass before asking him to come with him.

Mantis, overhearing Ego and Quill’s conversation, wakes a sleeping Drax up about Ego’s true plan. Nebula and Gamora stumble upon the bones of all Ego’s other progeny who failed to show a connection to the light while Ego hits Quill with the light treatment, giving him blue space sclera and bringing him to his side to take over the universe.

Yondu and Rocket arrive at Ego’s planet and Yondu calls him out on how he pushes everyone away because he’s afraid of being hurt.

Act End: Yondu informs Rocket that they’re about to fight a planet. Rocket says “Fight a what?”

Act Run Time: 24 of 127 Minutes (18.8%)


The character implements a Doomed Plan and faces Self-Inflicted Opposition in pursuit of a Penultimate Goal. But when an unthinkable Lowpoint occurs, he pulls himself together and discovers a Newfound Resolve.

Act Start Time: 85 of 127 Minutes (66.9%)

Everyone attempts to rescue Quill (the doomed plan) bringing the wrath of Ego upon themselves (self-inflicted opposition) as they attempt to flee the planet (penultimate goal). But when Ego reveals he gave his mother brain cancer to Quill and smushes his Walkman (the lowpoint) Gamora, Yondu and Rocket smash Ego with their ship and Quill reveals Ego’s master plan to destroy the universe (the newfound resolve).

The Doomed Plan: The Guardians want to rescue Quill and leave the planet, but soon find out that Ego intends to destroy the universe and they must stop him.

Penultimate Goal: Rescue Quill from Ego. Meanwhile, Quill attempts to help his dad with the Expansion.

Self-Inflicted Opposition: Rocket, Yondu, Gamora et al willingly go to fight a planet to save Quill. Ego turns on his dad when he realizes he killed his mom and subsequently suffers the consequences.

Turning Point Catalyst – The Lowpoint: Start Time: 88 of 127 Minutes (69.2%) – Ego tells Quill he gave his mother cancer, before impaling him on an energy spear and using him as a battery for the expansion. Rocket and Yondu arrived and contact Gamora.

Ego smushes Quill’s Walkman. Those are antiques! You can’t buy them anymore. On Earth and across the galaxy the Expansion begins.

Turning Point Four – The Newfound Resolve: Start Time: 92 of 127 Minutes (72.4%) – Gamora, Drax and Mantis burst into Ego’s chamber just before Rocket and Yondu crash into Ego, seemingly destroying him. They all board the ship and Quill tells everyone they have to kill Ego and can’t just leave. Mantis reveals that Ego’s core is in the caverns beneath the surface. Quill and Yondu reconnect and bond as they fix the ship and drill into the surface of the planet.

Act End: As they fly into Ego’s core, Mantis declares, “The crabby puppy’s so cute he makes me want to die!”

Act Run Time: 10 of 127 Minutes (7.8%)


The character tries a Longshot and faces Ultimate Opposition while trying to accomplish the Ultimate Goal. But just when it seems All is Lost, he makes a Final Push against the forces of antagonism and either succeeds or fails.

Act Start Time: 95 of 127 Minutes (74.8%)

The Guardians travel into Ego’s (the longshot) and face off with Ego and the Sovereign drone fleet (ultimate opposition) as the attempt to kill Ego (ultimate goal). But when Ego overpowers everyone and reconnects Quill to the light (all is lost), Quill taps into his celestial powers and battles his old man for long enough to allow Groot to plant the bomb (the final push).


The Longshot: The group travels deep into the planet to find Ego’s core and destroy him.

Ultimate Goal: Kill Ego to stop him from destroying the universe.

Ultimate Opposition: The Guardians and co. face off with a living planet, on the living planet. They are simultaneously attacked by the Sovereign.

“Mantis, look out!!”

Turning Point Catalyst – All is Lost: Start Time: 107 of 127 Minutes (84.2%) – Kraglin arrives with the Quadrant, but Ego’s rock/energy tentacles ensnare it. Ego reforms his human body as his tentacles overpower Rocket, Yondu, Gamora, Nebula, Drax and Baby Groot. He then reconnects Quill to his Expansion batteries and recommences taking over the universe.

Turning Point Five – The Final Push: Start Time: 110 of 127 Minutes (86.6%) – Quill taps into his inner celestial to go toe-to-toe with his old man, allowing Groot to plant the bomb and the other Guardians to escape. Yondu sacrifices himself to save Quill, who realizes that the reason Yondu kept him was to spare him from the fate of Ego’s other progeny, and that Yondu was Quill’s true “daddy”.

Act End: Yondu freezes to death in Quill’s arms as dramatic music plays.

Act Run Time: 23 of 127 Minutes (18.1%)


Having accomplished (or failed to have accomplished) the Ultimate Goal, the character is shown living in a New Situation.

Act Start Time: 118 of 127 Minutes (92.9%)

The New Situation: The Guardians have proven they are a true family. Nebula and Gamora reconcile.  The group has a funeral for Yondu. Prompted by Rocket informing them of Yondu’s last deeds, his old Ravager buddies come to throw Yondu a proper Ravager funeral proving they have forgiven him. Quill is named the new captain of Yondu’s Ravagers. Gamora and Nebula hug. Drax and Groot hug. Gamora and Quill hug. Everybody get your hug on. Oh, the feels!

“I am Groot!”

Act Run Time: 9 of 127 Minutes (7%)

To learn more about six act structure, purchase your copy of “Actions and Goals: The Story Structure Secret” today!


One thought on “Movie Structure Breakdown: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

  1. Guardians December 7, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    Best movie just like the first one..makes me wanna watch it again and never get bored cause all the cast is super amazing with their character in this film…!! Baby Groot i love you so much.. you so innocent and adorable.. and i like it the new character mantis.. she is very good with her acting.. after all this movie just make my day completely perfect.. i hope the next movie is just like the first and second.. very good job all of cast this film.. !!!!!

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