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‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’: How James Gunn Made His ‘Empire Strikes Back’

The "Guardians" sequel dabbles in its own father-son story and cosmic force, as director James Gunn continues playing Marvel "Star Wars."

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

Of course, pop music once again plays an important role and the Awesome Mix Vol. 2 includes “Brandy” by Looking Glass, Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra, and Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son.”

“‘Brandy’ was a part of the initial inspiration for the movie,” Gunn said. “I love the lyrics, I love the [music] and I thought it fit perfectly for the way Ego sees the world [as a sailor who always returns to the sea]. I also thought it was an interesting way for them to be discussing pop culture in a really specific, serious way.”

By contrast, Gunn calls “The Chain” “a beautiful song about the [Guardians] possibly disbanding or staying together,” and “Mr. Blue Sky” the hardest song to select for Baby Groot’s joyous, opening dance number.

Members of Fleetwood Mac and ELO’s Jeff Lynne first wanted to view the scenes with their songs cut together before giving approval, and Lynne, who hadn’t seen the first “Guardians,” was initially a tough sell.

“Father and Son,” though, was tricky because it was so on the nose. But after hearing it on “The Howard Stern Show,” Gunn was hooked on its bittersweet sentiment.

READ MORE: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Post-Credits Scenes: What They Are and What They Mean For the MCU

And what can we look forward to in “Vol. 3”? A riff on “Return of the Jedi” with more assistance from Yondu buddies Stakar (Sylvester Stallone), Martinex (Michael Rosenbaum), Charlie-27 (Ving Rhames), Aleta (Michelle Yeoh), and Mainframe (uncredited Miley Cyrus)?

“It’ll tell the end of this particular story about Peter Quill,” said Gunn. “We’ll get to know the characters a little better and how they need to change, especially Rocket, and we see that very specifically at the end of the movie.”

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