Every Marvel Cameo & Character Explained

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Warning: This post contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3Capping off James Gunn’s cosmic trilogy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s cast includes the return of the eponymous team, along with several new characters and a host of Marvel cameos. The original Guardians of the Galaxy line-up return, including a couple of surprising cameos, and a whole new Guardians team is set up for a possible Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 4. That said, Vol 3 is very much the end of the first era of James Gunn’s Guardians and though Star-Lord will return, the future for the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 cast is unclear.


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Following the events of Endgame and their Holiday Special, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 sees the team embark on a mission to save Rocket’s life, with the film exploring Rocket’s origin story with the mysterious and terrifying High Evolutionary. Alongside this, the 2014 version of Gamora returns, and the Adam Warlock tease from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s post-credits scene is finally paid off. As James Gunn’s final project with Marvel Studios, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 marks the last ride for the original Guardians cast of the space-faring team and boasts an impressive cast for their swansong adventure.


Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3 Main Cast – The Original Guardians

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, A.K.A. Star-Lord

Chris Pratt as Star-Lord Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

The half-human, half-Celestial leader of the original team, Peter Quill debuted in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and has since fought alongside Ravagers, Nova Corps, and Avengers in a variety of MCU adventures. Chris Pratt reprises the role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, though this version of Star-Lord is struggling with the weight of losing his version of Gamora, who was sacrificed by Thanos during Infinity War, while also stopping at nothing to save the life of his trusted friend, Rocket. Outside of the MCU, Pratt is known for his roles in the Jurassic World franchise and Parks and Recreation.

Zoe Saldaña as Gamora

gamora in gotg vol 3

Zoe Saldaña debuted in Guardians of the Galaxy as Gamora, the fierce warrior daughter of Thanos who developed a heart, compassion, and even love for Peter Quill. Avengers: Infinity War saw Gamora die at the hands of Thanos, though the Avengers’ Time Heist in Endgame allowed a 2014 variant to be set free in the present day, a version of Gamora who never traveled with her fellow Guardians. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Gamora is revealed to be a Ravager. Saldaña is also known for playing Neytiri in James Cameron’s Avatar films.

Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer

Dave Bautista as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

Drax’s motivation for joining the team was to get closer to Ronan and Thanos to get revenge for his family’s deaths. Now this mission has been completed, and it’s Drax’s dedication to his found family that makes him so endearing. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is Dave Bautista’s final time portraying Drax in the MCU. Bautista has also had a notable role in Glass Onion and showed his range in the brief but poignant opening of Blade Runner 2049.

Karen Gillan as Nebula

Karen Gillan as Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

Gamora’s adoptive sister Nebula has seen more character development in the MCU than most other characters. Karen Gillan originally portrayed the deadly Nebula as a villain, but through years of dissociation from Thanos and in the wake of her father’s deaths in Avengers: Endgame, Nebula has begun to heal and become a valued member of the Guardians team. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 completes Nebula’s transformative story arc, allowing her to finally become a member of the team. Gillan’s other notable roles include Rubi in the modern Jumanji movies and Amy Pond in Doctor Who.

Pom Klementieff as Mantis

Pom Klementieff as Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

Mantis is one of the lesser-developed members of the Guardians team, only being introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the aide to Peter Quill’s Celestial father, Ego. Her empathic powers made her invaluable during Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War, as she was able to subdue the incredibly strong wills of Ego and Thanos. While she often seemed like a strange addition to the team, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special revealed that Mantis and Peter are actually siblings, as Ego had also fathered the former. Mantis leaves the Guardians to pave her own path at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Vin Diesel as Groot

groot in gotg vol 3

Vin Diesel has voiced various versions of Groot during his time in the MCU, debuting a looming and powerful Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, performing as Baby Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a teenager in Avengers: Infinity War, and now a more muscular “Swole Groot”. Before joining the team, Groot acted as Rocket’s bodyguard and accomplice, but very quickly extended this level of protection to the entire Guardians team, even sacrificing his own life to save them in Gunn’s MCU debut. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 sees Groot’s skill-set expand, and he continues to be a valued member of the team.

Bradley Cooper as Rocket

rocket in gotg vol 3

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 explored Rocket’s MCU origins, a backstory that has only been mentioned in passing in previous MCU projects. Rocket has been a staple of the Guardians team since his 2014 introduction, and as one of only two survivors of Thanos’ snap in Avengers: Infinity War (with Nebula), Rocket has also been a member of the Avengers, seeing considerable growth during his time apart from his family. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is an emotional ride for Rocket, bringing him face-to-face with his creator, revealing his tragic past, and ending with him becoming the Captain of the next Guardians team. Noah Raskin voiced Baby Rocket.

Sean Gunn as Kraglin Obfonteri

Sean Gunn as Kraglin in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

Back in Guardians of the Galaxy, Kraglin was Yondu Udonta’s (Michael Rooker) right-hand-man within the ranks of the Ravagers, sticking by his leader fiercely, and eventually succeeding him as the wielder of the cybernetic fin and Yaka arrow. Kraglin was curiously missing from Avengers: Infinity War, though joined in the final battle in Endgame and played an important role in saving Christmas during The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is Kraglin’s first on-screen adventure as an official member of the Guardians team – and commander of Knowhere when the Guardians were on their mission.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3 Villains

Chukwudi Iwuji as the High Evolutionary

high evolutionary in gotg vol 3

MCU newcomer Chukwudi Iwuji was cast as the High Evolutionary in November 2021, adapting the supervillain from Marvel Comics into live-action for the first time. The High Evolutionary is a scientist specializing in genetic engineering, working with the ambition to evolve all living beings into a “special race.” Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 reveals that the High Evolutionary created the Rocket audiences know and love, though left the original Guardian with deep mental scars that have a huge part ot play in the story of the Phase 5 film. The High Evolutionary is an incredibly exciting and menacing villain to be introduced to the MCU

Will Poulter as Adam Warlock

Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3-1

The arrival of the MCU’s Adam Warlock was teased in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, though there’d been no mention of him until Will Poulter’s casting in October 2021. Poulter being cast as Adam Warlock left many confused, but the young actor brought an energy and baby-like quality to the role that makes his future in the franchise very exciting. Created to seek vengeance on the Guardians, Adam Warlock’s MCU backstory is significantly different from his Marvel Comics roots, where he is usually seen as the guardian of the Soul Stone. After saving Peter Quill, Adam became an official member of the Guardians during Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha

Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Elizabeth Debicki portrays Ayesha, the High Priestess of the Sovereign. After Rocket stole batteries from the Sovereign, Ayesha attempted and failed to eliminate the team. Instead, she resorted to creating Adam Warlock, the perfect being, who could have the power to defeat them, though her “son” is eventually unable to stop her from being killed on Counter-Earth.

Judy Greer as War Pig

Judy Greer As War Pig In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

Like Linda Cardellini, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 marks the return of another previous MCU actor in a different role, as Judy Greer previously portrayed Cassie Lang’s mother, Maggie, in the Ant-Man franchise. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Greer voices War Pig, one of the High Evolutionary’s Hell Spawn soldiers who attempts to retrieve Rocket but is killed by Adam Warlock.

Reinaldo Faberlle as Behemoth

Reinaldo Faberlle as Behemoth in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

The High Evolutionary’s other grotesque Hell Spawn soldier is a hulking eagle monster called Behemoth, who also acts as an Arête Laboratories enforcer. He’s voiced by Reinaldo Faberlle who recently appeared alongside Jeremy Renner in Mayor Of Kingstown and briefly in Ozark. He also played a small role in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3’s New Guardians Team Members

New Guardians Team Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

Alongside Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Kraglin, and Adam Warlock, several new Vol 3 cast members join the new iteration of the Guardians team in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 mid-credits scene.

Maria Bakalova as Cosmo the Spacedog

Maria Bakalova as Cosmo the Spacedog in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

Bulgarian actor Maria Bakalova voiced Cosmo the Spacedog in her MCU debut during The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, and was later revealed to be joining the Guardians of the Galaxy officially. In Marvel Comics, Cosmo is a telepathic Soviet dog who was sent into space, where the dog became the security chief on Knowhere. Bakalova also provided motion capture for Cosmo, and she played a pivotal role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, helping to save the High Evolutionary’s experiments.

Kai Zen as Phyla

Kai Zen as Phyla in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

Kai Zen has an incredibly small role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but is still very important. Phyla, whose name is taken from Marvel Comics’ Phyla-Vell, is one of the High Evolutionary’s experiments saved by the Guardians. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s mid-credits scene, Phyla is revealed to be a member of the new Guardians of the Galaxy team.

Dee Bradley Baker as Blurp

Dee Bradley Baker as Blurp in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

Revealed to be a furry version of a creature seen in Guardians of the Galaxy – a F’saki – Blurp is introduced as a Ravager’s pet who is adopted by Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Blurp can be seen with the new Guardians of the Galaxy during the film’s mid-credits scene, implying the creature has joined the team in some capacity.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3 Voice Actors Guide

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 Rockets Friends

  • Asim Choudhry as Teefs the Walrus – Asim Choudhury voiced Teefs the Walrus in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, one of the High Evolutionary’s experiments from Batch 89. The character is based on Marvel Comics’ Wal Rus, an anthropomorphic walrus and friend to Rocket. Choudhury is best known for his roles in BBC mockumentary People Just Do Nothing, Happy New Year, Colin Burstead, and Wonder Woman 1984.
  • Linda Cardellini as Lylla the Otter – After previously portraying Clint Barton’s wife, Laura Barton, from Avengers: Age of Ultron onwards, Linda Cardellini voiced Lylla the Otter in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, yet another experiment of the High Evolutionary and friend to Rocket, Floor, and Teefs. After being featured as an Easter egg in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Lylla’s debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was the perfect way to bring a close to Rocket’s tragic character arc.
  • Mikaela Hoover as Floor the RabbitGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 isn’t Mikaela Hoover’s first experience working with James Gunn, as she auditioned for him for Humanzee in 2008 and was given the lead role in Gunn and Peter Safran’s Sparky & Mikaela. Hoover also made an appearance in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy as Nova Prime’s assistant and appeared as Camila in Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Hoover voiced another of the High Evolutionary’s subjects, Floor the Rabbit.
  • Tara Strong as Mainframe – Mainframe was originally voiced by Miley Cyrus in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but for Vol. 3, Tara Strong assumes the role. Strong previously voiced Miss Minutes in Marvel Studios’ Loki series on Disney+. Mainframe is a member of Stakar Ogord’s Ravager team.
  • Seth Green as Howard the Duck – While only making a brief appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Seth Green returns to voice Howard the Duck. Howard debuted in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy as one of the Collector’s exhibits, but was later released, shown to be interacting with Ravagers in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and even joined the final battle of Avengers: Endgame.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Marvel Cameos Guide

Nathan Fillion in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

  • Nathan Fillion as Master Karja – After working with James Gunn during his 2006 directorial debut Slither, Nathan Fillion became a regular collaborator for the filmmaker, often appearing in cameo roles in Gunn’s Marvel Studios projects. Fillion appeared as a blue alien prisoner in the Kyln in Guardians of the Galaxy, Simon Williams, a.k.a. Wonder Man, in a deleted scene from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and appeared as Master Karja in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, a sentry in the High Evolutionary’s Orgoscope.
  • James Gunn as Lambshank – Though he doesn’t speak, James Gunn appears in a cameo of sorts as monstrous High Evolutionary creation Lambshank (the gooey blob discovered in a cell on the villain’s ship). The role was originally intended to be Stan Lee’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 cameo.
  • Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord – The Rocky star debuted in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as a high-ranking member of the Ravagers, who renounces Yondu as his faction after learning of their deal with Ego. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 teased the formation of the original Guardians team from Marvel Comics, which included Ogord as Starhawk. He is shown to have built a connection with Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, accepting her back into the Ravagers by the end of the film.
  • Michael Rosenbaum as Martinex – Martinex was another member of Marvel Comics’ original Guardians of the Galaxy team and joined Ogord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s tease at this team-up. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 sees these Ravager members return. As Gamora is now part of the Ravagers, Ogord and Martinex work alongside the former Guardian of the Galaxy to help the current team.
  • Stephen Blackehart as Steemie Blueliver – Originally credited as a Knowhere Dispatcher in Guardians of the Galaxy, Blackehart portrayed Steemie in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, and reprised the role for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Blackehart has worked with James Gunn on a number of projects, including The Belko Experiment, Super, The Suicide Squad, and Peacemaker, as the pair met while working on the Gunn-written 1997 cult classic Tromeo and Juliet.
  • Daniela Melchior as Ura – Previously appearing in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad as Ratcatcher 2, Daniela Melchior was an exciting addition to the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 cast. Melchior portrayed Ura in the film, a worker at the Orgoscope who helped the Guardians of the Galaxy retrieve the file on 89P13, otherwise known as Rocket. She is the first Portuguese actor to appear in any MCU project.
  • Nico Santos as Recorder Theel – Santos portrayed Theel in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, one of the High Evolutionary’s recorders. He is best known for portraying Oliver T’Sien in Crazy Rich Asians and Mateo Liwanag in Superstore. Santos’ role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was kept very quiet prior to the film’s release, but he is unwittingly crucial to saving Rocket’s life during the film.
  • Miriam Shor as Recorder Vim – The other of the High Evolutionary’s recorders is portrayed by Miriam Shor in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Though she has a much smaller role in the film than Recorder Theel, Vim attempts to spearhead an uprising against the High Evolutionary. However, this leads to her brutal murder at the hands of the mad scientist.
  • Jennifer Holland as Administrator Kwol – Jennifer Holland has a small role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as an administrator in the Orgoscope. Holland is perhaps best known for her role of Emilia Harcourt in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad and the Peacemaker series, and she also appeared in Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ post-credits scene. Kwol is shot by Gamora during the Guardians’ infiltration of the Orgoscope.
  • Christopher Fairbank as the Broker – Christopher Fairbank originally appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy as the Broker. Working on Xandar, the Broker was approached by Star-Lord about buying the Orb which housed the Power Stone, though refused due to the threat of Ronan the Accuser. The Broker is the first Xandarian character to be seen since the reveal that Thanos decimated the planet in Avengers: Infinity War, so his return is interesting.
  • Rhett Miller as Bzermikitokolok – Rhett Miller debuted with his band, Old 97’s, in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special performing the hit “I Don’t Know What Christmas Is (But Christmastime Is Here).” Bzermikitokolok reappeared during Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, suggesting Miller’s appearance wasn’t simply for the Holiday Special, but that he’s a permanent fixture in Knowhere.
  • Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta – Michael Rooker briefly reprises his role of Yondu Udonta in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, despite the character’s death in Vol. 2. Yondu appears as a vision to Kraglin when he is seeking guidance on how to properly control the Yaka arrow, and soon after seeing Yondu, the Guardian takes down an army of the High Evolutionary’s soldiers with the arrow.
  • Gregg Henry as Jason Quill – Reprising his role from Guardians of the Galaxy, Gregg Henry returns as Peter Quill’s grandfather, Jason Quill. The pair are reunited at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 when Peter retires from the Guardians team and returns to Earth.

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