In the film, I noticed the name to be used for the first time by Ronan after the crash landing, talking to the group. Later, Peter says something like “I guess we really are Guardians of the Galaxy”.

Is this where the name comes from? Did Ronan just make it up to mock the team?

Also, I didn't notice the line “They're calling themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy” from the trailer anywhere in the film.

I'm interested in the in-universe origin of the name, not what writer first thought it up. Also, I don't know how much does the film differ from the comic, so I have no idea if a comic-based answer would make sense here.

  • 1
    Comics-wise in the 2008 relaunch (which the movie is based on) naming the team is something of a running gag for a while. IIRC, Rocket Raccoon kept coming up with "cool" names. In the end, they named themselves Guardians of the Galaxy as an homage to a previous team that held it (from an alternate universe). Aug 1, 2014 at 21:39
  • off topic, but: the only thing worse than trailers that includes all of the good parts of a movie, are trailers that include more of the good parts of a movie than the movie. (Haven't seen GotG yet, so I dunno if this applies.)
    – KutuluMike
    Aug 2, 2014 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


They did drop John C. Reilly's line "They're calling themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy" from the final release of the film. I also noticed that Drax is not in the lineup scene in the film, as he was introduced later. I think he was included in this part of the trailer so that all five main characters could be introduced in a similar way.

To answer your question, yes, Ronan the Accuser is the first to use the name "Guardians of the Galaxy" in the film. Peter Quill (Starlord) and Rocket do talk about saving the galaxy in earlier scenes, but they don't use the titular phrase until after Ronan coins it.

In the comics, there is some confusion as to where (more accurately, when) the team's name comes from as well. The "original" Guardians of the Galaxy come from 1000 years in the future, but those comics were published decades ago (in the late 1960s an early 1970s, then again in the early 1990s). That team traveled into the past (creating alternate timelines, as one does) and influenced the current team to take the name. So the current Guardians of the Galaxy took the name from a team that existed before them and 1000 years after them. Adding to the confusion, at least one character (Vance Astro, aka Major Victory) was a member of both teams, so it's not entirely clear whether or not the two teams influenced each other to take the same name, which would be a paradox.

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    Let's add to this! Vance Astro, who was part of both teams is originally from the modern era and became a deep space astronaut who traveled so far for so long, he ended up in the future. When the original GotG (the team of future people + Vance) first traveled back into the past, Vance met his modern day counterpart, convinced him to never go into space, and accidentally activated the teen's mutant power. This teen Vance Astrovik... would go on to be Justice (originally Marvel Boy) of the New Warriors and Avengers.
    – JoshDM
    Aug 5, 2014 at 19:25
  • @JoshDM Vance Astro met his 13 year old self in an old issue of the Defenders too. He's a menace to the timestream! Aug 6, 2014 at 2:17
  • @JoshDM I guess you're just not supposed to make any kind of sense out of this comment if you don't know the comic? ;-)
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Sep 2, 2014 at 23:11
  • @NapoleonWilson Made total sense to me, and I've never read the comics. Just your everyday closed time loop. ;-)
    – clacke
    Mar 7, 2018 at 10:57

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