Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries from invaders. When it is discovered that Rocket has stolen the items they were sent to guard, the Sovereign dispatch their armada to search for vengeance. As the Guardians try to escape, the mystery of Peter’s parentage is revealed.
Why Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2?
Filled with dazzling bright colours and accompanied by a great selection of old-school music, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is one of the most unique MARVEL movies to date in my opinion. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed by the prequel of this series, hence I had low expectations for the second movie. However, the second movie blew my mind away with its witty script and it brought me on an emotional rollercoaster ride. We get to see a lot of character development in each individual character and I have fallen in love with every single one of them.
“You like a professional asshole or what?” – Yondu
In this scene, two of the characters, Yondu (the blue dude) and Rocket (the raccoon) are imprisoned by their foes. Trapped in the same space and feeling defeated, these two arch enemies open up to each other and share about their own stories.
A part of their conversation went like this:
Rocket: You’re smiling, and for a second I got a warm feeling. But then it was ruined by those disgusting-ass teeth.
Yondu: You like a professional asshole or what?
Rocket: Pretty much a pro.
Then the two proceed to make their escape, which is one of the best sequences in the movie! I love that even though both of them are so passive aggressive to each other, they were still willing to put aside their history and work alongside with each other for a common goal. They even became good friends by the end of the movie!
Breakdown of Quote:
“You like a professional asshole or what?”
Meaning of professional asshole:
In a nutshell, a professional asshole refers to a character who is qualified in being stupid and irritating. The character in this case is Rocket the Raccoon. Surprisingly, even the raccoon itself has its own connotation.
- Have a bad reputation – dig through trash and make a big mess, spread rabies, invade attics
- Known as ‘masked bandits’ because of their sneaky habits and masked ninja-like appearance
- Extremely intelligent and have great memory
- Mischievous and temperamental
In a sense, the raccoons live up to the name of being a professional asshole due to their destructive nature.
While this quote is directed to Rocket, let’s not forget about the one who said it, Yondu. From his perspective, he must be irritated by Rocket’s unnecessary rude remark. I’m pretty sure that Yondu would’ve used his powers to get back at Rocket in some non-fatal way. Yondu’s powers are unique and cool so it will be interesting to incorporate them in my designs too.
Yaka Arrow Controller:
The Yaka Arrow Controller is a prosthetic metal piece on the top of the head of Yondu Udonta that he uses to control the Yaka Arrow.
The Yaka Arrow is a whistle-controlled arrow that is Yondu’s favoured weapon. Highly skilled in its usage, Yondu always kept one in a holster by his side.
Room for improvement:
- Raccoon holding Yondu’s Yaka arrow controller is a reference to the movie, but it doesn’t show clearly how it is being an asshole. It looks like it’s returning the arrow controller, which is the total opposite of an asshole.
- Positioning of arrows can be improved and more intentional.
- Narrative devices: Metaphor
- Design principle: Lines
- Wearing a graduation hat with a degree with hand – represents qualifications and professionalism.
- Resides in a dustbin – where raccoons often raid.
- Hands over a piece of poop – Poop literally comes out from the ass. Moreover, of all things, the raccoon chose to present a piece of poop. How offensive!
- Starburst – Reference to the Rocket the raccoon being part of the guardians of the galaxy.
- Arrow hiding amongst vintage star burst behind the raccoon – Raccoon remains oblivious. Reference to Yondu’s arrow striking, representing his annoyance.
- The arrow is unnecessary, it complicates the narrative since there are too many things to decode.
- Audience has to know the movie to decode the meaning of the arrow.
- Arrow has to be incorporated into the main design (raccoon) to add on to the narrative.
- Finalised design for Concept 1
- Based on Mimi’s comments, I removed the arrow and it has made the concept clearer now. My classmates also felt that the arrow was redundant too since the main imagery is already packed with a lot of meaning. The arrow only throws the viewer off.
- Narrative device: Metaphor
- Design principle: Symmetry
- Minimal approach
- Snaring – Aggressive behaviour towards each other.
- Arrows shooting from raccoon’s mouth – His rude words are like arrows attacking Yondu. Also a reference to Yondu’s arrow.
- Vintage star ornaments – Reference to the galaxies, since these characters are guardians of the galaxies. Star ornaments consist of two stars colliding into each other, can represent either conflict or harmony, which describes the relationship between these two characters well.
- Swirly vintage ornamental frame – Balance out the aggressiveness in this composition.
- Teeth – Reference to Rocket’s rude comment about Yondu’s teeth.
- Vintage borders seemed force, they don’t go well with the main imagery and don’t have any purpose too. It makes the design look ‘pretty’ and nothing more.
- More elements that will represent these characters as superheroes, eg. cape.
Based on Mimi’s comments on showcasing the character’s identity as heroes, I felt that these characters are more than just heroes. Then I realised that of course they’re more than heroes, they’re the guardians of the galaxy! Hence, I decided to use imagery that would represent guardians. The first thing that came to my mind was wings, which I have already incorporate them into my design. I thought of incorporating halos too, but I felt that it would make the imagery more confusing since the halos would suggest that these characters are saints, which they are not in this case. I added a vintage astronomy diagram in the background to indicate that these characters originate from the galaxies.
I was so caught up with the ‘asshole’ aspect of the quote and trying to put it in context, that I totally forgot about the professional part of it! Besides using a graduation hat to show professionalism, other objects such as a business suit or a tie can do the same too. However, I feel that the graduation hat is still the most straightforward way to convey this idea, so I incorporate it once again in this design.
When I search for ‘vintage illustrations guardians’, the results that showed up are surprisingly not angels, but gargoyles. This led me to research more about the meaning of gargoyles.
What are gargoyles?
Gargoyles are grotesque and demonic creatures often seen in medieval buildings. They are believed to come to life during the night and turn to stone during the day. Many had open mouths and long necks because they functioned as downspouts to divert rainwater from building foundations. The word “Gargoyle” originates from the old French word “Gargouille” meaning “throat” but which also describes the gurgling sound of water as it is coming down the downspout.
- Religious reason – a clear and constant reminder that the devil and original sin exist
- Churches often had these creatures on the roof to ward off the devil and demons, acting as protectors and guardians
- Somewhere along the way Gargoyles were seen as evil and were taken down
- In art history, we also learn that gargoyles are demons that have been cast out from the church, since the church is a place of purity
As you can see, the meaning of gargoyles are open to many interpretations. Hence I decided not to depict the characters are gargoyles due to the symbolism that gargoyles already hold.
This concept revolves around the theme of mafias. It is a different approach from the previous two concepts as it involves anthropomorphism. It makes the raccoon seem more human-like due to its physical human features.
- Static and boring pose
- Pose is too literal
- Design principle: Rule of thirds, anthropomorphism
- Mafia – A way to depict the raccoon’s professionalism in being an asshole, as they are often scheming and up to no good.
- Shooting crazily with a maniac laughter – being an asshole.
- Car in the background – Proves that he’s a pro and he’s loaded.
Room for improvement:
- Too much jet black tones. Need to vary more tones.
- As compared to the previous design, this has more breathing space
- Usage of money bag to further emphasise on the greediness and ‘asshole-ness’ of Rocket the raccoon
- The character isn’t a mafia in the movie. Doesn’t relate back to the movie.
- Pick out visual elements from the movie and incorporate them into the movie.
I’m scraping this mafia idea altogether since it has nothing got to do with the movie. I find that the previous concepts are a lot better in terms of conveying the quote and being in context of the movie.
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- Yaka Arrow Controller. (2017). Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki. Retrieved 28 September 2017, from http://marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com/wiki/Yaka_Arrow_Controller
- Yaka Arrow. (2017). Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki. Retrieved 28 September 2017, from http://marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com/wiki/Yaka_Arrow
- Mythicalcreaturesguide.com. (2017). Gargoyle – Mythical Creatures Guide. [online] Available at: http://www.mythicalcreaturesguide.com/page/Gargoyle [Accessed 3 Oct. 2017].
- Woods, A. and profile, V. (2017). The Symbolism of Gargoyles. [online] Gargoylestore.blogspot.sg. Available at: http://gargoylestore.blogspot.sg/p/symbolism-of-gargoyles.html [Accessed 3 Oct. 2017].
- Rocket Is The Secret Hero Of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. (2017). Space.ca. Retrieved 28 September 2017, from https://www.space.ca/guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-2-rocket-hero/
- How to Keep Animals Out of Your Garbage | Critter Ridder Texas. (2017). Critter Ridder Texas. Retrieved 28 September 2017, from http://www.critterriddertx.com/how-to-keep-animals-out-of-your-garbage/
- Yaka Arrow Controller. (2017). Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki. Retrieved 28 September 2017, from http://marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com/wiki/Yaka_Arrow_Controller?file=GotGV2_Baby_Groot_Rescue_4.png
- Yaka Arrow. (2017). Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki. Retrieved 28 September 2017, from http://marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com/wiki/Yaka_Arrow?file=Guardians_of_the_Galaxy_Vol._2_145.jpg