FEATURE: Predicting Awesome Mix Vol. 3

This feature is part of our 20 Days of Infinity War. Click here for more WOBAM awesome.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks are universally praised by fans and critics alike. Within these heart throbbing mixtapes are a connection to Meredith Quill that carried Star Lord through the good times and the bad. Each Awesome Mix has been an emotional roller coaster. And with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 set to be our last oorah with the team, the third Awesome Mix is all but a guaranteed Tilt-A-Whirl.

For our 20 Days of Infinity War, we thought it would be fun to try and predict the next Awesome Mix. But, as I delved into the Billboard charts, one thing became abundantly clear: predicting an Awesome Mix requires predicting the plot of the entire movie. That's tough, because we know very little about James Gunn's plans for the film. What was left for me to work with were unresolved plot threads, some hints at things to come, and my own imagination.

With that in mind, I listened, I listened, and I listened some more. And at last, I whittled down my list of predictions.

For this exercise, I worked with the following rules:

  1. Peter's first generation Zune was discontinued in 2007, so no songs released after that year are eligible.
  2. We know James Gunn wants the 3rd Awesome Mix to reflect Yondu's personality, so each song must fit Yondu in some manner.
  3. The first two films dealt primarily in 70's music, so post-1978 tracks were preferred. 
  4. In a deleted scene from GOTG Vol. 2, Kraglin states that Peter's Zune has Traffic, Thin Lizzy, and Alice Cooper on it. We also know from the ending that songs from Cat Stevens and Parliament are on the device, so these musical acts were preferred over others in helping determine the styles James Gunn might go for.

Ground rules given, here are my predictions for Awesome Mix Vol. 3.
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Gettin' Jiggy Wit It by Will Smith (1997)

Every great comic book movie needs a great antagonist. To date, the Guardians of the Galaxy have faced Ronan the Accuser, Korath the Pursuer, Nebula, Ayesha, Taserface, Ego, and Thanos.

For our hypothetical Guardians Vol. 3, our villain will be J'son of Spartax, and he's going to have Starfox and Moondragon working for him. In the comics, J'son was the father of Star Lord and King of the Spartax Empire. Starfox, meanwhile, is the brother of Thanos, while Moondragon is the daughter of Drax the Destroyer.

Of these characters, Moondragon's origin is the only one that would stay the same. By process of deduction, J'son won't be Peter's father; instead, he'll be Starfox's.

Starfox's real name is Eros (named after the son of Aphrodite), and in the comics he's been supercharged by cosmic energy, giving him the ability of flight, superhuman healing, and psionic abilities. The latter is of interest to us, because Starfox is something of a ladies man. He often uses his psionic abilities to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain, and this has gotten him in trouble a few times.

"Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" is Starfox's theme in this hypothetical film. It encapsulates his tendencies, his powerset, and sets him up for conflict with Star Lord and Gamora.

Smokin' by Boston (1976)

The first time we saw the Milano in action was to the beat of Raspberries' "Go All The Way." This go around, it'll be to the beat of Boston's "Smokin'." The Guardians are a mature family now, and they know one another's quirks to a fault. They've weathered losses in the Infinity War, but now they're at the top of their game. There's no better song to showcase that and bring us into the action.

Lady (You Bring Me Up) by Commodores (1981)

Peter x Gamora.

Their love is an orbiting one, swinging hard into passion before retreating to cold. Since the end of the first movie, fans have wanted to see these two get together, and Vol. 3 will have to deal with their relationship head on.

Played from the perspective of Peter, Commodores' "Lady (You Bring Me Up)” can highlight the many ways Gamora makes him a better leader and a better man.

Under Pressure by Queen, David Bowie (1986)

Serving a similar purpose that "The Chain" did in Vol. 2, "Under Pressure" will play in reprise throughout the film. We'll see it used to describe Peter and Gamora's feelings, the Guardians working together, and Starfox and Moondragon's dealings with our heroes.

No More Mr. Nice Guy by Alice Cooper (1973)

J'son won't be messing around in this movie. When this song plays, we'll be getting some insight into his leadership.

J'son is self-absorbed, self-driven, and cruel; he uses his son, Starfox, for nefarious ends and tricks him into believing his actions are good. Slavery and injustice runs rampant the Spartax Empire, and J'son's goal throughout the movie will be to gain immortality from the Elders of the Universe. No More Mr. Nice Guy indeed.

I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor (1978)

You know what the coolest scene in this movie is gonna be? It's gonna be Moondragon fighting her Dad. Yeah.

See, Drax thinks his daughter is dead. Moondragon thinks her father abandoned her. So fists are gonna fly. And we're gonna take a song about a broken romance and re-purpose it to be about a father and daughter's broken relationship. People younger than 19 will never again be able to associate "I Will Survive" with anything but Guardians of the Galaxy. And that's okay by me.

Oh, and FYI: Drax is gonna loose this fight.

Emotions by Mariah Carey (1991)

As emotional tensions between Peter and Gamora grow, Gamora's going to be drawn to Starfox.

Consider the facts: since the time Gamora was a little girl, she either had an abusive Stepdad or a demoralizing boss looming over her. And even with them in the rear view mirror, she's still surrounded by a bunch of idiots. In her mind these feelings are logical, and the audience will reluctantly accept this with a little help from Mariah.

Walkin' On The Sun by Smash Mouth (1997)

"Walkin' On The Sun" will contrast with "Moonage Daydream" from the first film. The Guardians are gonna get a mini-victory before Act II's low point, and this song will fuel that emotion.

I'm No Stranger to the Rain by Keith Whitley (1988)

Peter's going to be jealous of Gamora and Starfox. It's only human to be. But he loves this family they've made far too much to let it die; he does the mature thing, and he doesn't say very much. When Gamora finally confronts him about the relationship, they get into an argument. And it's gonna wreck your emotions to see that and hear this song right after.

One More Try by George Michael (1987)

Gamora's gonna find out that Starfox bamboozled her brain to fall in love with him. And she WON'T be happy.

This will be a huge turning point in the movie, as Starfox will experience real consequences for his actions. And slowly, he'll begin to realize that everything his father taught him about morality was a lie.

This song will thusly serve two purposes: played from Gamora's perspective, it will show longing to repair her relationship with Peter; from Starfox's perspective, it will show regret for his bad actions.

Don't Know Much by Linda Ronstadt, Aaron Neville (1989)

At some point in the Third Act, J'son was defeated, Moondragon and Drax reconciled, and Starfox chose to go it alone as a hero, righting the wrongs of his father.

All that's left for us now is to wrap Peter and Gamora's story.

They meet in the hallway. Words are exchanged. And “Don’t Know Much” swells into view.

They confess their love. They kiss. The audience is happy.

Tennessee River by Alabama (1988)

The Guardians are more a stronger family now than they'd ever been. Some members will bid goodbye; as characters mature, some will take a new path; others will be taking steps forward to see all the galaxy has to offer.

For these reasons, I find "Tennessee River" to be the perfect sendoff.

Superheroes by Daft Punk (2001)

There's only one reason this song is here: we need an outro song over the credits! And frankly, you can't go wrong with Daft Punk's pulse pounding ode to superheroics.

Runner Ups:

Africa by Toto (1982)

In all honesty, I don't wanna see this in Guardians Vol. 3, I wanna see it in Infinity War during the Wakanda Battle. It would literally be perfect.

HOWEVER, if "Africa" by Toto isn't in Infinity War, then I'd love to see it somewhere in Guardians Vol. 3.

Breathe by Faith Hill (1999)

You can only have so many songs about love in your Guardians movie, but this is one that would be perfect in any number of scenes.

Who Will Save Your Soul by Jewel (1995)

You know how there's always one Guardian (or several) who's being a big jerk? This would be the perfect song for the jerkface Guardian in Vol. 3.

I Want A New Drug by Huey Lewis & The News (1984)

This was my alternate for "Emotions." The reason I went with "Emotions" instead is that the style of "I Want A New Drug" doesn't fit the style of other songs on the Awesome Mix.

But don't tell me this song wouldn't be awesome. Because it totally would be.

Bust A Move by Young MC (1989)

This one didn't make the list because the lyrics are too sexually charged for a PG-13 film. But the groove is catchy, and the song is thematically relevant to Starfox.

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