It’s no secret that music played a key role in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy film. Director James Gunn chose songs to include on Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord’s “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” that his mother gave him that both reflected the overarching emotional narrative of Quill and gave nods to the connections between the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy. And, also, they ditties Gunn picked were just catchy as Hell.

It’s also no secret that songs featured in Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will come from the “Awesome Mix Vol. 2” birthday gift from his mom, with the complete track now available to the public for us to bebop to. Let’s take a look at those some of the songs from Vol. 2 and how they might connect to the film’s themes and overall story.

Sweet, “Fox on the Run”

I don’t wanna know your name

Cause you don’t look the same

The way you did before

OK you think you got a pretty face

But the rest of you is out of place

You looked all right before

Fox on the run

You screamed and everybody comes a-running

Take a run and hide yourself away

Fox on the run

F-foxy, foxy on the run and hideaway

You-you talk about just every band

But the names you drop are second hand

I’ve heard it all before

I don’t wanna know your name

Cause you don’t look the same

The way you did before

(repeat chorus)

Other than just being a jazzy, high-octane song that matches the breakneck action that was part-and-parcel of the debut Guardians film, the lyrics mirror some of what we can glean from the Vol. 2 footage and plot details we’ve seen thus far. That first line in particular, “I don’t wanna know your name,” could give a window to Peter’s initial reaction at meeting his dad, the humanoid embodiment of Ego, the Living Planet, played by Kurt Russell. We know from the first installment that Peter’s father wasn’t from Earth and he hooked up with Peter’s mom and left town. Further, Peter became a member of the Ravagers in large part because their leader, Yondu (Michael Rooker), was hired to pick up a young Peter and deliver him to his pops following his mother’s death, but decided to forego delivering him to Ego at the last minute.

As Peter most likely never knew that his father wanted him back, it’s probably a safe bet that, upon meeting Ego, he’s not going to cotton to the idea of a family reunion. From Peter’s perspective, Ego may just be a deadbeat dad who left his mom to raise Peter alone. And as Peter clearly adored his mother, it would stand to reason that he bristles at the idea of a long-lost parent who abandoned his mother showing up and wanting things to be hunky-dory. Peter may just as soon not want to know Ego’s name—or anything else about him. As Sweet sings later on in the song, “[Peter’s] heard it all before.”

Fleetwood Mac, “The Chain”

Listen to the wind blow…
Watch the sunrise;
Runnin’ in the shadows…
Damn your love, damn your lies!

And if you don’t love me now
You will never love me again;
I can still hear you saying
You would never break the chain.

And if you don’t love me now
You will never love me again;
I can still hear you saying
We must never break the chain.

Listen to the wind blow…
Down the comes the night.
Runnin’ in the shadows…
Damn your love, damn your lies!
Break the silence,
Damn the dark, damn the light!

And if you don’t love me now
You will never love me again;
I can still hear you saying
We would never break the chain.

And if you don’t love me now
You will never love me again;
I can still hear you saying
We must never break the chain.

And if you don’t love me now
You will never love me again;
I can still hear you saying
We must never break the chain.

Chain……keep us together….
(Running in the shadows)

Fleetwood Mac is known for its haunting, poignant lyrics, and “The Chain” is no different. And it’s such an appropriate song for Vol. 2, as so much of what we know about the film points to the story exploring themes of trust, love, and family, and how discord can threaten to bring all three asunder.

Let’s take a look at the notion of family and how it plays out in the world of Guardians. First off, we have Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), both raised as daughters of the mad Titan known as Thanos (Josh Brolin). We know that Gamora isn’t biologically Thanos’ offspring, and it’s unclear whether Nebula is, either. Nevertheless, they are sisters, bonded by upbringing if not by DNA. However, as with so many familial bonds, there’s friction, caused in part by Thanos favoring Gamora, in part by Gamora betraying them both.

At the end of the first film, Gamora tries to mend fences with Nebula, only to have that offer rebuffed. However, Gunn has said in interviews that he wants to explore the Nebula/Gamora dynamic further in Vol. 2. Will Nebula forgive Gamora for her “lies” and “break[ing] the chain” that connected the two? A similar question looks to be addressed in the interplay between Peter and Ego. After how Peter feels that his absentee treated both him and his mother, can the chains of family reconnected?

The biggest focus on family, however, looks to be that of the makeshift one that Peter, Gamora, and the crew have made with one another by the end of the debut Guardians movie. By the climax of that film, the motley cast has forged bonds that extend beyond mere friendship. As Drax (Dave Bautista) tells Nebula in the trailer for Vol. 2, they’re not friends; they’re family. But regardless, the gang does squabble frequently, as Nebula points out to Gamora. How intense will that discord become? Will something cause a rift in the band, just as it’s come together? We see Rocket (Bradley Cooper) communing with Yondu and the Ravagers in footage from the film. Do the other Guardians know about this Will his “runnin’ in the shadows” make the rest of the Guardians him with distrust?

Separately, members of the Guardians haven’t been part of a healthy family quite some time, if ever. Would any of them ever break the chain?

Cheap Trick, “Surrender”

Mother told me, yes, she told me I’d meet girls like you
She also told me, “Stay away, you’ll never know what you’ll catch”
Just the other day I heard a soldier falling off some Indonesian junk that’s going round

Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright, they just seem a little weird
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away

Father says, “Your mother’s right, she’s really up on things”
“Before we married, Mommy served in the WACS in the Philippines”
Now, I had heard the WACS recruited old maids for the war
But mommy isn’t one of those, I’ve known her all these years

Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright, they just seem a little weird
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away

Whatever happened to all this season’s losers of the year?
Ev’ry time I got to thinking, where’d they disappear?
When I woke up, Mom and Dad are rolling on the couch
Rolling numbers, rock and rolling, got my Kiss records out

Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright, they just seem a little weird
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th370QmFtk8

“Surrender” is a perfect companion to “Fox on the Run,” as it’s brimming with parental issues. Ego, the Living Planet—“Daddy”—is a little strange from a knee-jerk point of view, and who knows how Peter’s going to react. He’s been separate and apart from his pops since birth and, while he knows thanks to the Nova Corps in the last film that he’s not completely Terran, it’s hard to imagine that he expected his dad to be something like Ego. But does “Surrender” also nod to a reconciliation between the two? Will Daddy be “alright” in Peter’s eyes at the film’s conclusion?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 debuts May 5th.