The Guardians of the Galaxy movies throw a bit of a wrench into what has so far been a pretty linear cinematic franchise. It’s understood that all of the MCU movies, except for the ones that are period productions and as such are set in the past, are set in the year in which they come out. Iron Man was set in 2008, The Avengers is set in 2012, and so on. But the Guardians of the Galaxy movies are a little different. Guardians 1 takes place in the Earth-year 2014 (although you’d never know it, given the extraterrestrial setting and retro feel), but Guardians Vol. 2 is set only a few months after the first one, so, still in 2014. That sets them a teeny bit apart from the rest of the movies, as, by Infinity War, the Avengers have been cruising through to the year 2018. But it appears that the Guardians will finally be catching up, as James Gunn revealed Vol. 3 will take place after Avengers 4.

While answering some fan questions today, Gunn made it clear that Guardians Vol. 3 is not a precursor to Avengers 4.

So, what does this mean for the series? Well, we definitely know what it doesn’t mean. Gunn has said that Adam Warlock is a major character in Vol. 3, which led many to believe that he was introducing him for the Infinity War plot. But, that is apparently not the case, and Warlock and the Guardians will be uniting for some other purpose. It also means that we’ll see two major time jumps in the Guardians timeline: one to get them up to speed with Infinity War, which they will appear in, and the second occurring after that saga is over. They’ll probably go through more than a few changes in that time. We don’t even know what’s going to happen to them in Infinity War.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters May 5.

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