We finished Volume 2 with the question: how many stars can a galaxy take. Clearly, keep counting. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is an even more chaotic, if less zanier, addition to its two previous partner films, and among the many planets it zooms, crashes or just swings through include a ‘Contra-Earth’ and Earth itself.

But it essentially is a passing of the baton. This is a film in which Rocket the Raccoon (yes, it is firmly established this time that a raccoon is who he is) gets a backstory, a centrestage, and a glorious send-off into the future – besides a couple of scenes of genuine high-emotion cinema

The Guardians now live on Knowhere - the giant planet made of a dead God’s head which we were first introduced to in Volume 1. And the group sort of runs the place as leaders of a small community. The gang's all there - Rocket (Bradley Cooper, whose voice work continues to be the gift that keeps on giving), Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a now-jacked Groot (who looks more and more like Vin Diesel, who voices him, with every film), Drax (the gravely under-discussed Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). Not to mention the newest official member of the team, (and low-key MVP of this movie) Nebula (Karen Gillian). There’s also Kraglin (Sean Gunn) who joined the band after Yondu’s death in the last movie, as well as telekinetic Russian space dog Cosmo (another shining testament to the utmost sincerity with which Gunn approaches objectively wacky, out-there characters).

Quill spends his days getting drunk, still pining over Gamora (Zoe Saldana), who died in Avengers: Infinity War. The version of her that came back in Avengers: Endgame, remember, was a Gamora from the past, one who’d never met the Guardians. She has no memory of Quill’s love and their time together. But Vol 3 is first and foremost a Rocket origin story. Rocket’s been hurt. Badly. In the opening moments of the film, he’s seriously wounded and hasn’t got much time left. But the gang can’t heal him because he has some sort of inbuilt failsafe that doesn’t allow him to be operated on. To save him, the gang must track down Rocket’s creator - the main villain of this movie - a mad scientist called the High Evolutionary (a suitably unhinged Chukwudi Iwuji) who dreams of creating the perfect species. For real though - why does every member of the Guardians have a messed up, horrid father-person? Barring Drax and Groot, none of these folks seemed to have lucked out in the dad department.