Guardians Story Circle Cluster

In light of James Gunn’s firing, I rewatched Guardians of the Galaxy. This film has such good story structure: every section is a well wrought story circle that fits perfectly into the larger overall story circle. Guardians can be broken into four to six parts and consumed as sequential art, and each piece would be a satisfying on its own.

In light of that realization, I made a big graphic that shows the wheels within wheels of Guardians of the Galaxy’s superb structure. If you don’t know a lot about story structure, go here to learn the system my model is based on. Also, this graphic assumes you’ve seen the movie and remember the major plot points.

Guardians Story Circles2-01

Zoomable hi-rez version here.

I agree with Marc Bernardin’s take on Gunn’s firing. It will be a huge loss to fans of the series if we don’t at least get a James Gunn screenplay for Guardians Vol. 3.

6 thoughts on “Guardians Story Circle Cluster

  1. I have heard of recursive story circles, ie. Nolan’s Batmans, but what you did here makes it look like there should be others, as if there is software, a template, or a program that assists or teaches in line with the thought of recursive story circles. Is this unique or is there some rabbit hole to explore?


    • Yes! The story circle is analogous to a 3-act structure. Steps 1-2 are Act 1, Steps 3-6 are Act 2, and Steps 7-8 are Act 3. Sorry it took me so dang long to notice this message.


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