The ultimate public reaction to "Guardians Of The Galaxy" has been the subject of no small amount of chatter in the HitFix offices, and at this point, it's safe to say I am in the "it's going to sneak up on people and be a huge event" camp.

Sure, it helps that I've been to the set and I've talked to the people who made it and I have a bunch of stuff I can't share yet that has me feeling this way.

But beyond that, I think the stuff Marvel has shared with the public so far has been really appealing, and this is still just the tip of the iceberg. Just a little while ago, USA TODAY put up their exclusive sneak peek piece, a precursor to this week's official release of the trailer, and all three of the images they put up are, in my opinion, very exciting.

The Chris Pratt close-up is important. While he's still unproven in terms of opening a movie himself, 2014 is when that changes. That second weekend's box-office for "The Lego Movie" is a sign of just how much people are enjoying the movie and how much word of mouth is helping the movie. Pratt's performance as Emmett is a big part of the movie's charm, and I know that my kids and their friends are very aware of who Emmett is. Having him as Star-Lord is one of those examples of how momentum can pay off  in terms of casting, and I would imagine Marvel will make sure to emphasize that Pratt is the star of the spring's biggest hit.

 

And one of the hooks I think is equally important is the whole "child of the '80s stuck in space" angle. The stuff we saw from Toy Fair over the weekend featured a Star-Lord figure who comes with his Walkman, one of the only things he has from Earth. It's a genuinely emotional plot point, but the fact that his one tape is full of '80s tracks is a chance for James Gunn to make that emotional plot point very, very funny as well, and it's a perfect nostalgic idea considering people don't necessarily have the same nostalgic fondness for these characters or this particular title. It's a shortcut, and a fiendishly smart one.

I love the designs for this film, and this glimpse of Star-Lord's ship The Milano, is a good hint at how the world of the film looks, but without any sense yet of the sheer scale of what they've done.

And then there's the group shot, and again… I don't know if it's possible to fully predict how Rocket Raccoon and Gamora and Drax the Destroyer and Groot are going to land with young audiences, but I can use my own kids and their friends as some indication. Already, sides are being chosen. Allen is all about Drax and Groot, and Toshi has decided Rocket and Star-Lord are the best. I'm sure there will be equally passionate battle lines drawn over Gamora and Nebula, who is played by Karen Gillan, as the newest icons of badass female cosplay.

 

I'm sure we'll have more to discuss when the trailer lands. For today, enjoy the photos.

"Guardians Of The Galaxy" arrives in theaters August 1, 2014.