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'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' photos reveal faces new and old

Star-Lord, Baby Groot, Rocket, Gamora, Drax and the rest have returned, but writer/director James Gunn promises the sequel won't just copy the original.

Warning: Possible spoilers for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" ahead.

Think the galaxy could use some guarding? In just over two months, your wish is Marvel's command.

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," the sequel to the 2014 blockbuster hit that had fans grooving to 1970s hits and made "I am Groot" a new catchphrase, comes out worldwide at the end of April, and fans are ready.

On Wednesday, "Guardians" writer/director James Gunn shared a new image from the upcoming film on Instagram and pointed to other exclusive photos released to USA Today.

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

The photo Gunn shared shows Drax (Dave Bautista), the colorfully scarred warrior, with new character Mantis (Pom Klementieff). She's a friend of Peter Quill's long-lost dad, who as it turns out isn't exactly your regular father figure. He's an ancient being called Ego, and actually a living planet (played by Kurt Russell).

"Ego is the most powerful character I'm ever going to play," Russell told USA Today. "I mean, he created himself. He's the real deal."

Other familiar faces in the photos include Quill, aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt); Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper); and Gamora (Zoe Saldana). If the trailer is any indication, the adorable Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), probably shouldn't be left in the same room with an atomic bomb.

The sequel picks up two months after the end of the first movie, but Gunn says not to expect an exact copy of the original.

"The first movie was successful because we took chances and gave people the unexpected," he told USA Today. "This movie can only really be what it is, Guardians can only be what they are, if they're taking a risk. It means giving them a much different movie."

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