Vice President Mike Pence announced Friday that members of the Space Force — the Trump administration’s oft-criticized celestial addition to the military — would henceforth be known as “Guardians.” Having already infringed on the Star Trek brand for the Space Force logo, the name Guardians also treads on another popular sci-fi entity, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
The similarity was not lost on James Gunn, the director of that Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, who asked in a tweet about Pence, “Can we sue this dork?”
Actress Pom Klementieff, who plays the dream-inducing Mantis in the film series, responded to Gunn, “Maybe I can make them all sleep?” Gunn quipped, “Maybe for like a year or something please. Thx.”
Maybe I can make them all sleep?
— Pom Klementieff (@PomKlementieff) December 19, 2020
The official Guardians of the Galaxy account also got in on the fun, tweeting simply following Space Force’s announcement:
Who, us? 🚀
— GuardiansOfTheGalaxy (@Guardians) December 19, 2020
Marvel published the first Guardians of the Galaxy — a completely different tandem than the current MCU team — in January 1969. In a statement about the “Guardians” name, the United States Space Force acknowledged they were inspired by the Air Force Space Command, which was coined “Guardians of the High Frontier” in 1983.
“Today, after a yearlong process that produced hundreds of submissions and research involving space professionals and members of the general public, we can finally share with you the name by which we will be known: Guardians,” Space Force tweeted Friday.
The opportunity to name a force is a momentous responsibility. Guardians is a name with a long history in space operations, tracing back to the original command motto of Air Force Space Command in 1983, ‘Guardians of the High Frontier.’ The name Guardians connects our proud heritage and culture to the important mission we execute 24/7, protecting the people and interest of the U.S. and its allies. #SemperSupra!”
Today, after a yearlong process that produced hundreds of submissions and research involving space professionals and members of the general public, we can finally share with you the name by which we will be known: Guardians. pic.twitter.com/Tmlff4LKW6
— United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) December 18, 2020