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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: How My Dream Became a Reality


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Every person has that one thing they love the most… and would love to be recognized for, but rarely does it happen in a blaze of glory or how you’ve imagined it would over the years.

As my name clearly shows, Marvel movies, shows, comics and characters are not only a passion, they also inspire me every day to create content and share my love for characters and storylines, but never did I foresee my passion taking me to some of the biggest stages and events in the world.

Last week, I had the privilege to share an amazing experience with my family at the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 Red Carpet in Los Angeles. Simply put, it was a dream come true.

An Unexpected Surprise!

In March of this year, ABC reached out to me to see if I would be willing to participate in a Marvel Trivia segment with my 8-year-old son on GMA3. We were excited for the opportunity and it became a game between my son and I as we quizzed each other on Guardians of the Galaxy trivia.

The weekend of the Oscars ceremony, Jon (my son), Rebekah (wife), and myself flew out to Los Angeles. It was exciting and we didn’t know what to expect, but the ABC team was amazing every step of the way. We met the other “Contestant” in the green room, Jade Rogers, an amazing teacher and Founder of The House of Afros, Capes, and Curls, and immediately became friends (though I was intent on defeating her in the trivia).

After being prepped and getting makeup we were thrust in front of bright lights and cameras and told we were not doing a trivia, but rather being surprised with tickets to the World Premiere a month later. I was shocked, and overwhelmed as this all seemed unreal.

I love Marvel movies, if not evident by my social media presence. I have always been the guy that obsessed, pointed out Easter eggs, shared little known facts, and absolutely bored everyone around me with Marvel info.

Then during the lock down, I discovered a community online of like-minded fans and found a place to share my thoughts. That later led to the start of Nerd Initiative, yet in the midst of this my family had to deal with a new normal as my son was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) last June. This diagnosis meant regular doctor’s visits and constant checks to ensure that our son didn’t need life saving intervention.

Over the next year and a half, if we are lucky, he will have surgery for an inplantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) as a precaution I later found out I have the same genetic markers and also have thickening in my heart, but not as severe as Jon. Through all of this we just kept going in stride and then there we are, invited to the premiere of the final installment of my favorite movies in the MCU. Even now, a week after the event, I still struggle to believe it happened.

Queue the Re…Purple Carpet

After getting our passes at will call and interacting with fellow content creators, we made our way into the Dolby ballroom and lost our minds. The Red Carpet was purple and the room was electric as the celebration for the film was underway.

We felt out of place but super excited. It wasn’t until we got out of the Press line and into the standing area around character costumes that we found a groove. Celebrities would gather and just chat… and that was our chance. My son and I milled around trying to stop each celebrity with a freedom that you almost never have a chance to have. They were all very nice and kind. Jon stole many a heart with his outfit and glowing personality.

After a wonderful opportunity to chat and meet all the amazing cast members, we were off to our seats and on to the movie! The energy in the auditorium was exciting, despite the presence of celebrities, executives, press, PR agents, and all the cast and crew, it felt more like a large (very large) group of friends getting together to geek out on something they love. After a moving introduction and thank you from James Gunn, we were presented with the film.

I have never been in a more excited space. The clapping for the credits, the cheer for the first appearance of each character, the laughter and the roaring applause for key emotional scenes. All of it was contagious and intensified my experience beyond any first viewing I have ever had.

As a personal observation, I know that many creators are criticized for their initial positive reviews of a movie, but I completely understand why now. In a setting like that, it is very easy to be moved and swayed by the excitement of the cast and crew that are proud of the work that they have completed and are celebrating at this event. I worried that I myself was swayed for Volume 3, but even a week after the premiere, I am still facing the same emotions and fondness to this film.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that ABC and GMA3 gave my family to experience this event with a franchise that has meant so much to us. With everything that has happened this year; My son’s diagnosis, all the doctor visits, car problems, and illness in our family, this was a win we never thought possible.

Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is out now, only in theaters.

Tony Abdullah
Tony Abdullahhttps://nerdinitiative.com
Better known as “MrMARVELite” on TikTok, Tony is a die-hard MARVEL fan, comic book historian, pop culture connoisseur and content creator in the truest sense of the word. Combining his vast knowledge of the MCU and comics with his overflowing passion for connecting and collaborating with other creators, MrMARVELite has quickly blazed his own trail and forged a hugely loyal and engaged fanbase. Tony is the co-host of the Reel Study Podcast. He is a proud husband and father to a very hyper little boy.

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