While the ending of Guardians of the Galaxy, with its use of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" is very nearly perfect, James Gunn says there are scenes that got cut from the montage. They include a melancholy look at Peter Quill's grandfather, back on Earth.
Speaking to Slashfilm, Gunn says that they decided to focus the end on the "good guys," which is how Grandpa Quill, Nebula, and the Collector — whose scene became the tag — ended up on the cutting room floor. Which is a bit of a shame, since both Grandpa Quill and Nebula were loose ends that could have done with a bit more resolution. Here's what Gunn had to say about those two scenes:
Grandpa Quill we cut because he was in old age make up and we were a little afraid people wouldn't recognize that it was him from the beginning of the movie. And also, it was a pretty sad moment. It was Grandpa Quill and he has this photograph of Meredith and Peter as a little boy and he looks up at the stars and we go up to the stars and it was really sweet. It means that he must have seen Quill getting abducted at the end of that day and is still waiting for him to return but it was freaking sad so we took it out.
Nebula's was actually my favorite. Nebula's I really liked a lot because she's lost her arm and she's just pissed off and she's just walking through this field all pissed off with a busted Ravager vehicle behind her. And she's just pissed off and I loved it.
One of the interesting things about these scenes, is that they both kind of hint of things to come. Nebula's scene reminds the audience that she's still out there, which could be set up for later. And Gunn's already said that Guardians 2 is going to answer some of the questions posed by the first one. Seeing Peter's grandfather is another nod to his parentage, which is one of the major mysteries of the first film. Also, if we are building to a giant Avengers/Guardians crossover event, as so many believe, showing Earth again in the present is significant.
Sadly, these scenes aren't on the upcoming Blu-Ray release, which is a shame because they both sound wonderful.
Read more about why they were cut at Slashfilm.