The fact that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 even exists is proof of just how smart the executives at Marvel Studios are. Green-lighting the original film was one of the boldest moves the company will ever make, and the fact that such a wild experiment worked - that being a full-on sci-fi comedy starring a gang of heroes the vast majority of the audience (even the comic-book fans) had never heard of - no doubt gave the studio the confidence to attempt anything going forward.
After the mammoth success of the original, it was no surprise when a sequel was quickly ordered, with the original cast and the driving force of the first movie, director James Gunn, back in the saddle. Given even more creative freedom, Gunn decided not to go bigger with the second volume, but instead double down on the character work established in the original movie.
It wasn't to everyone's tastes, and there are many fans who prefer the briskness of the first outing over the melodramatic leanings of the second, but there's no denying it's one of the most interesting (and weird) films Marvel has ever made, and that includes everything that made it into the finished picture, and everything that happened behind the scenes.