WARNING: This feature contains minor spoilers for non-essential plot points of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2,’ so if you don’t this information to be revealed to you, the time to stop reading is NOW!
The sensory feast that is ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2‘ has officially opened this weekend to many audiences around the world. There is so much to take in, it’s nigh-impossible to do in one viewing; that’s why I made sure to see the movie twice, for good measure! After my initial press screening early in the week, I thought my eagle eyes spied a few details that pinged my “Nerd Radar,” so I went again to see the movie on Saturday, and what were initially my suspicions have, in my mind, been confirmed: I believe we will be seeing characters from this film later this year in the upcoming ‘Thor: Ragnarok!’
Now, please bear in mind that this is just a theory, and has not been confirmed in any way by anyone of import at Marvel. However, several signs seem to be pointing to this being the case. Let’s dive in and take a look at these items individually.
1. Roll the Credits. First and foremost, at the end of the film, before the credits start to roll, we are given the expected-but-still-very-welcome “The Guardians of the Galaxy will return” text on a black screen. While this in and of itself is not necessarily intriguing, it’s the font used to provide the text-graphic that could be. Yes, the entire ‘Vol. 2’ has been streamlining the Guardians from their original “rock” 1980s vibe into the more pop/neon-heavy late ’80s feel, so this font use does feel like a natural extension of that – but at the same time, all of the recent promo material for ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is using this exact same type of visual representation. Coincidence… or subtle hint to the fans?
2. Worth it’s Weight in Gold(blum). Speaking of the end credits, eagle-eyed fans will have spotted something truly intriguing amongst the five mid- and post-credits scenes and the plethora of graphic-heavy fun in the credits. Towards the latter half of the credits, short Vine-style videos feature several characters from the film doing little dance numbers, including Gamora, Nebula, Groot, and… Jeff Goldblum? Yes, your eyes do not deceive you – that is indeed Goldblum dressed in his Grandmaster garb doing a little jig here in the ‘Vol. 2’ credits. Since Goldblum didn’t appear in this movie, one would assume that his appearance here bodes well for an “exchange,” of sorts: he visits ‘Vol. 2’ briefly, so a character from ‘Vol. 2’ visits his upcoming movie, ‘Thor: Ragnarok,’ as well…
3. It’s Fight Night. During the film, there is a scene where Rocket, Yondu, and Kraglin need to make a massive amount of warp jumps in order to reach Ego’s planet. In the very first jump they make, on a planet’s surface below the jump points we see two beings fighting each other in what appears to be a gladiator-style matchup. As we know from the ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ trailers, Thor finds himself taken captive and forced to duel in a similar style of combat, all for the delight of the crowds under the watchful eye of… The Grandmaster, whom we just spoke about in the previous paragraph. While this scene goes by incredibly quickly, it didn’t appear that either being shown was either Thor or his ‘Ragnarok’ opponent, The Incredible Hulk, but it’s possible that these are two other characters that we may meet or have referenced in the new ‘Thor’ film.
4. Long Live the OG Guardians. Starting with the appearance early on in the film of Sylvester Stallone as Stakar, director James Gunn gives fans plenty of notice that the “original” Guardians of the Galaxy are very much in play in the MCU. For those who don’t know, the versions of the Guardians that movie audiences have come to know and love actually didn’t make their appearance as a team in the Marvel Comics until the mid-2000s; before them, in the 1960s-1990s, came the original Guardians team, one that existed in the 31st Century and was comprised of many different characters. The only “original” character that appeared in the first ‘Guardians’ film was Yondu, but in Vol. 2 he is joined by several of his OG compatriots, collected on film as leaders of various Ravager factions. Stakar is one; in the comics, he shares a physical body with his adopted-sister-turned-wife (it’s weird, I know – that’s ’80s and ’90s Marvel Comics for ya) Aleta Ogord, whom in the film is played by Michelle Yeoh (and has her own body, thankfully). Other “original” Guardians shown, as collected together in a mid-credits scene, are Charlie-27 (Ving Rhames), Martinex (Michael Rosenbaum), Mainframe (voiced by Miley Cyrus), and the most intriguing entry to the list: Krugarr.
It’s a fast cameo, and Krugarr doesn’t speak, but what he does and how he appears in his three seconds or so on-screen could speak volumes. In the 31st Century Marvel Comics version, Krugarr is a Lem, a red humanoid/reptile being, who actually succeeds Doctor Stephen Strange as the Sorcerer Supreme. Indeed, on-screen in ‘Vol. 2,’ Krugarr can be seen wearing what appears to be a red cape similar to Dr. Strange’s, and even though he does not speak, his hands do create the mystical circle “runic” spheres extremely similar to those that audiences saw Benedict Cumberbatch wield in last year’s ‘Doctor Strange’ film. Seeing as how we already know that Doctor Strange will be appearing in ‘Thor: Ragnarok,’ could this appearance of Krugarr be another connection waiting to be made on-screen in that film? In recent interviews, Marvel big-wig Kevin Feige has stated that the team of original Guardians wouldn’t be back at least until ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3″ … but he never specifically said anything about individual members…
5. “Excelsior” in Space. This one is the most “stretched” of the points, but hear me out. In both mid-movie and post-credits scenes, Stan Lee appears as a character listed as “Watcher Informant,” and he’s clearly shown talking to a group of Watchers and relaying his tales of his MCU exploits to them. At the end of the post-credits scene, the trio of Watchers simply walk away from him, and Stan appears to lament the fact that he not only has more stories, but is unsure how he’s going to get back home. It seems odd for a highly-powerful group of beings like the Watchers, who clearly have the power to send Stan wherever they want him to go, to simply up and leave him stranded in space… but might this be a way to get “The Man” conveniently into his planned cameo appearance in ‘Thor: Ragnarok?’ He’s already off-Earth and out in the galaxy; does he need to hitch a ride with someone, perhaps even ending up on Asagrd or at the gladiator gathering on The Grandmaster’s world?
So, the question stands: will we see one or more characters from ‘The Guardians of the Galaxy’ popping up in ‘Thor: Ragnarok?’ I believe that the odds are good, for all of the above reasons and more. Do I have any idea who it might be? Well, no, not really; it could be anything from a random Guardian (either new or “original”) popping up on a one-off scene to Krugarr specifically appearing alongside Dr. Strange to Stan Lee’s cameo “connecting the dots” to The Collector coming to visit his Elder kin The Grandmaster to Howard the Duck throwing down a bet on Hulk to a myriad of other possibilities. With ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ coming out on November 3 of this year, we don’t have too much longer to wait in order to find out!
Tony Schaab rolls his eyes when he hears kids reference a screen-cap of the original NES Super Mario game as a “Minecraft Mario” – you damn kids, get off my lawn! A lover of most things sci-fi and horror, Tony is an author by day and a DJ by night. Come hang out with Tony on Twitter or follow him on Facebook to hear him spew semi-funny nonsense and get your opportunity to finally put him in his place.