The post-credits scene has become a staple in superhero filmmaking, with Marvel movies in particular committing to hiding both jokey and plot-relevant extra footage after the main film has ended – and new space opera sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is no exception.
“I would probably never consider not having a post-credits scene,” director James Gunn told us of his reasoning for including them. “I think it shows the audience that you love them, giving them something extra that you don’t need to give them.
“And I think especially in a Marvel movie, people have come to expect it. So, I wanted to do as many as I could.”
He’s not kidding – in what may be a new record, Guardians f the Galaxy Vol. 2 contains a full FIVE scenes after the main action has ended, full of obscure references to the comics, hints at storylines to come and even some jokes.
Still, to the casual viewer the callbacks, gags and references can be a little confusing – so we’ve broken them down for you. Obviously, this article will henceforth contain major spoilers for the movie, so read on at your own risk…
Post-credits scene 1
This short scene sees Sean Gunn’s Ravager-turned Guardian Kraglin (left) trying out the arrow-controlling fin of Michael Rooker’s Yondu (right), though his own ability to guide the missile through whistling leaves something to be desired as he accidentally shoots Drax (Dave Bautista) in the neck.
There’s not much to pull out here except to note that Gunn (who is the brother of director James Gunn) has a bigger role in this movie, perhaps in recognition of his work performing the part of Rocket on set in both films (a role later replaced by CGI and Bradley Cooper’s voiceover).
Post-credits scene 2
Yondu’s old Ravager boss Stakar (Sylvester Stallone) brings together a group of old teammates, including Michelle Yeoh’s Aleta Ogord, Ving Rhames’ Charlie-27 and Michael Rosenbaum’s glass-bodied Martinex, with the group deciding to reform in the absence of their old teammate Yondu.
This is significant because in the original comics, very different versions of these characters (including Yondu and other characters like Major Vance Astro) were members of the ORIGINAL Guardians of the Galaxy team, a group who operated in the 31st century but travelled back in time to help the 20th-century Avengers occasionally. The more familiar version of the Guardians to us (Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket etc) were only introduced as a team in 2008, taking the group name previously associated with these characters.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that THESE characters will fulfil the same purpose in future films – their versions of the heroes seem very different (especially Stallone’s far more human version of the cosmic-powered Stakar/Starhawk of the comics, who you can see with all the billowing yellow fabric in the blue outfit above), and mainly seem keen to start stealing stuff – but Stallone and other figures have hinted that we could be seeing more of them in the Marvel universe going forward.
Then again, James Gunn revealed to RadioTimes.com that the idea of this team-up (rather than just Stallone’s earlier cameo in the main film) only came to him after he’d finished shooting and was added later, so it seems likely that there aren’t too many grand plans for the original Guardians.
“I came up with [it] after I shot the movie,” he told us, “and I thought ‘Oh God I’d like to put that in,’ and then I went and shot it.”
Post-credits scene 3
In this scene, secondary villain Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki, pictured) reveals that she’s invested all the resources of her people into creating a special birthing pod, intended to bring to life the perfect individual to wreak revenge on the Guardians of the Galaxy.
She calls this figure “Adam,” which is sure to ring bells for fans of the original comics as referring to Adam Warlock, a cosmic figure in the Marvel comic-book universe (usually associated with the comic-book version of Ayesha) who was previously hinted at in the original Guardians of the Galaxy film.
In the comics, Warlock is created by human scientists to be the perfect human, originally calling himself “Him” and rebelling against his creators (and superhero Thor) with his godlike abilities before heading into space. As he travels he gains the name Warlock (getting the “Adam” part from some Earth kids when he heads home at one point) and comes into possession of something very important to the modern Marvel movies – one of the Infinity Stones, the six concentrated ingots which grant immense power to the wielder.
Specifically, Warlock is traditionally associated with the Soul Gem (pictured in green above, absorbing Warlock), currently the only one of the Infinity Stones not to play a part in the Marvel cinematic universe meaning that his introduction is very likely to tie into the film’s wider saga (where Josh Brolin’s baddie Thanos tries to unite all six in a special gauntlet to control all of reality).
We’ve already seen the Space Stone, the Mind Stone, the Reality Stone, the Power Stone and the Time Stone in the movies to date, so Warlock’s Soul Stone would complete the set, suggesting that this scene could hint at his inclusion in upcoming crossover movie Avengers: Infinity War instead of the Guardians sequel. Exciting stuff.
Post-credits scene 4
This scene sees a “teenage” version of Vin Diesel’s tree-person Groot, who spends the main film as a regrowing “baby” version of himself after sacrificing his life in the first movie.
The segment sees teenage Groot dismiss Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill/Star-Lord as boring and refusing to tidy his room (preferring to play video games instead), with the whole thing functioning as a hint that Groot will be regrown back to his old adult self when we see him next in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.
After all, that film has been revealed to be taking place four years after Volume 2 (which is set in 2014, as it starts just two months after the events of the original Guardians), so Groot will have plenty of time to get back to normal.
Post-credits scene 5
The final sting is a continuation of a gag from earlier in the film, where comics guru Stan Lee (who created many of Marvel’s successful characters) discusses the cameos he’s played in pretty much every Marvel-based superhero movie to date with classic comic-book aliens The Watchers.
In the post-credits scene we see the continuation of this meeting, with the omniscient aliens growing bored with Lee’s testimony and walking off while he complains. The whole thing (as director James Gunn has confirmed to us) is a nod to the popular fan theory that Lee’s movie cameos are explained by him actually being one of the Watchers (who in the comics travel all over the galaxy to observe significant events without interfering), with Lee listed in the credits as “The Watchers’ Informant”.
“I mean, you know there’s a lot of cool stuff that the fans come up with,” Gunn told us. “A lot of stuff I don’t agree with, you know people have ideas about what they think should happen in the MCU.
“But I find the idea that Stan Lee is a Watcher, or that he works for the Watchers, is just a fun little nod to the fans.”
So there you have it – even big Hollywood directors listen to you sometimes.
Guardians of the galaxy Vol. 2 is on release in UK cinemas now