Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 breaks the record for post-film stingers, the film featuring a whopping five fun inserts at the end. Some throwaway jokes, others introducing new characters, and others still setting up potential storylines for future films. So with the film now out in a whole bunch of territories, here’s our guide to all five, followed by a quote from writer-director James Gunn about how they might play into the next crop of Marvel movies.
Just BEWARE OF SPOILERS AHEAD. Seriously. There’s a BIG SPOILER coming up just below.
1. Arrow Issues
With Yondu now dead – we warned you there were going to be spoilers – Kraglin (Sean Gunn) has inherited his Yaka Arrow. And with some help from Yondu’s former fin, he’s endeavouring to use it. With little luck. When one of his whistles does succeed, however, the result is Drax taking said arrow to the face. And meaning that Kraglin is probably about to feel the Destroyer’s wrath.
2. New Crew
The death of Yondu unites the original Guardians, and we see them together for the first time in this second sting. The team consists of Stakar aka Starhawk (Sylvester Stallone), Aleta (Michelle Yeoh), Charlie-27 (Ving Rhames), Martinex (Michael Rosenbaum, we think), Mainframe (voiced by Miley Cyrus) and Krugarr, a CG character who doesn’t speak in the brief scene. And it sounds like they are going back to work, with Stallone suggesting: “What say we steal some sh*t?”
3. Adam Arrives
Sovereign High Priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) is concerned that she has wasted the council’s resources chasing the Guardians. But she has a solution – Ayesha has created the next step in human evolution, apparently capable of destroying Star-Lord and friends. That creation appears to be being birthed in a pod, Ayesha decides to call him Adam, and we think this is the first mention of potential Guardians 3 villain Adam Warlock.
4. Teenage Angst
This one must take place sometime after the events of Volume 2, as ‘Baby’ Groot is now ‘Sullen Teenage’ Groot. One who won’t clean up the vines in his room, and ignores kinda-dad Peter Quill to play video games. He even calls Star-Lord boring, to which Peter responds: “Now I know how Yondu felt.”
There’s a rumour going round that Stan Lee is a Watcher in the Marvel movies, and not just any Watcher, but the first Watcher, Uatu. As these extraterrestrials can manipulate time and space, the thinking is this same Stan character has been cameoing in every film. This final Guardians sting doesn’t quite back that up, but it does come close. Stan is sitting on a rock on some distant moon, dressed as an astronaut, and talking to dudes in robes that look very much like Watchers. “You’re supposed to be my lift home,” he says as they walk away, adding, “I’ve got so many more stories to tell.” Giving Stan Lee the film’s final line. And one of the movie’s biggest laughs.
UPDATE: Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige has confirmed the omnipresent Stan Lee theory. Speaking to ScreenRant, Feige said: “Yes, we always thought it would be fun. Stan Lee clearly exists, you know, above and apart from the reality of all the films. So the notion that he could be sitting there on a cosmic pit stop during the jump gate sequence in Guardians was something very fun – James had that idea and we shot that cameo and loved it so much, you know, you see it a couple of times in the movie. It wasn’t in for a long time and we put it back in towards the end of the process where he references that time he was a Federal Express agent – we thought it would be fun to put that in there because that really says, so wait a minute, he’s this same character who’s popped up in all these films.”
As for whether the more plot-heavy stings will make it into future films, writer-director James Gunn had this to say at a recent press conference: “With all the post-credit scenes on this movie, they’re all funny and fun, and most of them are things we hope to see continue on in the MCU. Whether that’s a supporting role in future movies or whatever, I think it would be great to see those things and those characters show up.”