James Gunn has reportedly started writing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The director told USA Today that he’s been discussing the story with Star-Lord himself, Chris Pratt, and also talking to Zoe Saldana about Gamora’s role in the film – which has been described as “significant”.

With that in mind, and with Vol. 2 currently tearing up the international box office, we look at how the film paves the way towards what happens next. Just a word of warning – there are SPOILERS ahead!

Nebula Goes After Thanos

Towards the end of Vol. 2, after warring sisters Gamora and Nebula have buried the hatchet and smoothed over their differences, Nebula announces she’s off to pick another fight with the man responsible for pitting these two against one another – their dad, Thanos.

Nebula’s plan is to kill him, but Gamora doesn’t want her to go. “I don’t know if that’s possible,” says Gamora to Nebula. It’s certainly a tall order – Thanos is pretty powerful but Nebula is very determined. Even when the sister she’s now repaired her relationship with asks her to stay, she refuses.

The Original Guardians of the Galaxy Reunite

The original Guardians of the Galaxy

Much of the setting up for the next instalment is done via post-credit sequences. In one, Sylvester Stallone’s character Stakar is seen with a bunch of other dudes – who happen to be the original team of Guardians in Marvel lore. There’s Michelle Yeoh’s Aleta, Ving Rhames’s Charlie-27, Michael Rosenbaum’s Martinex, Krugarr and Mainframe, who is voiced by Miley Cyrus.

“You know, it’s a shame that it took the tragedy of losing Yondu to bring us all together again but I think he’d be proud knowing that we’re back as a team,” says Stakar before adding, “What say we steal some sh*t?”

In this scene, it certainly looks like they’re about to embark on a new adventure all their own, and Gunn told The Independent that he’d love to see these characters reappear in the future. “Where exactly they will be, whether it is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or their own movie, or someone else’s movie, we’ll have to wait and see.”

Adam Warlock

Adam Warlock
The very perfect Adam Warlock from the comics

Another of the post-credit scenes showed us Ayesha, the Sovereign High Priestess, a little disgruntled over the fact she messed up. She’s concerned that her bosses are “perturbed” that she’s “wasted their resources” going after the guardians to recover her batteries and teach them a lesson, neither of which came to pass.

So she’s very pleased with herself that she has something that could appease them.

“When they see what I’ve created, their wrath will dissipate,” she says.

What is it? A new kind of birthing pod. The Sovereign race are a genetically engineered race, and this, says Ayesha, “is the next step in our evolution – more powerful, more beautiful, more capable of destroying the Guardians of the Galaxy.”

She adds, “I think I shall call him Adam.”

We can look forward to seeing Ayesha again in the future, out for vengeance with her creation Adam – a character likely to be based on the comics’ Adam Warlock, an artificial being who ends up rebelling against his creators.

Rocket’s Backstory

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 tantalises us with fragments of Rocket’s backstory. He bonds with Yondu during a conversation when Yondu lets him know he’s got the measure of him. Yondu tells him he recognises who he is – both hold people at arm’s length because they’re scared to get close to people. Just as a scientist made Rocket, so Yondu’s parents sold him into slavery. He tells him he has a big hole inside, before adding, “I know who you are, boy, because you’re me.”

In a sequel, we can hope to learn more about Rocket’s origins.

Teenage Groot

Baby Groot Guardians

We hope you haven’t got too attached to Baby Groot, because on the evidence of one of Vol. 2’s post-credit scenes, in the next film we’ll see him as a grouchy teenager. The third version of Groot we’ve seen in the franchise, this incarnation is a typically messy teen whose voice is breaking. No doubt he’ll exhibit plenty more signs of teenager-dom – but we’ve got to admit, we’ll miss Baby Groot!

A New Awesome Mix

Guardians Awesome Mix
Watch this space for an all-new Awesome Mix 3

After Ego squishes Peter’s Walkman, he wasn’t the only one whose heart sank. But towards the end of the film, Peter is given an MP3 player (not an iPod, ladies and gents, but a Zune – Microsoft’s ill-fated model) which sets us up for a whole new Awesome Mix. And though we hear one of the songs on it – Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son” – it’s loaded with 300 tracks, and likely to feature a bunch of tunes from the 1990s and even 2000s. Depending on the music taste of its previous owner, of course. So expect to hear a more diverse Awesome Mix Vol. 3 in GOTG3.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.