Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 packs a lot of movie into its runtime. Not only does writer/director James Gunn have to service a team of aliens, gods, and superbeings with stories, but the bombastic settings allow the film to be stuffed to the gills with stunning visuals and hidden Easter Eggs of content. The movie even has a whopping five scenes that take place after the movie, the so-called “post-credits scene” (even though the first in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 takes place before the actual credits roll). “[P]eople love them,” said James Gunn on the press tour, “So I’m like ‘That’s what people love are these post credit scenes.’ I get asked about the post credit scenes almost as much as the movie. So I’m just gonna give you a billion of them.”
What’s more, these post-credits scenes aren’t just one-off jokes (well, all of them aren’t) they also include what’s probably a villain for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and tie together all the Stan Lee cameos…ever? That means you might need some interpretation help with a few of the five, and that’s where we come in.
After the “Guardians of the Galaxy will Return” title and before the actual credits start rolling, we see loyal Ravager Kraglin (Sean Gunn, brother of the director) has installed Yondu’s prototype fin on himself and practices using his whistling to control the zippy red arrow that seemed so effortless earlier in the movie. Kraglin’s not great at it though, and accidentally stabs Drax, who is sitting around the corner, in the pectoral. Kraglin decides not to retrieve the arrow as Drax is crying out in pain and slinks off.
Will Kraglin be taking a place on the Guardians roster? Probably not. Sean Gunn not only plays Kraglin, but also portrays Rocket Raccoon on set for the other actors (to be voiced over by Bradley Cooper later). Already Guardians Volume 2 complicates things for the Gunn brothers by putting Rocket and Kraglin in a few scenes together, but although Kraglin will very likely be back for Volume 3, don’t expect him to be part of the team proper.Marvel Comics
The “Original” Guardians
This one is for the super comic book nerds, who probably already knew that Michael Rooker’s Yondu character was part of the first Guardians of the Galaxy team that appeared in Marvel Comics in the 1960s as a superhero team from the year 3000. We hear Yondu call Sylvester Stallone’s Ravager leader “Stakar” in the run-time of the film, and Michelle Yeoh and Ving Rhames’ Ravagers appear at the end, but it isn’t until the post-credits sequence that the identities of these Marvel Comics characters are revealed through context.
Stallone is Stakar Ogord, or Starhawk, a member of the Guardians 3000 team. He’s getting the team back together in light of Yondu’s fate to “steal some shit.” That old team is composed of:
Ving Rhames as Charlie-27, a giant genetically engineered space warrior that was made to withstand Jupiter’s gravity.
Michelle Yeoh is Aleta Ogord, the female Starhawk, who was married to Stakar for a time in the comics but doesn’t feign one way or another in the movie.
The red alien who communicates through magic symbols is Krugarr, an alien who showed up in the original Guardians of the Galaxy comic book run and went on to take over the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme when Doctor Strange upgrades his title to “The Ancient One.”
Miley Cyrus as the voice of Mainframe, which – this is confusing – but is a Tony Stark A.I. and an alternate version of Vision from another timeline. In the film none of the original Guardians are from Earth (according to James Gunn), so Mainframe’s new origins are a mystery.
Call Him Adam
Elizabeth Debicki plays the golden Ayesha, mouthpiece leader of the Sovereign in this movie. We check in with her as she readies to tell some sort of superior council that she lost the Guardians of the Galaxy, but she also reveals a golden pod that she says holds the future of their race…and she decides to call him “Adam.”
Marvel Comics fans will recognize that we’ve finally seen the REAL cocoon for Adam Warlock (as opposed to the Easter Egg version glimpsed in the Collector’s collection in the first Guardians). James Gunn reportedly had a draft of Volume 2 that featured Adam Warlock as a full-fledged character, but ultimately cut it to serve the other Guardians more. His inclusion here does suggest he’ll be back for Volume 3 (since Kevin Feige has already stated Adam Warlock would not be in Avengers: Infinity War).
We next leave the credits to see Peter Quill checking in on Teenage Groot, who is in his room playing some sort of hand-held video game. Groot has grown a bit and is molting off branches, and Peter tells him to clean his room. Groot “says” Peter is boring and Quill remarks this is how Yondu must have felt while raising him.
Mostly for comedy, this scene also helps track the time through the growth of Groot. Baby Groot of Volume 2 isn’t much larger than the Groot at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, implying that not much time has passed. Teenage Groot is substantially larger, all building to the Guardians’ appearance in Avengers: Infinity War where Groot will presumably be full size again.
Stan Lee in Space
Marvel Studios may not have the rights to Utau, the Watcher of Earth, but they’re showing off they still share the rights to the species of the Watchers by having them appear twice with Stan Lee. In the comics, the Watchers are powerful beings who only observe and do not interfere in the history of the galaxy. In the movie, we see Stan Lee telling a group of Watchers that one time he was a delivery man, referring to his cameo in Captain America: Civil War.
This implies, and Marvel Studios has hinted, that the Stan Lee we see cameo in almost every Marvel movie is, in fact, the same Stan Lee. Now, is he a being of great easter egg power, or is Stan Lee actually a Watcher in disguise? Well, he seems to be unable to travel in space like the Watchers in this last post-credits scene and needs a space suit to breathe, so we’re guessing Stan Lee is just good old Stan Lee, tying the Marvel Universe together.