From the very beginning, post-credits scenes have been a delightful hallmark of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A clever construct that allows for subtle stitching of the overlapping films between the core narratives, Marvel has leveled up their offerings over the years with the addition of mid-credits scenes and better-crafted plot teases. But James Gunn raised the game with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which hits the audience with not one, not two, but five post-credits scenes ranging from comedy bits and cameos, to a critical seed for the future of the MCU.
Now that the movie is in theaters, we’re breaking down all five after-credits scenes, and considering that Gunn is confirmed to return Vol. 3, which means he was probably laying the seeds for things to come, we’re taking a look at the possible implications of what they might mean for the Guardians and the MCU at large.
Kraglin’s Got Some ‘Splaining to Do
After Yondu’s tear-jerking death and self-sacrifice in the finale, Quill gave the Yaka Arrow to Kraglin in a moment that screams “this guy has a much bigger role to play in the third film.” Which is great, because Sean Gunn is a delight. But the first post-credits scene (technically pre-credits, but Gunn has established that he counts this as one of the five) makes it clear he’s got a ways to go before he can step into the shoes of our dearly departed Yondu, who had the whistle of an angel. Just after the title card, the scene flashes to Kraglin, who’s practicing his whistle in Yondu’s ship (which seems to be where the Guardians are holding up for now, so it will be interesting to see if that’s still the case when we pick up with them in Infinity War). Untrained and unsure, Kraglin whistles timidly, sending the arrow in weak little loops until he finally catches some wind and …. sends it soaring right into Drax, who screams in anguish in the background. Not a whole lot to unpack here, but it was a good laugh that sets the stage for Kraglin to become a bigger part of the group.
The Original Guardians
If you’re not familiar with the comic book origins of the Guardians of the Galaxy, you might have looked at this post-credits sequence and thought “Oh shit, Michelle Yeoh!” followed by “Wait, what?” My screening, which filled with a goodly sum of die-hard nerds, had people prowling the credits for character names. Well, here’s the breakdown. As James Gunn confirmed in a press conference, as Stakar Ogard, aka Starhawk; Ving Rhames as Charlie 27; Michelle Yeoh as Aleta Ogard, the female Starhawk; Krugarr, a CGI worm-like alien character who succeeds Dr. Strange as Sorcerer Supreme in the comics; and Mainframe, a robotic head who is voiced by Miley Cyrus. There’s also a crystalline man that appears multiple times throughout the film, who is rumored to be played by Michael Rosenbaum and is almost certainly Martinex T’Naga, a mirrored being from Pluto who ran with the original Guardians and is definitely not the Night’s King. And there you have it, folks! You’re OG Guardians of the Galaxy, give or take a couple.
Groot Growing Pains
If Groot was a hit, Baby Groot is going to be a sensation. The daft lil’ rampaging tree dances and darts through Vol. 2 like a sprite, raising Havoc the way unattended children are wont to do, especially when they’re powerful intergalactic creatures. In the funniest of Vol. 2’s post-credits sequences, we see that Groot has sprouted into an angsty, bored teenager with a room so dirty it would make a roadside rest stop blush. There’s not much to analyze, and the scene is played for a laugh with Quill in the role of an exasperated parent. However, it does raise a few questions. Baby Groot was a stroke of genius that shifted the dynamic between the Guardians, will Gunn look to repeat that clever trick by adding a teenager to the mix for Vol. 3? Or will he need to be at full Groot strength for Infinity War? There’s also the fact that in the comics, Groot can regenerate to his full form much more quickly than we’ve seen in the films. Could we be in for a mid-battle upgrade, a la Giant-Man in Civil War?