Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Five Easter eggs you may have missed in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Hilarious image stolen from hilarious interwebs

Heads up. This is spoiler country.

I'm about to tell you about some of the specific nerdy foiled-wrapped chocolate nuggs James Gunn and his Marvel overlords left behind for you to find in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.

So if you stumbled in here by accident, you can still leave now without doing yourself any spoiler-related injuries. I'm just padding out this top bit of the article in case you did stumble in here by accident. It happens all the time on the internet.

If you were looking for an actual review, here's one I prepared earlier. It's spoiler-free in the sense that it doesn't give away anything that wasn't already shown in a trailer. Like, did you know the movie stars a talking tree named Groot?

He's adorable, by the way.

Ok, still padding. In all seriousness, and talking in a totally unreviewy way here, I will say that Vol. 2 didn't hit me like Vol. 1. After seeing Vol. 1, I felt like I was five again and had just seen Star Wars for the first time. That's how fresh and exciting and thrilling it felt. Gunn had opened up a window to a whole new cosmos and I loved every minute of it (flaws aside). 

Vol. 2 was never going to stack up against that, but trying to put aside my juvenile sense of awe from Vol. 1, Vol. 2 is definitely a weaker film, but still a wonderfully enjoyable and fun film (flaws aside). It suffers by comparison, but is also structurally inferior and has more pacing and plotting issues than its predecessor. But it's still awesome. Go see it.

Anyway, have I padded enough? Are you ready?

But first, forgive me if I mess some of these up - I've only seen Vol. 2 once and am going from memory.

Stan Lee & The Watchers

Image from Cracked.com

Stan Lee's regular cameos have sparked one of my favourite net-nerd theories - that Lee is actually Uatu the Watcher. For those that don't know, Uatu is a supposedly passive and immortal cosmic figure in the Marvel universe who records what happens in his neck of the galaxy, which is Earth. Naturally, he can't help but meddle, making him the ultimate deus ex machina in several comics. Given Lee's frequent appearances in plenty of significant Marvel happenings, it's a neat idea that in his cameos he's actually playing Uatu (or at the very least one of the Watchers - Uatu is just the best known of the bunch). Gunn nods at this theory with Lee's cameo, in which a spacesuited Lee is shown telling stories to a group of Watchers while Rocket, Yondu and Kraglin hyperjump their way across the galaxy. Net-nerd theory confirmed (kinda).

Adam Warlock

The Collector's digs in Vol. 1 had Marvel fans pausing every frame of the Blu-Ray release, hunting for Easter eggs. One of the main ones was this horrible thing, which looks like something Jabba The Hutt dropped off in the porcelain bus after a big night on the suds.

Gunn apparently confirmed in a podcast that this was in fact Adam Warlock's cocoon only to later take it back, probably when he realised he could do bigger, more amazing things with the character than just have his cocoon somehow end up in The Collector's possession. Warlock was reportedly a major player in Vol. 2 but was cut out so he could be used in Vol. 3. So that shinier, prettier cocoon Ayesha is talking about (mid-credits) containing someone who just happens to be named Adam ... well, it's definitely Adam Warlock.

And who is Adam Warlock? At various times in the comics, he has worked with The Avengers, had the Soul Gem (AKA one of the Infinity Stones) stuck to his forehead a la Vision in the MCU, died (repeatedly), been the champion of Counter-Earth, fought Thor, served as a Christ metaphor, become an evil preacher named Magus, and been a Guardian Of The Galaxy. At the cosmic end of Marvel, he's kind of a big deal so expect the usual pointless bitching when his role is cast.

The original Guardians

At the very end of the film, Sylvester Stallone turns up again to remind you that yes, he was in the film earlier for no apparent reason. Turns out he's only in there to tease another cosmic team. In the context of the film (Stallone says "let's go steal some shit" or some variation of, I can't remember exactly), it sounds like his team is an alternate Guardians-style gang, possibly doing more bad than good. What's really interesting though is that the make-up of his team is pretty much the original '60s-era Guardians Of The Galaxy line-up. 

Stallone's character's name is Stakar Ogord, who in the comics is Starhawk, an original Guardian. Also appearing at the end is Aleta (Michelle Yeoh), Charlie-27 (Ving Rhames) and someone who I presume to be Martinex (the diamond-looking fella hanging with Stakar earlier in the film as well). I can't remember who the other ones are (they're only together in one shot at the end pretty much) but there's a red fishy looking guy who I have no idea about. It's worth noting Yondu was an original Guardian in the comics. Other possible early Guardians we could see are the fiery Nikki and Vance Astro. I can't be bothered hyperlinking all those names. Just browse the Marvel Wikia at your leisure.

Howard The Duck

You won't have missed this one unless you blinked for an abnormally long time. Like three seconds. That's more like a micro-nap than a blink really. Anyway, Howard The Duck is back, chatting up a woman in a quick cameo, proving that Gunn is going to milk that joke (ie. that Howard The Duck is a joke character) at least once in every Guardians film. Expect him to turn up in Vol. 3 for a one-liner. Personally, I think it's great. Howard The Duck's comics, especially in the early Steve Gerber days, are cool, and short silly cameos suit the character down to the ground.

The Grandmaster's cameo

During the credits, on either side of the scrolling text (and frequent "I am Groot"s) you can see '80-style bubbles featuring the cast doing dorky dance movies. Among them is Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster (as well as Cosmo the telepathic space dog, who cameoed in Vol. 1), who is appearing in Thor: Ragnarok. This means one or some of several possible things:

1) Taika Waititi gave Gunn footage of Goldblum dancing in costume for no reason and Gunn decided to use it.
2) The Grandmaster had a cameo in Vol. 2 that got cut.
3) The Guardians have cameos in Thor: Ragnarok.
4) It's in the credits of Vol. 2 for no reason other than to make Marvel nerds like me flip out.

I'm sure there are other Easter eggs, but these are the ones I spotted. Did you see some more? Apparently Miley Cyrus voices Mainframe, but I don't know what that sentence even means. Comment below and tell me what foil-covered chocolate nuggs you noticed in Vol. 2.

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