‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’ Post-Credits Scenes Impact the MCU

SPOILER ALERT: This story covers major plot developments and post-credits scenes in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” currently playing in theaters.

At this point, it’s no secret that Marvel Studios has lost some of its luster in its post-“Avengers: Endgame” era. Between the rapid expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney+ and the releases of stars like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and the late Chadwick Boseman, the Marvel saga has often felt both too much and not enough: l centerless spreading.

It’s a problem that “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is uniquely ill-equipped to address. For one thing, the movie is completely disconnected from everything that happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after “Endgame” – there’s not a whisper of Kang or the Multiverse or Incursions or Talokan or, hilarious, from Thor, even though the Guardians made a special appearance in “Thor: Love and Thunder” last summer. On the other hand, the Guardians themselves – at least, as the public knows and loves them – are also leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with stars Zoe Saldaña and Dave Bautista making it clear that they are done with their roles. and writer-director James Gunn is leaving Marvel to co-lead DC Studios with Peter Safran.

These are, to be clear, great assets to the film itself, imbuing “Vol. 3” with a sense of creative freedom and melancholy that Marvel titles have rarely experienced. And to be fair, the movie doesn’t completely break Guardians either. In the first post-credits scene, the audience sees Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) step in as the new leader of a reconstituted Guardians: Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), Kraglin ( Sean Gunn), Cosmo the Spacedog (Maria Bakalova), and the newest, Phyla (Kai Zen), one of the genetically enhanced children the Guardians rescued from High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji). (Phyla is also the name of a Marvel comic book character who was part of the Guardians, but her story is drastically different from the character in the movie.)

Even Peter Quill gets his own shaggy post-credits scene after reuniting with his human grandfather (Gregg Henry) back on Earth, in which they joke about grain and why a neighbor’s grown son won’t mow his lawn. for her, followed by the tag that “the legendary Star-Lord will return”.

As charming as these two scenes are, however, they actually only manage to contribute to an impending headache for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Over the past 21 months, Marvel has used its trademark post-credits scenes to tease up to six – or more! – upcoming movies. They are:

• A suite — or suites! – to “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” which involves the titular hero (Simu Liu), the extraterrestrial origins of his titular rings, and/or the reworking of the titular outlaw cabal the Ten Rings by the sister of Shang-Chi, Xialing (Meng’er Zhang).

• A sequel to “Eternals” which involves Starfox (Harry Styles) helping Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Druig (Barry Keoghan) and Thena (Angelina Jolie) save their compatriots from judgment by the Celestial Arishem.

• A sequel to “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” which involves Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) joining forces with the witch Clea (Charlize Theron) to fix a foray into the Dark Dimension.

• A sequel to “Thor: Love and Thunder” which involves Zeus (Russell Crowe) sending his son Hercules (Brett Goldstein) to kill Thor (Chris Hemsworth).

• A sequel to “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” that involves Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) grappling with the revelation that the late T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) had a son and rightful heir to the Kingdom of Wakanda .

• And now, a sequel — or sequels! — to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” which involves the newly reassembled titular Guardians and/or Star-Lord’s exploits after returning to his family on Earth.

None of these potential features have been officially confirmed by Marvel Studios, and there have been no solid reports of creative momentum forward for any of them. Nonetheless, Marvel has never been a studio for making an empty promise. Why bother secretly hiring Styles, Theron and Goldstein for just a 90-second appearance? Besides, why prefigure the mystery of Shang-Chi’s rings, or the potential of T’Challa’s noble lineage, if you’re never going to pay for it? Why end “Guardians Vol. 3” with the tagline “the legendary Star-Lord will return” if, you know, he won’t?

Here’s where things get tricky: Marvel chief Kevin Feige made it clear that ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ will conclude the Multiverse Saga the same way ‘Avengers: Endgame’ ended the Infinity Saga – and, to this day , there is only three open release dates for Marvel properties before “Secret Wars” premieres on May 1, 2026. (These dates are July 25, 2025, November 26, 2025, and February 13, 2026.)

Of course, some of the aforementioned “sequels” could end up being drawn into the events of “Secret Wars” and its antecedent, 2025’s “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.” Others could be part of a Disney+ show at the place. But the overall effect remains too much, like a child continuing to stack a tower of toy blocks without worrying about whether they might possibly topple over. With “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” all but certain to lose money and superhero fatigue hitting the box office in general, Marvel better hope that, to borrow a word from the first tape original “Guardians”, things will get easier – and so on.

Leave a Comment