The inclusion of post-credit scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is hardly surprising, given that it has become a standard feature of Marvel films.
As expected, the latest chapter in James Gunn’s cosmic saga delivers two additional moments that keep the audience in the movie theater for a little longer. Interestingly, this new MCU feature is notable for its lack of concern for story connections, instead focusing more on its own narrative.
The post-credit scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are, therefore, more closely tied to the story presented in the film than to the Multiverse Saga or even The Marvels, the next MCU film to be released in 2023. Nevertheless, for those already feeling nostalgic about these beloved characters, there is a subtle hint of their possible return as a team.
Attention! This text contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy 3!
The first scene of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is also the most important, as it shows that the team has not been dissolved and continues to act – albeit with a new formation.
In the film’s final sequence, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) announces that he is leaving the team to return to Earth and appoints Rocket (Bradley Cooper) as the new captain of the group. There is a beautiful scene with everyone saluting the newly appointed leader, closing the raccoon’s development arc well.
And it is from this idea that the first post-credit scene unfolds. When the first wave of names is presented, we see the now Rocket Racum — the name that the hero adopts after his near-death experience — commanding his new team on a mission on a hostile planet.
There are two big highlights right now. The first is confirmation that the Guardians of the Galaxy are still active and helping people across the universe. The second is that Marvel has not hidden the new lineup.
In addition to Rocket and Groot himself — who have a new look that is much more brutal and very close to the one that the 2021 game adopted —we have the return of Kraglin (Sean Gunn) and the effectiveness of Cosmo, the communist dog, and telepath played by actress Maria Bakalova. All of them are in the new uniform of the group.
But it’s the other two names that matter. The first of them is Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), the semi-villain of the film who realizes he is fighting on the wrong side and ends up being adopted by the Guardians at the end of the plot. After Groot gives him a speech about second chances, he seeks that redemption by being part of the team.
The final member is the biggest surprise of all. It is one of the girls the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) created to compose the perfect society and who is rescued by the heroes in the final act. Thus, we learn that, after being taken to Luganenhum, this specific child developed some power and started being trained by Rocket and his Guardians.
And there is a very curious reference here. Before the group joins the fray to fight a horde of animals advancing on a city, Kraglin calls out to her by name: Phyla.
With that, we discover that the child is none other than Phyla-Vell. This character exists in the comics and is the daughter of the original Captain Marvel, who came to be part of one of the recent formations of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Given the context of her MCU introduction, it’s likely this is more of an empty easter egg than a real hook to connect the character and new Guardians with Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and the upcoming The Marvels. As the High Evolutionary created her, it seems there is no intention to make these connections – and it’s even better that they don’t.
The Fate of Peter Quill
The second post-credits scene is much shorter but ends with a “coming” flavor as it shows what happened to Peter after he returned to Earth and was reunited with his ninety-year-old grandfather.
After the emotional meeting that closes the film, we see that the former hero is still being treated like the child he was when he left Earth. He appears to eat cereal in the kitchen while his grandfather reads the paper. In this, Peter says he is bothered by letting his grandfather’s wife mow the lawn while he is idly indoors.
It’s a silly little joke that only shows the former Star-Lord’s current situation. Plus, there’s an amusing banter at this point, as the paper features a headline about Kevin Bacon’s abduction, something that the Guardians themselves did in the Christmas Special.
The scene ends with the revelation that the “legendary Star-Lord will return” — a huge surprise. So far, everything led me to believe that this would be the farewell of the entire cast. However, the two scenes indicate that Marvel is interested in leaving the door open for a possible return in the future. Will we have news in Secret Wars?