SPOILER WARNING: It probably goes without saying, but BE WARNED, there are SPOILERS afoot!
We have given you a few days to go see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 before dropping this massive easter eggs list. Of course, there are so many cool little nods to comics and pop culture in this film that we are not even going to cover the major ones. So, while it was awesome that director James Gunn gave us a bunch of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, we are going to focus specifically on Stakar Ogord’s costume. We are also going to bypass things like Howard the Duck and The Watchers' meeting with Stan Lee.
It took multiple screenings but we have combed the footage in this film to bring you the goodies that Gunn and crew planted for the diehards. It may have annoyed other viewers as we furiously scribbled notes but we did it for you. We even analyzed all the planet coordinates that show up on screen under the names of the planets, as these have yielded secrets in the past. Nothing came of it for us yet, but our team is still working on it. Until then, here are some eggs we did unearth!
15 THE 1980s
There were some great references to the 1980s in the first Guardians film, like when Star-Lord calls Korath a Ninja Turtle or when he tells Gamora about the legend of Footloose. However, in Vol. 2, they jam in twice as many treats for the ‘80s babies.
There's the device Quill is using to track the beast at the beginning that is obviously a modified Classic Football handheld game. Then, of course, there’s Quill’s whole Cheers talk with Gamora. And we doubt anybody missed when he said that he would use his newfound powers to make giant statues of Skeletor, Pac-Man, and Heather Locklear. Just in case any readers are unfamiliar with Locklear, she was an actress in the ’80s who starred in popular shows of the decade like T.J. Hooker and Dynasty. Lastly, David Hasselhoff and his popular ‘80s show Knight Rider get name dropped multiple times… and then the Hoff himself makes a cameo!
14 SPECIES FROM THE COMICS
The filmmakers manage to once again include a number of cool races from the comics. We meet a wide range of aliens within the ranks of the Ravagers. Yondu’s squad includes a Krylorian (dark pink skin), a race that mostly appear in Hulk continuity, and an Aakon (yellowish skin, broad brow), whose warlike people can be found in Marvel's big cosmic titles of the '70s, like Nova and Captain Marvel. In the first film, the girl Quill has on his ship when he is retrieving the Orb from Morag is named Bereet and she is a Krylorian from the comics.
We also see several different species when Ego’s “plants” start to expand across the universe. We see Xandarians and Kree fleeing from the spreading masses on their respective worlds, as well as a handful of other unidentified peoples on other unnamed planets.
13 PLANETS FROM THE COMICS
James Gunn and crew do a great job of faithfully adapting elements from the comics, as well as using names or small details as easter eggs. The two planets we are given the names of, Berhert and Contraxia, are most definitely yanked from comic panels. Berhert is a very obscure pick, as it only appeared in two issues of Incredible Hulk in 1969. Further, it is not even mentioned by name in the two-part story.
Contraxia, on the other hand, is notable because an Avenger named Jack of Hearts is half Contraxian. The planet first appeared in Jack of Hearts #2 (1984) and, like in the film, it is a cold, snowy planet due to a dying sun. Also, like we just mentioned in the previous entry, we get a glimpse of Vandar and what seems to be the Kree homeworld, Hala, toward the end of the film.
12 STAKAR'S WINGS
When it leaked that Sylvester Stallone would show up in Vol. 2, the internet was abuzz with theories on who he could be playing. While a popular rumor had it that he would be another one of the Elders of the Universe, it's much more satisfying that he turned out to be one of the original Guardians. But to be clear, the initial line-up of that team is: Charlie-27, Martinex, Vance Astro and Yondu. Stakar Ogord is actually the very first addition to the spacefaring squad.
While the filmmakers didn’t give him his flamboyant blue tights and golden wing look from the comics, there are several little nods to Stakar's classic Starhawk get-up. His Ravager costume is dark blue, he has golden vambraces that reference his gloves and, best of all, he has the golden arches over his shoulders that callback to his retractable solar wind collector wings.
As much as we dig how the filmmakers adapted Ego, The Living Planet, we would be remiss not to mention that he has never been a Celestial in the comics. At first he was categorized as a Elder of the Universe but a later retcon had him being created by an Elder of the Universe named The Stranger.
However, with Ego and Peter being Celestials, that now makes four of these ancient demigods that we have met in the MCU. In the first film we are introduced to Knowhere, which Gamora states is “the severed head of an ancient Celestial being.” Then, when The Collector explains that the Orb is an Infinity Stone, his screens show a six-eyed Celestial wielding one. This was most likely Eson the Searcher from the comics.
10 ID, THE SELFISH MOON
When Milano’s away party arrive on Ego’s planetoid, Peter says to Ego, “Wow, you have your own planet.” Ego responds, “Well, no larger that your Earth’s moon.” In the comics, Ego is definitely planet sized, and even bigger than Earth apparently. However, he does have two “brothers” and one of them is a moon.
The story goes that twins Ego and Alter Ego were created by The Stranger with materials provided by The Collector. Ego was allowed to roam free, while Alter Ego was kept in a pocket dimension in Taneleer's collection. Then, it was shoehorned in that there was an Id, The Selfish Moon, floating around too, and he had come into existence naturally. Anyways, muddy continuity aside, the mention of "moon" seems like a cool side-hint at an Id easter egg.
9 EGO’S AVATAR / EGO-PRIME
At first many fans were averse to Ego The Living Planet being played by Kurt Russell as a humanoid character. However, in the comics, Ego can and has created an avatar to interact with smaller beings. He has also created what Mr. Fantastic dubbed Anti-Bodies, which are humanoid soldiers.
Even further than that, there is a version of Ego that looks just like Russell’s beardy MCU take on this cosmic character. When a Rigellian scientist named Tana Nile takes a sample of Ego to try to use it to terraform a planet called Blackworld, Ego-Prime (pictured above) is created instead. He follows Tana to Earth, where he is engaged in battle by Thor and the Warriors Three. The loss of biomass drives Ego himself mad and the sentient planet ends up killing a small group of Galactus survivors he had allowed to live on his surface.
8 EGO CONTINUITY
GOTG Vol. 2 pulls from a bunch of cool moments in Ego’s history. It seems like Gunn was inspired heavily by Fantasic Four #235 (1981), from which it seems he adapted much of the imagery in this issue, as well as borrowing some key plot points.
It is revealed that the Wanderers, a group of beings from different planets who have survived Galactus’ attacks and were given sanctuary on Ego’s surface, have been consumed. This is similar to how Ego has “used up” many of his progeny in the movie. Also, this issue includes Ben Grimm neck deep in Ego’s surface, just like Drax in the film as he tries to get Mantis to the ship. Lastly, the Fantastic Four come up with a plan that sees Ben Grimm tasked with detonating a power pack in Ego’s brain core, which is exactly how the Guardians beat him in the movie.
7 CREDITS DISCLAIMER
There is so much going on in the credits, it is near impossible to catch everything the filmmakers have packed in. Just before the bonus scene with The Watchers and Stan Lee, there is a new spin on a familiar credits disclaimer. It states: “No raccoons or tree creatures were harmed during the making of this feature. The same cannot be said for handlers of said raccoon and tree creatures.” Ha!
This is a cool nod to Oreo, a real life raccoon that was used as a model for Rocket. In a 2014 interview, Gunn stated, "Our Rocket is based on a combination of our voice actor, Bradley Cooper, our on-set actor, my brother Sean Gunn, the movements and behavior and look of Oreo...” This cute little critter was riding on Gunn’s shoulder at the UK premiere of the first film.
6 CONNECTIONS TO THE FIRST FILM
There are a bunch of fun little details that connect the first and second films. Clearly, their continuity supervisor is on point. In the first film, when the Guardians and the Ravagers are making their plan to stop Ronan, Rocket says, “There’s one more thing we need to complete the plan… that guy’s eye,” while pointing to one Ravager’s cybernetic implant. Seemingly, this eye shows up again in Vol. 2 when Rocket and Yondu are locked up and they are sending Baby Groot to find Yondu’s prototype fin. He brings various items before he shows up with said ocular device.
Another deep dig easter egg has to do with the ship that Rocket and Yondu use to rescue the team. Rocket mentions that Yondu had used it to rob the Bank of Askavaria. Well, Askavarian is one of the species Quill tells Drax he has been with in the first film.
5 MORE CONNECTIONS TO THE FIRST FILM... AND THE AVENGERS!
There were just too many good callbacks to the first film for just one entry. Another great connection is Gregg Henry appearing once again as Peter’s gramps. You see him in a car with a lady friend just as the blue Ego mass on Earth is halted. We also get the return of Yondu’s Troll doll during his funeral. Many fans were sure this toy was a Pip the Troll easter egg in the first movie. Now, only the keen eyed will have noticed that when the Troll doll is laid down beside Yondu, his jewelled frog that he got from The Broker is already sitting there.
The reference to Earth's Mightiest Heroes happens right near the end, and is an homage to the 360 degree shot from The Avengers where they all stand in a circle while fighting the Chitauri. It’s basically the same shot but with the Guardians.
4 TASERFACE, BRAHL AND TULLK
The Ravagers are not from the comics. So, Gunn has filled their ranks with comic book characters and species to legitimize them with fans. For example, like we mentioned in #14, he included Krylorian and Aakon Ravagers this time out. They might not have been actual characters, but simply bringing new races into the MCU gets us giddy. Then he took it to the next level and made two of the Ravagers important Guardians foes… and one a super obscure Ronan associate.
Taserface is from a race called The Stark, who evolved thanks to refuse shot into space by Tony Stark, and opposed the original Guardians during the early '90s. Brahl was part of the Minions of Menace and has done battle with various incarnations of the Guardians team. Tullk was a mercenary that worked for Ronan the Accuser when he was exiled by the Kree Empire. However, none of these characters take much more than name from their comic counterparts.
3 THE CREDITS THEMSELVES
We'll cover the after credits/mid-credits scenes in the next two entries, but this entry deals with all the goodies Gunn has planted in the credits themselves. All the way through the credits there are names or positions that appear as “I Am Groot” and then right before they disappear off the screen, they are “translated.” After the main cast credits, we get a still of Cosmo, the telepathic canine cosmonaut, who appeared in the first film.
Next we get The Grandmaster (played by Jeff Goldblum) dancing alongside the credits. Then, there's an illustrated image of Ego that is comics accurate! And right after the teenage Groot scene, we get a still of Howard the Duck. Lastly, just before the last bonus scene, David Hasselhoff (aka Zardu Hasselfrau) appears saying “In these times of hardship, it's best to remember, We Are Groot.”
2 ETERNITY AND ZARDU
We could be reaching here, but we think we've found the two most obscure references in the whole film. Gamora misremembers David Hasselhoff’s name as Zardu Hasselfrau. The only Zardu we could find in the comics only appeared in X-Men Legacy #1 (2012) and was associated with David Haller, aka Legion. Legion is helping ease the minds of geriatric psychics and Zardu is the only one we see get treated.
In the comics, the universe itself is a huge entity known as Eternity. This being is visually striking as it is just the shape of a humanoid filled with a star field. Well, when Ego tells Peter about taking over the whole universe, he shares his plan with a touch. Upon realizing the magnitude of it, Peter utters the word “Eternity” and his eyes glaze over and fill with a star field.
1 ADAM WARLOCK
As soon as it was announced that Elizabeth Debicki would be playing Ayesha, fans knew Adam Warlock couldn’t be far behind. Marvel has already teased his appearance twice with a cocoon in The Collector’s museum, but apparently those were just feints. The mid-credits scene here makes his coming imminent as Ayesha actually says his name.
In case you’re not up on decades of Marvel’s cosmic continuity, we’ll let you know that Warlock (aka, "Him") is a being genetically engineered to be the perfect human. However, after being manipulated by the cosmic beings Lord Chaos, Master Oder and the In-Betweener, he became a tyrant called the Magus. Adam, with the help of the Infinity Gems, later split his self into three separate beings (to more evenly wield the gems), creating in his "good" version the woman known as The Goddess, who bears a striking resemblance to Ayesha.
What other easter eggs, sideways references and little cameos did you notice? Let us know in the comments!