guardians of the galaxy vol. 2 concept art

Most of the easter eggs in Marvel Studios films are pretty easy for fans to pick out. Whether it’s a shout-out to a location or character featured in the comics on which the movie is based, or maybe just another Stan Lee cameo, it’s normally not long until a video like this one pops up to break down everything fans may have missed during their first theatrical viewing.

But writer/director James Gunn hid one easter egg in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy so well that fans have been searching for it ever since the movie debuted and haven’t been able to pinpoint it. But that may have changed, because a new theory has arisen and considering what we learned in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it seems pretty damn plausible.

Update: Director James Gunn has come out yo deny the following theory:

Before we go any further, we should warn you that the entire crux of this easter egg contains a major spoiler for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, go check it out and then come back and read this. Final warning, everyone: spoilers ahead.

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As you know, Guardians Vol. 2 contains the revelation that not only is Ego (Kurt Russell) the father of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), he’s also the one responsible for killing Peter’s mother by giving her a brain tumor. It’s the selfish act of an immortal coward who loved a mortal woman and was so tempted by his feelings for her that he was worried he would give up his grand plans in order to be with her. Instead of just walking away, he went overboard (Kurt Russell pun = 5 points) and gave her cancer so she would die and no longer provide a temptation for him. What a dick.

So what does that have to do with a hidden easter egg in the original Guardians movie? ScreenRant did the legwork on this one, decoding the coordinates that flashed when a new location appeared on screen by assigning each letter a numeric value based on the placement in the alphabet. (A=1, B=2, etc.) In some cases, numbers like “3” stand in for the letter “E”, and the end result is fascinating:

Guardians Coordinates Easter Egg

What they found was the following: SHH…THIS IS MOMS CANCER…MEREDITH QUILL X. As they explain, this decoded message “clues viewers in that a secret is coming their way, that the secret is the source of Star-Lord’s mother’s cancer, and that the source is her ‘ex.'” So Gunn gave us the hint that Ego was responsible for killing Meredith before we even knew Ego was involved in this story. Mind=blown. If it turns out to be true – which, it seems pretty damn solid to me – that’s a super cool payoff.

When asked about the undiscovered easter egg from the first film, the writer/director previously said, “I am not going to [reveal anything], but people have gotten very close. So, I don’t think it will be very long until it comes out.” That was just before the sequel was released, and he’s also said that if he does end up revealing the truth behind the easter egg, it will be “a while AFTER Vol. 2 at the earliest.” That leads me to believe it involves Ego and that character’s treachery because Gunn has been blocking people on his social media channels who spoil anything about the movie in an effort to preserve surprises for those who haven’t been able to see it yet. Looks like all the pieces have fallen into place, and I’m ready to call this mystery solved. Now we just need to wait for official confirmation.

Gunn has also teased a similarly tough easter egg that exists in Vol. 2, and ScreenRant theorizes that it might be that Knowhere – the former head of a Celestial as seen in the first movie – might have once housed Ego’s brain, but that seems a little less complex than the first easter egg, so I’m not as convinced about the veracity of that one. Will the Vol. 2 easter egg only be discoverable once we have information found in Vol. 3? If so, amateur detectives will have to wait another few years before solving it.

What do you think? Did ScreenRant nail it with the secret message coordinates, or do you believe there is a different Guardians of the Galaxy easter egg that has yet to be found?

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