'Guardians Of The Galaxy 2' Credits Scenes: Everything You Need To Know

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 flirts with self-parody in the home stretch, offering up five post-credits scenes to keep audiences in their seats. But these scenes aren't lazy or dashed-off – some are funny little beats that tie up lingering threads from the main storyline, others lay the groundwork for future movies, and a few are are deeply nerdy references that exist to make Marvel aficionados cheer in their seats while their normal friends and family stare at them and wonder what the heck is going on.

And whether you understood exactly what was going on during the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 credits or were among those saying "What the heck?", we've got something for you here. We've assembled everything you need to know about these scenes, including quotes from writer/director James Gunn and Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige. Let's dive in.

Major, major spoilers lie ahead, of course.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Credits Scenes Explained

Kraglin and the Arrow

The first post-credits scene is the one that requires the least amount of explanation – it's just a bit of amusing business that would have felt out of place in the actual movie while being far too funny to leave on the cutting room floor. The scene finds Kraglin (Sean Gunn), one of the few surviving Ravagers from Yondu's crew, playing around with his late boss' fin and its mind-controlled arrow. It's not as easy as it looks and the weapon spirals around the corner and stabs Drax. As the big guy's (genuinely hilarious) screams fill the corridor, Kraglin makes a break for it.

While there's not too much to dissect here beyond "Dave Bautista is really good at screaming funny," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige did tells us this scene was in the screenplay – it wasn't a last-minute piece of business conceived on set. So there you go: writer/director James Gunn really did plan out a scene where a character played by his brother accidentally stabs an alien warrior played by a former wrestler with a psychic arrow.

Interestingly, there was another Ravagers-centric credits scene that didn't make the cut. Talking to USA Today, Gunn explained that there was a scene featuring Gef (Steve Agee), one of the many, many people killed by Yondu during his prison escape. It seems that he survived his original injuries and spent the rest of the movie slowly dying on board the Guardians' ship. Um...what? Gunn explains "We realize that Gef has been on the ship the entire time mortally wounded. It ended up being a little confusing." That one sounds like a wise cut.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - Baby Groot

I Am Teenage Groot

The second post-credits scene is another mostly comedic sequence, but it also does a fine of job of expanding on the themes seen in the rest of the film. Set at least some time after the final battle with Ego, Peter Quill stops by Groot's quarters and tells the now teenaged (and medium-sized) tree alien that he needs to keep his room clean. While Groot still has a limited vocabulary, you can literally feel the exasperated eye rolls in his various deliveries of "I am Groot."

It's a funny scene when viewed in isolation, but it's warm and touching when taken as an extension of Peter's growth in the main storyline. The cocky, immature rogue found his dad, learned the true meaning of family, and discovered a sense of identity after suffering a devastating personal loss. It's time for the charming man-child to grow up and take his place as a father figure to this family of weirdos. And wouldn't you know it: there just-so-happens to be a kid he can care for! Naturally, the adorable little baby eventually has to become a surly teen, forcing the older, wiser, and certainly squarer Star-Lord to put his foot down and demand that he stop playing those video games and do his chores. Aww, everyone is growing up in their own little way!

In our conversation with Feige, the Marvel Studios honcho also confirmed that this scene was written into the original screenplay.

guardians of the galaxy

The Original Guardians of the Galaxy

This is a bit of a deep cut, even for many serious Marvel comic book fans. When the Guardians of the Galaxy first headlined their own comic series in 1969, they bore little resemblance to the modern line-up. They were a team of superheroes operating in the 31st century, centuries after the events of the "modern" Marvel universe. The line-up is a who's who of characters who never became household names, including Starhawk, Charlie-27, Aleta Ogord, and Yondu (okay, so you may be familiar with the last one, but you certainly weren't a few years ago).

With that knowledge in mind, the third post-credits scene is a delicious tribute to the original Guardians of the Galaxy team. Following Yondu's funeral, Sylvester Stallone's Stakar (the real name of Starhawk!) meets up with a few of his old Ravager buddies: Charlie-27 and Aleta Ogord, played by Ving Rhames and Michelle Yeoh in brief cameos. While the other Ravagers present (Mainframe and Krugar) don't have the same history, the point is still made: these are the "original" Guardians of the Galaxy, albeit the comic book versions, reunited after years of operating solo...and they're ready to steal some shit.

Does this mean we'll actually see more of this crew in a future movie, perhaps in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? Maybe! Hopefully! But right now, this slightly older but no less badass crew exists as a tribute to how this team originally appeared decades ago, even if they've been recast as another batch of lovable rogues instead of a futuristic team of crimefighters.

While the other post-credits scenes were written into the screenplay, James Gunn told us that this one came about late in the process:

All of them were written into the script with the exception of Sly. That one I thought about afterward. I'm like "Ah, I think I wanna go shoot this and put that in there."

At the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 press conference a few weeks back, Kevin Feige spoke more about the decision to bring the original gang back together:

Yeah, they're definitely the original Guardians. That was the fun of it, and when James had the idea to do more with the Yondu character who was also an original Guardians, the notion that he had a team once like Peter does now, that it'd be fun to see them. And he's definitely Charlie 27. Where we see them in the future, time will tell.

Gunn (who confirmed that this line-up is Starhawk, Aleta Ogord, Charlie-27, Mainframe, and Krugar) added that he'd definitely love to see this crew play a role in a future MCU movie:

You know, I think that we all, you know, with all the post-credit scenes on this movie, that are all funny and fun, and I think most of them are things that we hope to see continuing on in the MCU, you know, now what, you know, whether that's a supporting roles in future movies or whatever, I think it would be great to see those things and those characters show up.

And while it wasn't confirmed at the press conference, Gunn later revealed that Mainframe's voice sounds familiar for a reason: that's Miley Cyrus.

adam warlock

The Birth of "Adam"

Marvel Studios post-credits scenes take on three different forms: fun bits of business that wrap up sorry points and provide closure, deep cut references to characters and storylines that feel specially built for the nerds in the audience, and teases that help set up future movies in the MCU. This scene manages to be all three.

First of all, the scene provides a bit of closure for Elizabeth Debicki's Ayesha, who finds herself being called to answer for getting the entire Sovereign fleet destroyed (twice!) while pursuing the Guardians. A minor villain gets her comeuppance! But then, it's revealed that she's currently cooking up a new project, someone who will be stronger and better than anyone else in her genetically modified race. We don't get to see whatever is lurking inside that pod, but she does decide upon a name: Adam. She'll call him Adam.

For the vast majority of normal folks seeing Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend, this won't mean anything at all (maybe that's why you're reading this article!). But the Marvel die-hards in the audience can help you out: she's referring to Adam Warlock, one of the strangest characters to exist on the fringes of Marvel's cosmic world.

Adam Warlock's cocoon

In the comics, Adam Warlock is the result of an experiment conducted by human scientists to create the "perfect" organism. Naturally, he escapes, journeys to space, and finds himself granted superpowers after an encounter with a fellow called the High Evolutionary. Naturally, Adam wanders the galaxy, getting into adventures, often allying with familiar heroes and battling familiar enemies (he's a regular nemesis of Thanos). He's often popped up to assist the Guardians of the Galaxy in times of need.

So it isn't too surprising that he was originally intended to be a major character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but as James Gunn informed us, he was cut out of the story after his presence made the early drafts of the screenplay too unwieldy:

I love Adam Warlock.  He's one of my favorite characters.  In all truth, I wrote an early treatment where I had Adam Warlock as a part [...] It was Adam Warlock. He was a big part of the screenplay, and I realized it was one character too many. And I adore the character; I adore what we had done with him. I think we did something really creative and unique with Adam Warlock. But it was just one character too many. And I didn't wanna lose Mantis. And I couldn't, and Mantis was more organically a part of the movie anyway. So I decided to save him for later. And so I had that post-credit scene, I wrote that post credit scene.

But what future movie is this tease actually setting up? From the look of things, this is a thread that will be revisited in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. While Adam Warlock has experience battling Thanos in the comics, Gunn insisted that the character will not make his big screen debut in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War:

There was a lot of discussion about whether we were gonna put it in the movie or not. Because people are going to think it's about Infinity War. Because he's not. He's not in Infinity War, but he will be a future part of the Marvel Cosmic Universe and a pretty important part of it.

Feige doubled down on this, telling us that Adam Warlock will show up in future Guardians of the Galaxy movies, not the next Avengers movie:

Adam is not in Infinity War. That is not a tag for Infinity War. James has ideas. And had played with incarnations of Adam Warlock in earlier drafts of other Guardians films. So he's always been top of mind for the Guardians franchise. And if he appears anywhere in the future it'll be with Guardians.

So start your fan-casting now, boys and girls! Personally, I think Matthew McConaughey (in full deadpan, philosophizing, monologuing mode) would be a terrific Adam Warlock.

Stan Lee cameo in Avengers Infinity War

Stan Lee and the Watchers

The final post-credits scene is, at first glance, another amusing piece of business, the punchline to Stan Lee's cameo seen earlier in the movie. However, both of these scenes suggest that something really weird is going on in the margins of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that Lee's many cameos throughout these films are all unified.

Lee has played a tiny role in nearly every single Marvel movie to date (including those not made by Marvel Studios), and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cheekily suggests that each cameo has been more than a simple gag – we've been seeing the same guy. More specifically, we've been seeing the same guy with a very particular purpose. The key to fully appreciating this is to note Lee's character name in the credits: "Watcher's Informant."

the watchers

So let's back up real quick. For those of you who aren't immersed in Marvel comics lore, the Watchers are a race of ancient aliens who do just as their name implies: they observe the universe, record vital events, and keep a detailed history of all existence. Although there are other Watchers, the one most commonly seen in the comics is named Uatu, who observes the many, many events that seem to transpire on and around Earth. The Watchers are strict observers, refusing to participate in any events and never picking sides in intergalactic conflicts. When a Watcher personally shows up to witness an event, it's a big deal. Cosmic history is being made.

So what does it mean that Stan Lee, housed inside a bulky spacesuit, is hanging out with the Watchers on the far side of the galaxy, telling them stories? Note his dialogue – when Rocket and Yondu fly by, he's telling the po-faced aliens about a time when he was a deliveryman. As you may recall, Lee's cameo in Captain America: Civil War was that of a deliveryman, bringing a package to Tony Stark after the conclusion of his conflict with Steve Rogers.

The implication is clear: Stan Lee is watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe on behalf of the Watchers, allowing himself to be present for important events so he can report his findings to the Watchers themselves. Whoa.

Feige spoke about this at the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 press conference:

Stan Lee clearly exists above and apart from the reality of all the films. So the notion that he could be sitting there on a cosmic pit stop during the jump gate sequence in Guardians was something very fun. James had that idea and we shot that cameo and loved it so much. You see it a couple of times in the in the movie. It wasn't in for a long time and we put it back in towards the end of the process, where he references that time he was a Federal Express agent and we thought it would be fun to keep that in there because that really says he's this same character who's popped up in all these films...

But is he human or alien or something else? Speaking with us, Feige would only call him a "different type of entity":

Let's just say he, Stan Lee is certainly is a different type of entity within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who can hang out with the Watchers and tell them stories about all his cameos.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is in theaters now.