BEWARE, SPOILERS: This story discusses major story events and post-credits scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 currently in theaters.
By this point, it’s no secret that Marvel Studios has lost some of its luster in the post-Avengers: Endgame era. Between the rapid expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney+ and the departure of stars like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and the late Chadwick Boseman, the Marvel saga has often felt both too big and not enough: a sprawl without a center.
It’s a problem that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is particularly ill-equipped to deal with. First, the film is completely out of touch with everything else that has happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Endgame – there is no hint of Kang, or the multiverse, or the invasion, or Talokan, or, ironically, Thor, even though that the Guardians made a special appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder last summer. Second, the Guardians themselves – at least as audiences have come to know and love them – are also leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with stars Zoë Saldanha and Dave Batista. clarification They finished with his roles, and writer/director James Gunn is leaving Marvel to run DC Studios with Peter Safran.
To be clear, these are great assets for the film itself, filling Vol. 3″ with a sense of creative freedom and melancholy rarely found in Marvel games. And to be honest, the movie doesn’t fully reveal the Guardians either. In the first post-credits scene, the audience sees Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) become the new leader of the recreated Guardians: Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), Kraglin (Sean Gunn). ), Cosmic Dog Cosmo (Maria Bakalova) and the newest addition, Phyla (Kai Zen), one of the genetically engineered children the Guardians save from the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji). (Phyla is also the name of a Marvel comics character who was part of the Guardians, but her backstory is this. radically different movie character)
Even Peter Quill has his own shaggy post-credits scene after his reunion with his human grandfather (Gregg Henry) on Earth in which they poke fun at cereal and why the grown-up neighbor son won’t mow the lawn for her, then note that “Legendary Star The Lord will return.”
However, while both of these scenes are charming, they really only manage to contribute to the looming headache of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Over the past 21 months, Marvel has used their signature post-credits scenes to tease as many as six – or more! – Upcoming films. They are:
• Sequel – or sequels! – to “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, which tells about the titular hero (Simu Liu), the extraterrestrial origin of his titular rings, and/or the remaking of the titular Ten Rings criminal cabal by Shang-Chi’s sister Xialing. (Meng’er Zhang).
• A sequel to The Eternals, in which Starfox (Harry Styles) helps Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Druig (Barry Keoghan) and Thena (Angelina Jolie) save their compatriots from the judgment of Heavenly Arishem.
• Sequel to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in which Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), along with the sorceress Clea (Charlize Theron), eliminates the invasion of the Dark Dimension.
• Sequel to Thor: Love and Thunder, in which Zeus (Russell Crowe) sends his son Hercules (Brett Goldstein) to kill Thor (Chris Hemsworth).
• Sequel to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, in which Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) struggle with the revelation that the late T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) had a son and rightful heir to the kingdom of Wakanda
• And now the sequel – or sequels! – to “Guardians of the Galaxy, Part 3”, which focuses on the newly assembled titular Guardians and/or Star-Lord’s exploits after returning to his family on Earth.
None of these alleged feature films have been officially confirmed by Marvel Studios, and there have been no solid reports on the creative development of any of them. However, Marvel has never been a studio with empty promises. Why bother secretly hiring Stiles, Theron and Goldstein for just a 90 second cameo? In that case, why portend the mystery of Shang-Chi’s rings or the potential of T’Challa’s noble lineage if you’re never going to pay the price? Why end Guardians Volume 3 with the tagline “The legendary Star-Lord will return” when you know he won’t?
Here’s where things get tricky: Marvel head Kevin Feige has made it clear that Avengers: Secret Wars will end the Multiverse saga in much the same way that Avengers: Endgame ended the Infinity saga – and to date, there are only three open release dates for Marvel properties before Secret Wars premieres on May 1, 2026 (the dates are July 25, 2025, November 26, 2025, and February 13, 2026).
Of course, some of the aforementioned “sequels” may find themselves drawn into the events of Secret Wars and its predecessor, 2025’s Avengers: Kahn Dynasty. Instead, others can become part of the Disney+ show. But the overall effect remains too great, like a child who keeps building up a tower of toy blocks without worrying that they might end up tipping over. With Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum Mania almost certain to lose money, and superhero fatigue hitting the box office overall, Marvel’s best hope is that by borrowing lyrics from the first Guardians soundtrack, things will get easier. – and so on.