If there is one thing you can count on for a superhero movie – besides post credits – it’s a bunch of hidden Easter Eggs that refer to the original source comics, other films, or even things that are completely unrelated to the film. Guardians of the Galaxy is no exception; and I’ve compiled the Top 10 Easter Eggs of this film that put this movie in a greater context – comics, film universe or otherwise.
10. Celestial Skull – Knowhere:
Now this first one wasn’t exactly hidden; but you might have missed exactly what it means, so I’ll go into a little detail. The mining outpost known as Knowhere is what remains of the severed head of a being known as a Celestial. Now as far as what role Celestials will fill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains to be seen; but they are – obviously – enormous beings that inhabit the universe from time to time.
No one ever really discovered where they came from; but we do know that they are extremely powerful and helped shape the outcomes of different races – humans reportedly being one of them. Again, we don’t know what role – if any – they’ll serve in the MCU; but you have to wonder: If celestials are so large and powerful; what could have chopped ones head clean off.
9. 80’s References:
Since Peter Quill was kidnapped in the 80s, that’s really the only history of his home world he knows. From the tales of outlaws like Billy the Kid, Bonnie and Clyde, and John Stamos – the most legendary outlaw of them all – to him referring to the Infinity Stone’s rest grounds as very ‘Raiders-esque’, there are tons of 80s references in this movie that anyone can pick out. Although there is one 80s reference you might have missed.
Do you remember the name of Quill’s ship? It’s called the Milano; and no it’s not called the Milano because he loves those European cookies. The ship is actually named after his boyhood crush, Alyssa Milano. Alyssa Milano was kind of a teen idol in the 80s due to her role on Who’s The Boss and many other made-for-TV movies. Quill might not be the only one to have had a crush on Alyssa Milano – then or now – but he’s certainly the only one to have named a spaceship after her.
8. Sapling Groot:
Admit it, when Groot died you teared up. It’s ok to admit it. Even Rocket cried. Thankfully though, Groot will not stay dead – as is the case with most comics and their films. Groot is a plant, so as long as one of his little saplings survives he can slowly regrow himself as we saw in the end.
Sapling Groot has been shown various times in the comics and even in Marvel’s Ultimate Spiderman cartoon. He is just one of those characters that is incredibly powerful and has amazing healing powers. Though I have to say, of all the Sapling Groot incarnations I’ve seen, this one was by far my favorite. So much so, that I hope we one day discover a race of humanoid trees who can grow from anything, walk around with us, and then dance when we put on some Jackson Five.
7. Drax’s Past:
After finally defeating Ronan and getting his vengeance, Drax declares at the end that Ronan was on orders from Thanos to kill his family, so now Thanos will be the target of Drax’s vengeance. This certainly makes sense and allows Drax to stay in character for further films; but there is actually something more to this scene. It actually brings Drax back to his original comic origins.
In the comics, Drax was killed along with his wife and daughter; but his soul was transferred into a stronger, more resilient body in order to fight his family’s killer – Thanos in this case. It’s safe to assume Marvel won’t be using Drax’s exact story since his ‘pre-Drax’ form was human – if he was human he would know sayings and not take things to ‘literally’. Maybe everything is the same except his original species; but either way Drax changing his target to Thanos now places him on a much closer path to his original comic line.
6. Star Wars:
A space film with a cast of characters and a few outlaws who take on an armada of ships to save a galaxy far far away. Sounds a little like Star Wars doesn’t it? Then again what space flick doesn’t? They are two completely separate movies; and to call this a “rip off” of Star Wars is to miss what’s truly central to each film. That being said, there’s nothing against paying a little homage to the classic – at least in feeling. I’m of course talking about the scene when we first saw Ronan communicate with Thanos – or rather his acolyte – via holo-projection.
That look, that voice. If you immediately felt like Ronan was communicating with Emperor Palpatine. This Star Wars reference not only makes viewers remember the original trilogy; but also sets up a hierarchy for Thanos in their minds. If his acolyte is The Emperor, then Thanos himself must be scarier and more powerful than anything we can possibly imagine.
5. Infinity Gauntlet
This film we finally got to hear about the famous ‘infinity stone’. Between the Tesserect, Aether, and possibly Loki’s staff, we’re quite familiar with the power these items possess. Though one of the most important revelations about them in this is that whenever they touch organic matter, their power erupts and is almost impossible to contain. We know the Aether can be too much to handle for mortals – like Jane Foster – and that the Tesserect can sometimes act up and teleport people – like Red Skull. Though none are more volatile than the stone we see in this film. If Thanos wants to get all 6 stones, then he’s going to have to find a way to use them without touching them. Oh wait, he totally does!
You can’t have Infinity Stones without an Infinity Gauntlet; and even though we haven’t seen this item since its brief appearance in Thor, this is a direct hidden reference to it. The Mad Titan might be strong enough to resist the powers of one stone, but to touch all 6 might be too powerful even for him. By using the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos has the perfect hack to wielding all 6 stones due to the Gauntlet being strong enough to fight with and not being made of organic matter.
4. The Collectors Collection: Cosmo the Space Dog & Adam Warlock
If there was going to be a place to find Easter Eggs, you can be sure there’d be some great ones in Taneleer Tivan’s collection. I mean seriously, he’s called The Collector for Odin’s sake! Well the Collector did not disappoint as we saw plenty of minor references to past films including a Dark Elf – NOT MALEKITH. Though there is another member of his collection that was so close he could have slapped you in the face – or lick.
That adorable dog in the space suit is actually Cosmo the Space Dog. In the comics, Cosmo was a Soviet test dog that was flown into space and eventually met Nova, a member of the Guardian Corps that is sure to be introduced in some way, shape or form eventually. This is a pretty random comic reference; but it’s not the only one Tivan is hiding.
In Thor 2: The Dark World, we saw a quick shot of a strange alien cocoon. That cocoon belongs to the Marvel character known as Adam Warlock; and it’s possible he’ll have a lot of importance in this upcoming films. You see Adam goes into that cocoon form in order to heal after a deadly battle. The battle that put him there might not be that important; but it’s what happens next that is. In the comics, when Adam is reborn, he is imbued with the powers of one of the Infinity Stones – the Soul Gem to be exact. During the post credits scene for Guardians of the Galaxy with Howard the Duck, you can see that the cocoon is still there; but has been cracked open. Adam is free! So if he does in fact come to possess one of the Infinity Gems in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then he will certainly be someone to watch out for – especially since the Soul Gem is usually quite vampiric in its taking of others souls.
3. Rocket’s Creation:
Rocket was easily one of the greatest things about this film. From his intellect, sarcasm and affinity for making things, he’s basically the furry woodland creature version of Tony Stark. Though much like Tony, Rocket also has his demons. During the prison initiation scene, Peter Quill sees metal protrusions coming out of Rocket’s back and how hair wont grow in some spots. We don’t know what happened to Rocket, but it must have not been pretty.
It’s not until later in the film that we start to get an idea. When he and Drax get drunk at Knowhere, Rocket flips out when he’s called rodent/freak/ etc and goes on to explain his memories of being ‘ripped apart and put back together’. Rocket’s not making a metaphor though; he’s being completely literal. Remember that Rocket was the product of illegal experimentation. Rocket is a raccoon who doesn’t know he’s a raccoon.
He has been cybernetically and biologically enhanced in every way, and all that remains from his early days is the pain he went through. He wasn’t meant for a grand purpose. In some storylines all his experimentation was just so he could help out at a mental institution. He doesn’t know what he used to be, nor what he is now. He might have started out in this film as the character you’d most want to pal around with; but ends up being the character you just want to hug and say ‘everything will be alright’. Right in the feels Rocket! Right in the feels!
2. Star Prince – Quill’s Father?
When Peter Quill is first arrested on Xandar, we hear Corpsman Dey – John C. Reilly’s character – jokingly call him “Star-Prince” rather than Star Lord. On one hand, this is a funny little aside to show that no one really remembers his name; but on the other, it’s coincidentally a truer name than ‘Star-Lord’ if you know Quill’s heritage.
As we learned at the end of the movie, Peter is part human part something else – something ancient and powerful. Though we didn’t have to wait for the end of the film to learn this. When his mom says that his father was ‘made of pure light’, we can kind of assume he’s part alien. This makes even more sense when we see him survive for almost a minute while out in the dead of space. His body is obviously a little more than ‘just human’. We again see this when he’s able to withstand the infinity gems power for as long as he does.
So just who is Quill’s father? Well this will probably be explored in a future film; but in short his father is J’son of Spartax – aka Jason of Sparta – and he is the Emperor of the Spartoi Empire. So that would make Peter royalty, a prince to be exact. So whether Star-Lord (his mom’s nickname for him) or Star-Prince; both names would be correct in some way. Though despite his father being J’son in the comics, director James Gunn says that he’ll pick someone else for the film. I guess that will have to be explored at a later date.
1. Howard the Duck:
The true Easter Egg of this film was so special, that he got his own Post Credits: Howard The Duck. Now as far as post credit scenes go, this did not set up for anything. Howard The Duck will sadly not return in The Avengers or anything. Though I’m sure most of you are wondering, just WHO Howard the Duck is. Well Howard the duck was a ridiculous Marvel character created in the 70s. Most of his work was basically satire and there were no serious stories around him – as you could assume.
Though sadly some people took the idea of a wise cracking, anthropomorphic duck seriously. The worst of which was George Lucas himself who made a film adaptation of the comic in 1986 that well . . . *insert dead duck joke here*. Today the film has a sizeable cult classic following purely because how awfully weird it is. So there you have it folks, that explains the anthropomorphic talking duck.
Wait a second, a talking anthropomorphic duck? Why does that sound so familiar. Unless … OH MY GOD! That explains how Disney bough out Marvel! Donald Duck assumed the fake identity of Howard and infiltrated Marvel Comics almost 40 years ago!
So there you have it, the Top 10 Easter Eggs from Guardians of the Galaxy. Now I’m sure there’s some insightful readers out there who spotted an Easter Egg or two I might have miss. So sound off in the comments below to let me know what your favorite Easter Egg was! And come back tomorrow for my Top 7 Greatest Moments of Guardians of the Galaxy article, which will take a closer look at some very important scenes in the film.