The Marvel Studios tradition of additional scenes after the final credits begin to roll is taken to new heights with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which features not just one or two but five scenes after the final virtual curtain is drawn (plus one more little hint at the future). In the colorful and disco-fied end credits, characters from the movie get featured throughout, sometimes breaking out into an additional scene.
And oh boy, what scenes. These aren't just for fun, as several of them set up some major future storylines, pay off long-running Marvel moments and more.
SPOILERS from here on out, so see the movie first, then come right back here!
In the first scene after the main film ends, we see Kraglin, played by writer/director James Gunn's brother Sean Gunn (who also played Rocket on set for both films, in a green screen suit!), rocking the Yondu fin (guess they found another spare) and trying his best whistle for Yondu's signature weapon. It's a way of showing that Yondu's legacy will live on and teasing that Kraglin will probably take a larger role in the upcoming Guardians 3, which Marvel already confirmed is on the way with Gunn once again at the helm.
Like the last film's post-credits, we also get a bit of funny out of Drax here when he gets accidentally impaled.
Sly and the OGs - Original Guardians
Sylvester Stallone doesn't just play a high-up bad-ass Ravager in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. He's named Stakar in the film, but comics fans know him better as Starhawk. Starhawk is one of the original Guardians, the 1969 version of the team, who time-traveled and operated mostly in the far future.
But then it gets better. He's accompanied in the movie by Martinex, that guy made out of crystal, another original Guardians member, played by Michael Rosenbaum, a veteran of DC Comics roles like Lex Luthor on Smallville and the voice of The Flash on Justice League. Fun Easter Egg, right?
Well in the credits scene, we see him bring his old team together, reuniting other heads of Ravager divisions, and that includes Ving Rhames as the impossibly large bruiser Charlie-27, Michelle Yeoh as Aleta (who incidentally has also been Starhawk at times and is both his adopted sister and ex-wife, but we won't get into that comic book complication just now), Krugar, a sorcerer supreme from the future that ran with the original Guardians for a time, and Mainframe, that robot head, voiced by Miley Cyrus, who often helped coordinate for that team.
So yeah, if you're a fan of the 1969 team, this was quite the moment for you.
Adam Freaking Warlock!
When Ayesha reveals to her minion that she's working on "something new" when it comes to the Sovereign's hyper-genetically-altered-self evolution, she shows a crazy cocoon-looking device. Inside that device is a new type of Sovereign being, one with power beyond any of them created so far, and she says she'll call him "Adam."
That's Adam Warlock, a character who was one of the founding members of the 2008 Guardians team in the comics, right there alongside the movie roster (plus Quasar). An ultra-powerful cosmic being, Adam Warlock is significant on multiple levels, being referred to as the 'Him' to Ayesha's 'Her,' being the longtime bearer of the Soul Stone of the Infinity Stones and having an alter ego, Adam Magus, who is one of the most devastating villains in Marvel Cosmic history.
Incidentally, Gunn has confirmed that Warlock was in the first few drafts of Vol. 2 but wound up being saved for later.
Groot's growing up!
Groot is a teenager now, playing video games, mouthing off and not cleaning his room. So if he's bigger in Avengers: Infinity War, mostly so that we can see him and Hulk face off during the initial "confused fight" section of the team-up, this is why. Sorry, Baby Groot fans, you only get one movie's worth of his adorableness.
Stan the Man Lee and the WATCHERS?!
And this one is both far-reaching and just for fun. The Watchers are an immortal race of beings who watch over all of time and space - every parallel universe, every populated world, and appear particularly to observe and chronicle any major events. When a Watcher, usually one known as Uatu, showed up in the pages of Marvel Comics, you knew something big was going down.
The implication here (and in the earlier scene), then, is that Stan Lee has been a Watcher all along, in human form, thus making all his appearances in all Marvel movies, from Marvel Studios, Fox, and Sony Pictures, one long canon appearance. That's something fans have speculated and "head-canoned" for some time, and here Gunn plays into that wonderfully. It's just all too much fun. If they're not saying he's a Watcher himself, then he's some kind of extra-dimensional being who can tell them about all of his lives. Still cool.
Now, here's where this also gets into major significance territory: Uatu the Watcher and the race in general are almost certainly ear-marked as Fantastic Four characters, meaning their film rights should belong to 20th Century Fox under that license, which is rumored to cover thousands of characters. Nearly all their major appearances have been in Fantastic Four-centric books and stories and Uatu in particular played a major role in the first coming of Galactus to Earth.
Does this mean Fox and Marvel played nice in order to give Stan his due? Is it a sign of something bigger to come with the Fantastic Four and Marvel Studios that every fan ever has been begging for? Or was this race just randomly left out of an insanely detailed contract that even prevented the first Guardians movie from calling their cannon-fodder aliens "Badoon," despite that race's link to the franchise, simply because they first appeared in a Fantastic Four-related comic (Silver Surfer, for you trivia buffs)?
That last option is highly unlikely, but this is all still (informed) speculation.