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SYFY WIRE Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Breaking Down Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's Post-Credits Scenes

Let's take a closer look at the teasers lurking in the credits of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

By Matthew Jackson
Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)

We've come to expect post-credits and mid-credits scenes from pretty much every Marvel Studios release at this point. The question isn't whether or not we'll see something extra in the credits of an MCU film, but just how consequential those extras might be to the future of the universe.

Sometimes we get a fun little gag scene, sometimes it's a paradigm-shifting teaser that sets up years of new stories. All of which is to say it's no surprise that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has not one but two credits sequences. The question is: How much do they matter?

So, let's take a closer look.

SPOILERS AHEAD for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Near the end of Vol. 3, as the original team prepares to go their separate ways, Peter (Chris Pratt) points out the galaxy will still need guardians, and entrusts Rocket (Bradley Cooper) with leading a new version of the team into the future. Rocket takes that responsibility seriously, but it's not until the mid-credits scene of the film that we learn what he's actually done with that leadership. 

The mid-credits scene takes us to another planet, where an alien race is asking the new Guardians for help with a stampede of oncoming creatures. Rocket, with Groot (Vin Diesel) by his side, prepares to do battle, and we get to see who he's chosen for the next generation of the team. Rocket and Groot are obviously on board, as is the former Ravager known as Kraglin (Sean Gunn), who's finally learned how to use Yondu's old magic arrow, and Cosmo the Spacedog (Maria Bakalova), who has telekinetic powers at her disposal and is, after all, a very good dog. 

Those are the characters we've already gotten to know a little bit, but most interestingly in the scene, the new Guardians also added two major players from Vol. 3 into the fold. First, there's Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), who was engineered by the Sovereign and the High Evolutionary to defeat the Guardians, but through his own free will was able to learn that wasn't what he really wanted for his life. So, by the end of the film, he's reformed and ready to be a hero, bringing his considerable powers to a new Guardians team and, probably, a whole bunch of new MCU cosmic adventures. Then there's the young girl Rocket refers to as Phyla (Kai Zen), a rescued refugee from the High Evolutionary ship, who charges into battle sporting the glowing fists we've come to associate with Captain Marvel. 

Phyla's presence is an especially interesting new addition for the MCU, particularly at a time when The Marvels prepares to expand on the Captain Marvel lore in the films. As comics readers know, the character is a version of Phyla-Vell, a Kree/Titanian (as in Thanos' homeworld of Titan) hybrid alien originally depicted as the daughter of Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel. We don't know her full origin story in the films yet. It's quite possible that the High Evolutionary made her the way she is through some kind of Kree genetic engineering, but now that she's here, and ready to be a hero, we can certainly expect to learn more in the future. As for where she might head given that there's already a Captain Marvel in the MCU, the comics, she eventually became Quasar, and had a major presence in the cosmic side of things.

But wait, there's more! If you stuck around to the very end of the credits, then you know that we got to see a very brief scene of Peter back in Missouri, talking with his grandfather over breakfast. The conversation is short and mundane, but immediately following the scene we get a very important title card informing us that "The Legendary Star-Lord Will Return." That cements Peter, and Pratt, as a force in the next phase of the MCU, though we don't know yet if his adventures will be more Earth-based or if he'll head back out into space sometime soon. Star-Lord has certainly had his share of solo comics adventures in recent years, and he's been a part of some major events along the way, so it'll be really interesting to see how he fits in as the whole multiverse saga heats up. 

So, we've got a new Guardians team, a new destiny for Star-Lord, and many more dangling loose ends that the MCU can pay off in future installments. What's next? That would be Secret Invasion, which premieres on Disney+ June 21, followed by The Marvels, which hits theaters Nov. 10.

Want to catch up on past films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Keep an eye on the SYFY schedule, where entries from the Guardians films, Captain America, Doctor Strange and more often pop up on linear!