Guardians of the Galaxy released in 2014 to critical and popular acclaim. Fans have pored over the film ever since, rewatching it over and over, and it seems to get better every time! In spite of that, director James Gunn has long been saying that there's one final Easter egg out there that fans haven't spotted. Over on Facebook, he's spoken about it again:
- Has the big Easter egg from Vol. 1 been found yet?
- No way. I think you're just making it up and trolling us.
I'm not. I promise. As I've said a million times, I've never lied to the fans and I never will.
That's right - there's still an Easter egg out there that hasn't been spotted! Here are the Easter eggs that I know about so far - can you see that final jewel?
Guardians of the Galaxy opens with a hilarious scene, as Peter Quill — played perfectly by Chris Pratt — attempts to steal some treasure. This desolate wasteland is named after a famous figure in Marvel Comics history — Morag, a Skrull commander who first declared war on the Kree. The Skrull are yet to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the rights are co-owned with Fox, so have likely been subject to behind-the-scenes controversy). The ancient hostility between the Kree and the Skrull was switched up in Guardians of the Galaxy, turned into a long-running feud between the Kree and the Xandarians.
As he struts through the ruins of Morag, Star-Lord takes a moment to look at an unusual skeleton. It's of a humanoid with the head of a horse; a nod to a race known as the Korbinites. The most famous Korbinite is Beta Ray Bill, a galactic hero who proved worthy to wield Mjolnir. In another nod, Quill is almost captured by Sakaaran soldiers. The world of Sakaar played a key role in the famous "Planet Hulk" arc, which we know is going to be adapted as part of Thor: Ragnarok.
Blink and you'll miss it, but Morag includes a pretty cool nod to the Infinity Stones. It features a carved design, one that's duplicated later on in the Collector's lair:
Yes, the design clearly represents the Infinity Stones! It also hints at the races who divided them in ancient times, with one of these seeming to be a Dark Elf.
As Quill escapes, he realizes that a girl he slept with is still on board his ship, the Milano! The girl in question is Bereet, a Krylorian film-star. In the comics, she used the inhabitants of Earth as the subjects of many of her films, and had a particular fascination with the Hulk.
The prison complex in Guardians of the Galaxy is known as the Kyln. The name is lifted straight from the comics, although the prison was heavily adapted for the movie. Inmates are always people who have been given the death penalty, as you're not typically expected to survive more than three years there.
There are a couple of cool cameos in the Kyln. Lloyd Kaufman — one of James Gunn's idols — makes a minor appearance. You may notice the voice of Nathan Fillion, a friend of Gunn's who tends to appear in his movies. He plays a blue-skinned alien who wants to "lather up" Peter Quill in gravy...
Cosmo and Knowhere
Although I'll focus in on the Collector's belongings later, I want to concentrate on one Easter egg in particular here: a canine known as Cosmo. In the comics, Cosmo was into space by Russia during the early days of the Space Race, and was exposed to unknown radiation. He became sentient, gained powerful telepathic abilities, and seems to have an extended lifespan too. With his new-found abilities, Cosmo took on the role of the Security Chief of Knowhere. Knowhere, of course, appears in Guardians of the Galaxy, and in so doing establishes the existence of the ancient race known as the Celestials. This powerful race of aliens are shown when the Collector gives his account of the Infinity Stones.
Ironically, fans had believed Cosmo was going to appear in the film for a while. James Gunn had teased that his dog, Dr. Wesley Von Spears, was going to make an appearance in the film. Von Spears is actually shown in the hologram on Morag.
The Collector's Prizes
The Collector has gathered precious items from across the galaxy. It's not clear why a Chitauri is in the collection (are they so rare?), but he also has a Dark Elf from Thor: The Dark World. Given that race was believed to be extinct, wiped out by the forces of Asgard, you can see why the Collector would value a Dark Elf. Howard the Duck's appearance was unexpected and amusing, but isn't likely to be followed up on.
Eagle-eyed fans easily spotted Adam Warlock's cocoon; other elements of Warlock's story look set to play a role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with reports that Elizabeth Debicki is playing Ayesha — a character who was created by scientists in order to be the Eve to Warlock's 'Adam'. You can also see the creatures from Gunn's first film, Slither.
It's worth noting, incidentally, that the Collector's assistant Carina actually hails from the comics. There, she's actually the Collector's daughter, and goes on to marry Michael Korvac, a cosmic enemy of both the Avengers and the Guardians.
The Nova Corps
The Nova Corps have been redesigned for the Marvel Cinematic Universe — much to the sorrow of many fans. In the comics, the Nova Corps possess tremendous superhuman powers, including flight, the ability to propel themselves through hyperspace, and tremendous energy manipulation powers. If concept art is to be believed, Gunn initially toyed with a more accurate version — there's an image of a classic 'Nova' helmet.
Both Rhommann Dey and Garthan Saal are significant figures over in the comics. In fact, Dey inducted Richard Rider, the Earth-based superhero who took up the codename Nova. Saal, in contrast, ultimately turned into a cosmic supervillain.
12% of a Plan
Joss Whedon's The Avengers featured a fun moment between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, where Tony claims Pepper has 12% of the credit for creating Stark Tower. Unimpressed, a few moments later Pepper tosses this back in Stark's face, claiming they were having "12% of a moment".
In an amusing nod to this, in Guardians of the Galaxy Peter Quill claims to have "12% of a plan". Rocket is about as impressed as Pepper was...
Nods to Popular Culture
The songs aren't the only nostalgic nod to Peter Quill's childhood on Earth! His ship, the Milano, is actually named after child star Alyssa Milano. Presumably, she was Quill's childhood crush.
Peter Quill jokingly refers to Groot as the "Giving Tree" and Rocket as "Ranger Rick" — both children's cartoons he'd have grown up with. When describing Earth, Quill says he came from "a planet of outlaws... Billy the Kid, Bonnie and Clyde, John Stamos..."
The John Stamos reference is amusingly obscure; at the time Quill was taken from Earth, Stamos was playing the part of lovable rogue Uncle Jesse in US sitcom Full House. More noticeably, Quill makes reference to Kevin Bacon's superb role in the musical Footloose when trying to seduce Gamora.
Incidentally, the walkman Peter Quill is using? It's an authentic Sony TPS-L2 Walkman, from a range launched in 1979. Amusingly, to this day James Gunn is still asked where Quill got batteries from. On Facebook, he caustically observed:
"They've mastered space travel, I think they can figure out how to power a Walkman."
Incidentally, one commenter below has pointed out that the famous 'jail lineup' scene is a homage to The Usual Suspects.
Random Easter Eggs
There are a few other, fairly random, Easter eggs. So here are the ones I know about:
- Laura Haddock plays Peter Quill's mother — her second appearance in the MCU, as she played 'autograph girl' in Captain America: The First Avenger. As nice as it would be to think these were the same person, the timeline doesn't quite work out.
- Rob Zombie voices the Ravager computer system. He's a close friend of Gunn's, and he appeared in Super and Slither (which were both written & directed by Gunn).
- Seth Green voices Howard the Duck.
- Both James and Sean Gunn appear in the movie. James Gunn plays a maskless Sakaaran, and his brother Sean appears as one of Yondu's lackeys and, later, as a CG template for Rocket and Thanos. He was responsible for the improv line "A bunch of jackasses standing in a circle".
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As you can see, there were a lot of Easter eggs in Guardians of the Galaxy. Incredibly, though, there's still another one to be found. Any guesses, Marvel fans? Let James Gunn know...
Can you spot any more Easter eggs in Guardians of the Galaxy? Let me know in the comments!