Even by MCU standards, the number of Easter eggs that director James Gunn has managed to cram into the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies is impressive. Just after the first film dropped back in 2014, Gunn challenged Marvel fans to try and spot every single one that he had hidden in the movie. He’s gone to great lengths since laying down this gauntlet to point out that so far nobody has managed to succeed. Well. it seems this week the Marvel fan community got just that little bit closer to the goal, uncovering a hidden secret that might have some impact on next year’s Captain Marvel movie.
From the name of Peter Quill’s ship (a tribute to 90’s actress Alyssa Milano), to a fleeting glimpse of the corpse of Beta Ray Bill, it feels like no scene in Guardians of the Galaxy has escaped Gunn’s desire to play tricks on his audience. It’s been a while now since any new ones were added to the existing list, but this week Marvel fan @danactual noticed something intriguing about Stan Lee’s cameo in the film.
Stan Lee’s cameo in guardians. Two things. Firstly, the circled alien text spells ‘Excelsior!’ Secondly, that’s the SKRULL LANGUAGE! Haven’t seen this spoken about anywhere else. @JamesGunn @MarvelStudios pic.twitter.com/IHRE5LGwoO
— Dan (@danactual) March 26, 2018
Confirmed by Gunn himself:
Ok this is an actual Easter egg that hasn’t been found but it is not THE Easter egg. That said, I think you deserve a No-Prize AND it shows there are still Easter eggs to be found in the #GotG films, despite the doubters. https://t.co/MWcVJVil9c
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 26, 2018
The scene in question sees Rocket scanning a city square on Xandar for potential bounties, with his tricked-out binoculars briefly coming to rest on Lee’s ‘dirty old man’. What nobody seems to have realised prior to now is that the text that appears on the HUD next to Lee spells out his trademark phrase ‘Excelsior’. And even more importantly, the writing that is used is actually in the Skrull language.
The Skrull play a huge part in the original Marvel 616 Universe, but have so far failed to crop up in the MCU. Well, all that’s about to change next year, when they crash their way onto our screens as the main antagonists in the Captain Marvel origins movie, led by Ben Mendelsohn’s Super-Skrull.
The Captain Marvel movie will see Carol Danvers, Nick Fury and Phil Coulson (Yay!) trying to cope with the fallout of the Kree-Skull intergalactic war finding its way to earth. Whilst Mendelssohn is the only actor confirmed to play a Skrull at time of writing, we already know there is going to be a significant Kree presence in the film.
GOTG1 opens with Peter being abducted by Yondu in 1988, and whilst it then fast-forwards to the modern day, Captain Marvel is set in the middle of these two events during the 1990’s. This would suggest the war is in full force when Peter is taken, and will see both Ronan and Korath returning to the MCU. They will also be joined by new Kree characters Mar-Vell (Jude Law) and Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan).
It’s possible the Skrull writing may mean that the piece of kit that Rocket is using is Skrull in nature. But it could also mean that Stan Lee was playing a Skrull in GOTG1, which may have an impact on who is playing for his cameo in Captain Marvel. Given the shape-shifting powers of the Skrull, this choice opens a whole host of exciting possibilities for the part.
Whilst Gunn is not formally working on Captain Marvel due to his writing and directorial duties on the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie, given the similar nature and character crossovers of the two movies he will almost certainly be contributing to the project behind the scenes, much like his unofficial work on next month’s Avengers: Infinity War. So you can probably expect a significant number of Easter Eggs in Captain Marvel when it arrives in March 2019.