Spoiler zone! What you're about to read contains a huge spoiler for one of the five Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 post-credits scenes and for a massive event which occurs toward the end of the movie.
If spoilers are a matter of life and death for you, you're strongly advised to look away now and come back only once you've seen Vol. 2.
Marvel movies aren't known for killing off major characters. Even Quicksilver's death in Age Of Ultron didn't really feel like a massive deal. But #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy2 is not most #Marvel movies, and in a heartbreaking final-act twist, James Gunn's movie has the balls to kill off a major player.
This is a movie about a man searching for his dad, only to realise that the man in his mind doesn't match up to the reality. Ego (Kurt Russell) is a piece of work, as if the name wasn't already a red flag, and the harsh truth Peter Quill faces is that perhaps the father he really needed was actually there all along — Yondu.
So when Yondu sacrifices himself to save Peter's life, by giving him the final oxygen suit needed to escape Ego's destroyed planet, that surrogate father/son dynamic is cemented in the most tragic way imaginable.
As emotionally gutting as Yondu's death is, it sets up a pretty incredible Easter Egg in the first of Vol. 2's five post-credits scenes.
When the Guardians team first assembles in "Marvel Super-Heroes #18" (Jan 1969) and the issues that followed, the line-up features Yondu, Captain Charlie-27, Aleta and Mainframe. The line-up in James Gunn's movies is from the 2008 comic run, lead by Star-Lord.
So what's the Easter Egg? When Yondu is given a traditional ravager funeral in the first and longest post-credits scene, the original Guardians all attend — Sylvester Stallone plays Stakar (not a Guardian himself but often an ally), Michelle Yeoh plays Aleta, Ving Rhames plays Charlie-27, and Miley Cyrus is the voice of Mainframe.
It's an awesome glimpse into what these movies might have looked like if Gunn used the original team, an epic send-off for Yondu, and a killer Easter Egg (probably the #MCU's best ever) for fans whose knowledge of Marvel Comics goes way back to another era. It's super-emotional, too, which really hammers home how important a figure Yondu was in Peter Quill's life, even if he didn't always realize it.
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On another level, it's also just plain awesome to have Rocky, a Bond girl and a Tarantino villain together in one place as a band of ageing, still-badass heroes. Here's hoping this is not the last we've seen of Stallone in the MCU.
There are no pictures online yet, which is probably just as well when the trauma's still fresh. Guardians Vol. 2 hits theaters May 5 in the US.
Did the shock death of Yondu in Guardians Vol. 2 get you all emotional, and will we meet Starhawk and the original Guardians again?