Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 post-credit scene: what happens?

Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios.  © 2023 WONDER.

Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. (Marvel Studios)

The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 post-credits scenes serve two purposes. First, they entertain, and second, they create potential avenues for exploration in future Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

With vol. 3 which represents the last time, according to writer-director James Gunn who is leaving the franchise, we’ll see this particular Guardians of the Galaxy setup, that doesn’t mean there won’t be another Guardians film. He will probably have a different lineup. It also doesn’t mean we’ll never see the characters we’ve come to love within the MCU again.

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So, on that note, let’s dive into the Guardians of the Galaxy post-credits scenes and unpack what happens and what it could mean for the future of the MCU’s Phase 5 and beyond. Warning, we are about to enter spoiler territory.

Warning: Spoilers ahead

How many Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 post-credits scenes are there?

There are two post-credits scenes after the film ends, during which Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) relinquishes leadership of the Guardians and transitions to Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper). “You’re going to be a better leader than I ever was,” he tells the raccoon. We see the first credits sequence after the first credits section has finished.

The second comes right at the end, after the credits have completely rolled. Two post-credits sequences correspond to Vol. 1 number of the incorporated trilogy. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 meanwhile set an MCU record with five post-credits stingers.

What happens in the end credits scene?

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord and Dave Bautista as Drax in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.  (Marvel studios)

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord and Dave Bautista as Drax in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. (Marvel studios)

After seeing Peter return to Earth just before the credits to reunite with his grandfather, Rocket is shown as the leader in the new iteration of Guardians of the Galaxy. Mantis (Pom Klementieff), we learned earlier, has expressed a desire to go it alone to figure out what she really wants for herself. Nebula (Karen Gillan), meanwhile, has decided to stay where she is to run things on Knowhere. Drax (Dave Bautista) will also be tending to the High Evolutionary’s former slaves on Knowhere, while replacement Gamora (Zoe Saldana) will join the Ravagers.

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In the mid-credits scene, Rocket asks the assembled crew of the new Guardians of the Galaxy about their favorite musical acts. New recruit Phyla, one of the High Evolutionary’s slave girls, responds first with Britney Spears and Korn. Kraglin picks Garth Brooks; Cosmo the Spacedog chooses The Carpenters; while Adam Warlock chooses Adrian Belew: “Both solo and his work with King Crimson”. Rocket himself plays them a song from the recovered Zune MP3 player given to him by Quill.

It’s Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love,” the song that started the franchise and which Quill is hearing when we first meet him in Vol. 1. “This is kind of special,” says Rocket.

Rocket and Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Credit: Marvel)

Rocket and Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Marvel)

Groot does not respond: he is sleeping under Rocket and is awakened when they have to embark on a new mission to protect the citizens of the desert planet they are on. Fittingly, the song soundtracks the new team on their new adventure as they battle rodent-like creatures attacking the planet.

Could this be the new iteration of Guardians in the future? Seems likely. And more Cosmo is very welcome. Also, it will be interesting to see what they explore with Phyla. In the comics, Phyla-Vell is the daughter of Mar-Vell and formerly assumed the mantle of Captain Marvel. She’s also been in a relationship with Drax’s daughter Moondragon in the comics, so exploring that dynamic on screen could be interesting.

To know more: GOTG V3’s early reactions praise the “perfect” ending to the trilogy

Now that Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock is a full member of the team, it would make sense to explore the extent of his powers, which we’ve only glimpsed in GotG Vol. 3. And now that Kraglin has mastered Yondu’s Yaka Arrow – kindly granting a cameo from Yondu in which he appears to Kraglin in a vision to tell him to use his heart – that’s going to be more useful than ever.


Groot in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. (Alamy)

Finally, Groot now looks like the comic book version of himself: super henchman. Having seen some of Groot’s moves within the film that we haven’t seen before, including hiding guns, bombs and other guns inside his trunk, sprouting wings and flying, as well as speaking his first words which aren’t ” I am Groot” (“I love you guys”), exciting things are afoot from our favorite tree-based life form.

What happens in the post-credits scene?

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy..Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt).

Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) in Marvel’s 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy. (Alamy)

But we didn’t finish there. A post-credits scene marks the film’s final moment and takes us to sleepy St Charles Missouri, with Peter and his grandfather having breakfast together. They’re talking about mowing a neighbor’s lawn. Peter says, “If you need help mowing the lawn, I’ll do it, but I think his son should help.”

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The scene is sweet and corny, and Peter’s grandfather is reading a newspaper – the St Charles Post – which has a headline on the back that reads “Alien Abduction” with the subheading “Kevin Bacon Shares Everything”. This is a reference to the Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas special, which premiered on Disney+ last year and saw Drax and Mantis bring Kevin Bacon from Earth to Knowhere as a Christmas present for Peter.

Kevin Bacon as himself in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.  (Marvel studios)

Kevin Bacon as himself in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. (Marvel studios)

The scene places Quill on Earth where he could be recruited for the next team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers, when they unite against Kang. In the meantime, could we see a spinoff series with Peter adjusting to life on Earth? It could be comedy gold.

One thing is for sure, one line at the end tells us: “The Legendary Star-Lord Will Return”, so we can all be very happy to definitely see one of the best characters in the MCU again.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is in UK and IMAX cinemas now. Watch a trailer below.

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