Is the Marvel Cinematic Universe a misnomer? As of now, the MCU only spans the Milky Way Galaxy (where we live) and the Andromeda Galaxy, our closest neighbor in space.
On Wednesday, director James Gunn tweeted in response to fan questions regarding the locations in Guardians of the Galaxy and the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. At first, some misunderstood him, concluding that the Guardians were “unconnected” to the rest of the MCU, and Gunn chimed in again. He confirmed that the Guardians occupy the Andromeda Galaxy, while the rest of the MCU is definitively within the Milky Way.
The tweet that started this whole scuffle came from a fan asking Gunn if incorporating Marvel continuity “interfered” with his singular vision. Gunn explained that because his Guardians are “unconnected” — in terms of space — he’s never had a problem. That’s when Twitter went crazy, and Gunn clarified that the Guardians inhabit a separate galaxy, not a cinematic universe. “Andromeda, to be specific,” he tweeted.
Although it was not explicitly confirmed in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the alien planet Xandar where most of the action takes place is in Andromeda, according to Marvel Comics canon. With the MCU inhabiting Earth-199999, Gunn’s tweets act as de facto confirmation of the geographical space of the cinematic Guardians and their whereabouts.
With fandom’s obsession over continuities and the fluid definition of what a “universe” means, it’s almost predictable fans would get swept up in momentary hysteria over what looked like a change in canon. But no change has been made, except maybe now more people get astronomy.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be released May 5, 2017.Photos via Getty Images / Kevin Winter