The Guardians of the Galaxy are getting one final jaunt on their own in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but they won’t be alone for long. The Guardians are set to team up with the Avengers in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. There are still a few standalone adventures to be had, though, before the new Avengers team assembles. The Guardians are getting their sequel; Thor has his third film, Thor: Ragnarok; and two heroes are making their MCU solo debuts with Spider-Man: Homecoming and 2018’s Black Panther. But only two of these will be closely related: Ragnarok and Vol. 2. Here’s exactly how they overlap.
This post might contain spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
There are actually a couple things connecting Guardians with Thor and, as a result, the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One is specific while the other is much broader. The MCU’s got to get the Guardians to Earth again, and the main thing bringing the gang together will be, of course, the Infinity Stones — that’s the broad connection.
The Infinity Stones
The Infinity Stones have been loosely holding the MCU together since the Space Stone’s introduction in Captain America: The First Avenger — that’s the Tesseract, for those of you not in the know or those in need of a refresher. Since then, the Space Stone, Mind Stone, Reality Stone, Power Stone, and Time Stone have all been floating about in the MCU, connecting the characters and their storylines even when those characters aren’t present. There’s no lead on the Soul Stone yet, but give it time. It’ll pop up somewhere, probably in the wrong hands.
The Stones are Thanos’s ultimate goal in his attempt to take over the universe. They’re the main impetus that will draw the MCU’s two teams, the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, together.
Obviously, Thor will be a part of the equation, alongside 66 other characters in Infinity War. He’ll somehow work his way out of this whole Sakaar and Hela situation in Ragnarok with the Hulk at his side, and the two will eventually rejoin the Avengers. That’s when the Guardians will be introduced to the larger mythos. Thor and the Asgardians will probably find they have some mutual friends with the Guardians.
The Elders of the Universe
It’s the Elders of the Universe that really connect Thor and the Guardians.
The Space Stone is currently locked away on Asgard, the Power Stone is with the Nova Corps, the Mind Stone is in Vision’s forehead, the Time Stone is hanging out in the Kamar-Taj library, and the Reality Stone is with the Collector because the Asgardians didn’t want two in the same place. For those of you keeping track at home: That’s one stone within reach of Thor (the Space Stone on Asgard) and two associated with the Guardians (the Power Stone and the Reality Stone).
After Ragnarok, the MCU will feature two of the Elders: the Collector (Benicio del Toro) and his “brother” the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). In Marvel’s comics, the Grandmaster has an obsession with games and manipulating others into winning his bets for him. He will, undoubtedly, be interested in the Reality Stone the Collector has acquired from the Asgardians.
So, uh, at least they’ll have something to talk about other than the impending destruction of the universe at the hands of the Mad Titan.