There are five post-credits scenes in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but only one of them is stacked to the brim with celebrity cameos. In one scene, Sylvester Stallone’s Dredd-esque space pirate, Stakar Ogord — better known as Starhawk in the comics — reunites with his old mates, an exceptionally badass group, who could potentially headline their own movie. And in fact, they might, because they are the original Guardians of the Galaxy, largely inspired by the 1969 roster from the comics. And one of them, Mainframe, is voiced by none other than Miley Cyrus.
Of all the cool things in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it’s giving the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana a place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a sentient A.I. that may be the most wild.
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, audiences are introduced to Stakar, a high-ranking Ravager who holds a grudge against Yondu (Michael Rooker) for reasons too spoiler-y to write about in full. But, the two used to be best buds and ran in a small, tight-knit group, not unlike Star-Lord’s own little family. Later in the film, Yondu and Stakar’s group reunite at an extremely pivotal moment and reconvene in the post-credits scene where Stallone’s Stakar smirks: “Let’s steal some shit.”
These characters, weird and unique as they are, are the original Guardians of the Galaxy, who appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes #18 in 1969. Besides Yondu and Stakar, they are: Martinex (Michael Rosenbaum), Charlie-27 (Ving Rhames), Stakar’s adopted sister Aleta Ogord (Michelle Yeoh), Krugarr, and Mainframe, a CG character voiced by Cyrus. In the comics, Mainframe is a member of the Galactic Guardians and was an evolved, far future version of Vision, who is currently played by Paul Bettany. (No, Paul Bettany will probably not evolve into Miley Cyrus in the MCU, but wouldn’t that be something?)
Director James Gunn, a fan of NBC’s reality competition series The Voice, told BuzzFeed he loved Cyrus’s voice and personality as a judge, which inspired him to give her a spot in Vol. 2. “I find her funny and likable and sweet. I liked that she cared about the contestants … So we contacted her, and she said yes. She came in and recorded, and she was a delight to work with.”
This roster isn’t a perfect 1:1 version of the original Guardians in the comics — Vance Astro is missing, and Aleta didn’t join until 1991’s Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 — but as far as the MCU is concerned, they are the OG A-holes. And their not-insignificant presence in Vol. 2 is set-up for their future in the MCU.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that these “original” Guardians will return, just not until maybe Guardians of the Galaxy 3. “One of James’ ideas was fleshing out the character of Yondu,” Feige explained to io9, “and having the fun of tipping our hat to the original Guardians team from the comics. Which is all that is. Which, again, just gives James another set of tools to play with as he’s piecing together future stories.”
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is in theaters now.