There are tons of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Easter eggs hidden throughout James Gunn's MCU swan song, which is finally in UK cinemas and US theaters. Considering you were probably distracted by the emotional journey taken by the team in the Marvel Phase 5 movie on your first watch, you might have missed some of the biggest MCU references tucked away across the runtime. But that's where we come in.
We watched Guardians of the Galaxy 3 very closely to spot the major Easter eggs and Marvel references, then rounded them all up below. There's a lot to discover, too, from cameos to nods to classic movies. So, for all the Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Easter eggs, look no further than our guide.
A warning, though, that the following contains major spoilers for the new movie. Turn back now if you haven't seen it yet – and bookmark this page for later so you can catch up!
Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Easter eggs
The movie begins on Knowhere as all of the Guardians of the Galaxy adjust to life after the Holiday Special. Some are dealing better than others, with Peter Quill frequenting the bar to deal with losing the Gamora he knew and loved. However, if you look at the bar’s sign, you’ll notice that it actually looks very familiar. It’s got the Guardians of the Galaxy title written on it.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
Adam Warlock’s entry into the MCU also had a bit of a familiar feel about it too. On the orders of the High Evolutionary, he flies into Knowhere on the hunt for Rocket, giving us our first glimpse of him in live-action. However, when he’s first seen flying through the sky, he looks a little bit like Superman… Given writer and director Gunn’s next project at DC is Superman: Legacy, it feels like it might be a deliberate nod.
When the team heads to the Orgoscope to try and find Rocket’s kill-switch code, they have to head into space. To protect them, they wear some fun colorful suits, which many thought was referencing Among Us when the first pictures landed. While Gunn shot that theory down, he clarified what his actual reference point was for the movie: Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sharing the insight on Twitter, it’s clear to see the similarities between the Marvel movie’s costumes and those used in the classic movie.
No. https://t.co/piXSh19wKD pic.twitter.com/SuEuGGY7UuDecember 2, 2022
Some big names have Guardians of the Galaxy 3 cameos. Nathan Fillion appears as Master Karja, a guard at the Orgoscope (that's the pretty gross planet made out of organic material). Fillion also appeared in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie and was in a deleted scene from the sequel.
Another familiar face is one Jennifer Holland, who plays a worker at the Orgoscope. She is Emilia Harcourt in the DCU and stars in James Gunn's Peacemaker. Holland is also Gunn's real-life partner – the duo has been married since 2022.
You also might have spotted Howard the Duck sitting at a table playing cards. He's once again voiced by Seth Green, who also played the character in What If…? and the previous Guardians movies.
Sylvester Stallone also returns as his Ravager character Stakar Ogord, while Michael Rooker is back very briefly as Yondu.
Christopher Fairbank also returns as the Broker, introduced in the first Guardians, while Judy Greer voices the terrifying War Pig.
In the second Guardians of the Galaxy 3 post-credits scene, Peter Quill and his grandfather Jason sit at the breakfast table together bonding over cereal – and complaining about a neighbour whose lawn Peter mows. But, look closely at Jason's newspaper, and you'll spot a reference to Kevin Bacon being abducted by aliens. In the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Mantis and Drax kidnapped Bacon and took him to Knowhere to try and lift Peter's spirits.
Phyla-Vell is one of the children rescued from the High Evolutionary at the end of the film, and she's also a member of the new Guardians of the Galaxy line-up.
Interestingly enough, though, in the comics, Phyla-Vell is actually the daughter of the first Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell. It's unclear at the moment if Phyla-Vell has similar heritage in the MCU, but she could end up becoming a key character indeed.
'Do You Realize?'
The song 'Do You Realize?' by Flaming Lips makes a striking appearance partway through the film, the line "Do you realize, we're floating in space?" playing as Quill looks glumly out at the stars. Anyone who knows the song well (which was adopted as the Official Rock Song of Oklahoma between 2009 and 2013, fact fans) likely felt a rush of dread at its inclusion, however, its most famous lyric being, "Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die."
Given the wide speculation that one or more main characters would be killed in the film, it felt incredibly portentous. In a neat twist, however, the song cuts to dialogue, drowning out that line. Now, perhaps that was just a choice made in the editing room, but it feels like a smart bit of foreshadowing on Gunn's part, given that, in fact, all the lead characters survive the film.
For even more on Guardians of the Galaxy 3, see our interviews with Chris Pratt on a potential Star-Lord return and his belief that you’ll be surprised by how dark Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is, as well as Chukwudi Iwuji on how the High Evolutionary is one of Marvel’s most irredeemable villains. You can also check out our writer's view on why Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is a celebration of fatherhood.
If you've seen the movie, head to our spoilery deep dives on:
- The Guardians of the Galaxy 3 ending explained
- Will there be a Guardians of the Galaxy 4?
- Who are the new Guardians of the Galaxy?
- Who dies in Guardians of the Galaxy 3?
- When will Guardians of the Galaxy 3 be on Disney Plus?
- What to watch before Guardians of the Galaxy 3
- Who were the original Guardians of the Galaxy?
- Where are the MCU Guardians of the Galaxy in comics?
- Who is Cosmo the Space Dog?
- Who is Lylla?
- The complete Marvel timeline
- All the upcoming Marvel movies and shows
- How to watch the Marvel movies in order