Just days remain before "Guardians of the Galaxy" arrives in theaters. The next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is a noticeable departure from the rest of the superhero movies in the franchise. This may leave many fans wondering what they may have missed in the lead up to “Guardians.”
We did a little digging on the film in order to present everything Marvel fans should know before seeing “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Marvel Movie Tie-Ins
If no one told you to stick around for a post-credit sequence after every movie Marvel makes, you may have missed the entire setup to "Guardians of the Galaxy," but you can still get caught up.
"Thor: The Dark World": After the mighty Thor stopped the Dark Elves and reclaimed the mysterious Aether, he had his companions, Volstcheg and Lady Sif, bring it to a very peculiar place.
While it may be one of the stranger moments from the MCU, there's actually a lot going on in this clip. Benicio del Toro plays a character named Taneleer Tivan, also known as The Collector. According to the official Marvel Comics Wiki, this character has an intimate knowledge of the universe and spends his life seeking out and collecting rare and powerful items to keep under both his control and protection.
What's important in the clip is that he is given the Aether and there is mention of the Tesseract, which fans will remember from the previous Marvel films. Both items are referred to as being two of six "Infinity Stones." To figure out what those are, we need to go back to another end-credit's sequence.
"The Avengers": After our favorite heroes saved New York City from Loki's alien invasion, the audience learned that a very powerful being was backing him the entire time -- Thanos, played by Josh Brolin in "Guardians of the Galaxy."
We know precious little about the character in the movies, but his comic-book legacy is infamous. Without giving too much away, Thanos gains control of something called the Infinity Gauntlet. This glove contains six Infinity Gems (wink) that give the villain the power to basically destroy the universe and all the heroes in it. Believe it or not, many fans believe that the Infinity Gauntlet has already been seen as early as the first "Thor" movie.
Many may be wondering how this new band of rag-tag heroes fits into this legendary cosmic storyline. The answer is simple: Before Thanos can have his gauntlet, he'll need the six stones.
The Third Stone
According to the movie's official plot synopsis, Peter Quill, played by Chris Pratt, steals an orb of great yet mysterious power (wink, wink). He then becomes the subject of a full-scale bounty hunt after he learns that a villain named Ronan is also out to steal the powerful orb. He is helped by Nebula (played by Karen Gillan), who comic fans will note is one of Thanos' adopted granddaughters (wink, wink, wink!)
It's worth nothing that this is all just conjecture based on what the films have been setting up thus far. Fans will have to wait until the film is officially release to see what the minds at Marvel Studios have in store for them.
However, if your goal was to get caught up on everything Marvel has set up thus far, you can consider yourself ready to see "Guardians of the Galaxy," which premieres Friday, Aug. 1.