Guardians of the Galaxy was perhaps the most ambitious film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For the most part, it was a separate story that had little to do with the Avengers’ events on Earth. The only real connections the film had to the MCU was a small role from Thanos and the appearance of an Infinity Stone. Other than those elements, the film felt quite distant from the rest of the universe, and fans are still wondering what role the Guardians will play in the big Infinity War that the franchise is building up to. While Thanos was confirmed to be absent form the sequel in January, perhaps Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will give a better idea of how the Guardians will get involved with the Avengers by expanding on the Infinity Stones. However, they won’t be in the sequel either.
In a recent Q&A session on Facebook, Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn confirmed that neither Thanos or the Infinity stones will appear in the sequel. Gunn stated:
“We’re not really so much about the Infinity Stones in Guardians 2. Is that a spoiler? It’s not really a thing.”
While Gunn hasn’t flat-out said that the Infinity Stones won’t be in the movie at all, he is suggesting that the stones won’t play as big of a role as they did in the first film. In the original Guardians of the Galaxy, much of the plot centered around keeping Ronan from getting his hands on the Power Stone’s Orb. By the end, Peter Quill was still in possession of the Orb. Therefore, while the Orb itself may still appear in the next film, don’t expect to have the plot center around it whatsoever.
While some fans may consider this to be a disappointment, this may actually be a good move on Gunn’s part. In the same Q&A session, Gunn stated:
“As I’ve said before, Thanos isn’t in this movie. I think he’s gonna have a little bit to do and say when it comes to certain wars and infinity. We’ve got other fish to fry in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.”
By “other fish to fry,” he means other story elements to flesh out. Mantis is already confirmed for the next film, and the story is expected to flesh out the characters of Nebula and Yondu. It’s also set to dive into Peter Quill’s relationship with his biological father who Yondu worked for. That’s quite a lot of fish to fry, and perhaps there just wasn’t enough room for the Infinity Stones or Thanos.
One of the biggest criticisms of the MCU is that the universe connections feel forced and interfere with the filmmakers’ creative visions. It was even rumored that Edgar Wright left Ant-Man after refusing to add such connections. When Marvel’s Creative Committee disbanded, perhaps Gunn was given more freedom with the sequel’s story. So if forced universe connections are a pet peeve for you, you may want to check out Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in 2017.