WARNING: Major spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 lie below!
Over the years, Marvel fans have come to expect one thing from the studio’s blockbusters, and that is a Stan Lee cameo. The iconic comics writer has been a staple in the geek community for years, and Lee became the honorary face of Marvel Studios when he began cameoing in all of its films. However, some fans have wondered if the creator’s cameos are really as innocent as they appear. Many have speculated Lee may be playing a very powerful character from the Marvel Universe in all his roles, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 may have lent credence to the fan-theory.
Over the past few years, fans have started to voice their thoughts about Lee secretly playing a Watcher in the MCU. In the Marvel Universe, these creatures are the oldest and most advanced race in the cosmos who study lesser races. Most of their job is tied to the education of other peoples, and the most well-known Watcher is Uatu as the being oversees Earth.
In the past, accusations about Lee’s work as a Watcher has been brushed off, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 took a big step in connecting the man to the alien race.
During the movie, fans watch as Lee partakes in his usual cameo, and the icon’s character is shown talking with three Watchers about his adventures on Earth. Then, in the movie’s fifth and final post-credits scene, the audience is brought back to Lee’s conversation as he goes on and on about his terrestrial exploits. The Watchers he is talking to grow bored and leave Lee’s character to himself.
The film’s credits only address Lee as “The Watchers’ Informant,” so there is no clear confirmation of how the actor fits in with the powerful race. The nod could be an inside joke from Marvel which purposefully pokes at fans who believe Lee is secretly playing Uatu. But, on the other hand, the brief scenes may actually be meant to establish a connection between the Lee and the Watchers.
At the very least, the scenes do confirm one thing: Lee has been playing the same character throughout the MCU. He regales the Watches with stories his cameo characters have experienced in various movies, and they are apparently tame enough to bore the extraterrestrial bigwigs.
It looks like something really crazy will have to happen in Avengers: Infinity War if Lee’s next cameo wants a story juicy enough for the Watchers. Apparently, the trio were not very impressed.
Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is written and directed by James Gunn (Slither). The film marks the return of the original Guardians, including Chris Pratt (Jurassic World) as Peter Quill/Star-Lord; Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Gamora; Dave Bautista (Spectre) as Drax; Vin Diesel (Furious 7) as the voice of Groot; Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) as the voice of Rocket; Michael Rooker (Jumper) as Yondu; Karen Gillan (The Big Short) as Nebula; and Sean Gunn (Gilmore Girls) as Kraglin. New cast members include Pom Klementieff (Oldboy), Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby, Everest), Chris Sullivan (The Knick, The Drop) and Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight, The Thing).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is scheduled to hit theaters on May 5, 2017.