WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 AHEAD! ONLY LOOK IF YOU WANT TO KNOW!
And while the cosmos-trotting film primarily stands alone from the main events of the MCU, a particular scene - and its possible meaning within the cinematic universe - caught our attention.
In the film's second act, it is revealed that Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell) has been literally planting his seeds on every planet he has visited, with the goal of "expanding" his essence throughout the galaxy. One of those seeds was planted on Earth, behind a Dairy Queen in Missouri, as shown in the film's opening flashback sequence between Ego and Meredith Quill.
When Ego's "expansion" began to take place, the seeds were shown activating on several planets, and each grew into a large, expanding mass. On Earth, the mass began overrunning the small Missouri town - and appearing to result in some casualties.
This sort of temporary destruction isn't often noteworthy in Marvel films, as the heroes usually manage to restore order and stop the wreckage from spreading even further. While this is true with Vol. 2, it takes on a whole other meaning when you consider where the film fits in the universe's chronology.
Vol. 2 is set only three months after the ending of the first Guardians of the Galaxy, placing it in late 2014. This means that the attack in Missouri went completely unacknowledged by other characters within the Marvel Universe, such as the Avengers and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
Of course, this can be explained away pretty easily, as Vol. 2 was barely in production around when the film itself takes place. But given the spontaneity of the Missouri attack, and the apparent casualties that resulted, it's something that absolutely would have warranted a response from either of the aforementioned organizations.
There's a chance that this plot hole could be addressed in the future, either within Avengers: Infinity War, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or in a flashback on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Given S.H.I.E.L.D.'s unique ability to reference the events of MCU films in close-to-real time, a throwaway line of dialogue or even a flashback to 2014 would be the perfect Easter egg for those who have already seen Vol. 2.
More Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2:
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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).