Do not read this if you walked out of the cinema and missed the extra scenes after the credit roll on ‘Thor: The Dark World’.
There are many spoilers ahead.
For movie buffs schooled in Marvel’s art of the “Movie Easter Egg”, they were treated to not one but two extra scenes – one in the middle of the credits, and the other right at the end.
Benicio Del Toro plays The Collector in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
THE CRYPTIC EXCHANGE (Spoilers alert)
After the events of ‘The Dark World’, we see Sif (Jaime Alexander) and Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) in a rather quirky scene in the middle of the credits roll.
They have with them the “Aether” that Thor wrested from a defeated Malekith. The Aether is one of six “Infinity Stones”, ancient cosmic relics with unspeakable power.
For those who caught the first ‘Captain America’ and ‘Avengers’ movies, they will learn that the Tesseract – or the Cosmic Cube – is one of these relics.
Sif and Volstagg hand the Aether over to The Collector, played by a camped-up Benicio del Toro (’21 Grams’, ‘Sin City’).
This scene opens up another realm of the Marvel Universe as the audience is taken into the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ storyline.
Sif then explains that with the Tesseract already in Odin's Trophy Room, it would be unwise to keep two Infinity Stones in one place. And she wants The Collector to keep the artefact safe.
The Collector takes the Aether and then utters after they leave: “One down, five to go.”
Is he in cahoots with Thanos? Or does this being have something else up his sleeve, since gaining control over all Stones will give their bearer immense power?
Read also: ‘Thor: The Dark World’ movie review
The scene has a different tone and colour palette from the rest of the movie because it was directed by James Gunn, who is helming ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’.
The Guardians of the Galaxy
Looking like a cross between ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’ (2005) and ‘Galaxy Quest’ (1999), it seems that ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, starring Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana, will have a quirkier and oddball take on a comic series that features a talking tree, a talking racoon, an American fighter pilot and a couple of alien ex-convicts.
For those unfamiliar with Marvel Comics lore, The Collector, born Taneleer Tivan, is an “Elder of The Universe”, a being who has existed for millennia.
The character, who first appeared in ‘Avengers #28’ (1966), is like a freelance hoarder in space, collecting strange artefacts and life-forms that he fancies and keeping them on his museum-starship.
When he runs out of space in the ship, he just appropriates the nearest empty planet and turns it into a giant museum. Yup, he’s also a space-squatter.
The "Infinity Gauntlet" with all the Infinity Stones as seen in 'Thor'. If the complete collection was in Odin's Trophy Room, how did they end up in many places?
So what does this mean for movie buffs?
The MacGuffin (or movie plot device propelling the storyline) for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ will be an Infinity Stone.
As mentioned, there are six stones in existence, each having its own distinct power: Green (soul), Orange (time), Purple (space), Blue (mind), Yellow (reality) and Red (power).
Marvel movie boss Kevin Feige has revealed that the Tesseract is the Purple stone, and the Aether is the Red stone that Malekith intended to use to rule the Nine Realms.
We can deduce that the motley band of Guardians will stumble on an Infinity Stone and they must protect it at all cost. And since The Collector is the original bearer of the Yellow stone, we assume that the Guardians and everyone else will be chasing each other around the cosmos for it.
For being patient, fans watching ‘Thor: The Dark World’ were treated to a second teaser scene at the end of the credits reel, hinting at the burgeoning relationship between Thor and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman).
Thor returns to Earth to give Jane a big smooch on the lips.
We think the romance between the immortal and mortal will continue well into the next edition or until someone exits the movie franchise. Who knows, we may get to see Thor take on his earthly persona as Dr Donald Blake.
Read also: ‘Thor’ movie review
And what about the giant alien space dog still bounding around at London’s dockyards?
It is just the right fodder for an episode of ‘Marvel’s Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ There is already an episode featuring a Chitauri helmet, and one with Agent Coulson and crew fighting the alien mutt is just irresistible.
Thanos: the mysterious villain behind the scenes
MOVIE EASTER EGGS
Over the years, we have been treated to many Easter Eggs that marked the coming of new Marvel movies and characters, such as Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, in ‘Iron Man 2’ (2010), Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury in ‘Iron Man’ (2008), and even Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) when he first appeared in ‘Hulk’ (2003).
Probably one of the most exciting teasers was at the end of ‘Avengers’, when we caught a fleeting glimpse of Thanos, the real mastermind of the ‘Battle of New York’ where the alien Chitauri travelled through a wormhole from another universe.
It hinted at how Marvel is cooking up the next phase of its movie universe, which include ‘Thor: The Dark World”, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ (2014), ‘Guardians of The Galaxy’ (2014), ‘Avengers: The Age of Ultron’ (2015) and ‘Ant-Man’ (2015).
After wasting a better part of his youth reading comics and watching movies, Zaki Jufri now lives and breathes entertainment journalism as inSing.com's arts, entertainment and film editor.