Guardians of the Galaxy may be on the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it still has tangible connection to Earth by way of Peter Quill, who was kidnapped from our world at the start of the first film. In that movie the planet appeared just in the pre-studio title sequence, but it grounded the events of James Gunn’s MCU debut in the known universe.

The gang are expected to come face-to-face with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes themselves, the Avengers, in next year’s Infinity War, which could mean Star-Lord and co. are heading back to his homeworld in the future. However, if they are, it’s not going to be shown in their upcoming sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Speaking with Kevin Feige on the set of Guardians 2, Screen Rant asked if the film would be bringing the team any closer to Earth or if things were going more cosmic, to which the producer confirmed the latter:

“We are going out further, yes, yeah. There’s a little bit, there’s a little bit of Earth in this film, but it’s not these characters going to Earth.”

guardians galaxy 2 star lord What Role Does Earth Play in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2?

So Earth’s appearing, but not in a way that directly relates to the core group. Given how much all those involved in the film have played up the mystical, sci-fi side of the story, that’s not too surprising, but the “little bit” mention does beg questions about how Star-Lord’s homeworld will appear. The most obvious way for it to factor in will be through Ego; Kurt Russell’s character traveled to Earth in the 1970s and fathered Peter Quill, an event that’s going to be an essential turning point in the film and thus could appear in flashback.

We have already seen one scene set on Earth care of set photos; back in April 2016, images of the Georgia location shooting revealed a bunch of film posters featuring Nathan Fillion as in-universe actor Simon Williams, in the comics Wonder Man. Whether this is set-up for that hero’s appearance or just a cameo is unclear (although based on how much the movie’s got to deal with the latter is more likely), but it hints a separate flashback; it’s hard to place a time period on these posters – some, like one for Marvel hero Arkon, look like they’re from the 1980s, while others are more modern – but they would seem to come after when Ego would have visited. Perhaps it’s part of Star-Lord’s childhood, with the discovery of his father making Peter look back on his past.

Most Marvel films have been Earth-bound (even the fantastical Thor), with Guardians being the exception. Given the first film’s success, it’s not surprising James Gunn wants to double-down on the far-out sci-fi elements in his sequel – to be too focused on Sol 3 could feel like a step back.

More: Every Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 Update You Need To Know

Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ 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 mystery 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 and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, with Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Nikolas Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers.

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