Ronan, alongside Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), all share history with Thanos, as revealed in the official Guardians of the Galaxy prequel comic. Ronan was a mentor of sorts to the pair of lethal ladies, who are seemingly bio-engineered super assassins. For some reason, Thanos punishes them harshly (we won't spoil how) and it caused Gamora to leave Thanos' side. The mission for Thanos and his followers, in large part, has to do with tracking down and acquiring the orb we saw in the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer and on display at Comic-Con (Thanos has been after it for years). That orb, as we suspect, might be one of the mighty Infinity Stones - much like the Tesseract (Cosmic Cube) and Aether are as we learned in the mid-credits button of Thor: The Dark World.
Come time for The Avengers 3, which debuts after a series of Phase 3 films we know little of (outside of the already-confirmed Ant-Man and Captain America 3), Thanos might be headed to Earth to collect some of the missing stones yet to be introduced and begin piecing together the Infinity Gauntlet - an artifact that when fused with the six gems gives him godlike power over the universe. That's something Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige teased when we spoke with him about Thor 2. All along, Feige has been teasing Thanos as a long-term villain, and part of the Phase 3 buildup.
We don't know if this is confirmation that the Guardians of the Galaxy will show up on Earth in The Avengers 3 or if the events in that film lay the foundation for whatever happens in the third Avengers, but Marvel always plans ahead and always uses their other mediums to highlight characters and stories from the films before they release. We see it in the books all the time, with Thanos getting a lot of attention recently, much like Guardians of the Galaxy got relaunched and put in the spotlight around the announcement of the movie. And wouldn't you know it, the Guardians just met The Avengers in the animated series Avengers Assemble for the first time:
Will Guardians of the Galaxy get a sequel in Phase 3 before The Avengers 3 ends that chapter of the MCU? Or will it launch spinoffs as Disney CEO Bog Iger suggests could happen should GOTG prove a success at the box office? Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) wasn't kidding when she said at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier that we're going to need heroes.
"Because you need us. Yes, the world is a vunerable place, and yes, we all make it that way. But we're also the ones best qualified to defend it. So if you want to arrest me, arrest me. You know where to find me."
Update: James Gunn is writing and directing the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel which stars Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Benicio del Toro, Pom Klementieff, and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!