WARNING: This article contains POTENTIAL SPOILERS for Thor: Ragnarok
The visual style of Thor: Ragnarok will be taking its hero into Marvel's cosmic playground - and the Guardians of the Galaxy could make a cameo appearance. It's a less shocking idea than it may have been before it became clear just how many of Marvel's movie heroes were headed for an Infinity War collision course. Especially after special footage screened for attendees of Marvel's D23 presentation showed how Thor will meet the Guardians in Avengers 3... more specifically, how they'll literally be running into him in space.
Ragnarok's director Taika Waititi has already explained that the Thor/Guardians scene is NOT a spoiler for his own movie, but there's other evidence suggesting the Guardians and their signature spaceship will be included before its over. It's a theory we've constructed thanks to our visit to the Thor: Ragnarok set, so any fans looking to remain unspoiled for even potential cameos should STOP reading now. If you're curious to know what leads to the team-up of Thor and Star-Lord, however... read on.
While examining a wealth of concept art for the many new and familiar locations in Ragnarok - the new gladiator planet Sakaar, the Hellish landscape of Muspelheim, and new levels of Asgard itself - it became clear just how much Jack Kirby's designs formed the DNA of Waititi's Thor rejuvenation. But amid the many cosmic designs and architectural drawings was a familiar spaceship: The Milano, the teal-and-orange Ravager ship upon which the Guardians of the Galaxy make their home.
When asked about the presence of the Milano image, and whether it was a sign of shared design ideas for the Cosmic MCU or something more specific, Ragnarok producer Brad Winderbaum avoided specifics. Or confirmed appearances from the Guardians, depending on how you interpret his meaning:
We're definitely leaning into Jack [Kirby] more heavily than Guardians. There are elements of Guardians that will work their way into our film, both stylistically and narratively. In the sense that, like all the Earthbound heroes feel like they're living and breathing in the same air, certainly now that we're in space it feels, in a very MCU way, that we're living and breathing in the same air.
The greater emphasis on Jack Kirby's comic art in Thor: Ragnarok is obvious to anyone familiar with his work, so there's no question the homages are greater than in James Gunn's film(s). But making the claim that Thor's trip into the MCU cosmos will send the message that he's sharing the same space as the Guardians of the Galaxy isn't to be taken lightly. Yes, we now know that Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster is the brother of a Guardians cast member. But the presence of The Milano may be the simplest explanation - given where it was last seen.
For those who may have forgotten, Star-Lord and the Guardians ran into some trouble with the Sovereign in Guardians Vol. 2, taking damage to their ship before leaping onto a distant planet and crash-landing. In all the mayhem, it was easy to forget that The Milano was left half-repaired in the forests of Berhert when the Ravagers captured the remaining crew. Which means a valuable, immediately recognizable, damaged spaceship from the Guardians series is being connected to Thor: Ragnarok, perhaps through its antagonist - who has a love of scraps, salvaging, hoarding, and collecting spaceships in particular.
What makes an Easter Egg or cameo appearance of The Milano, if not the entire movie cast, is the fact that the Guardians of the Galaxy have The Milano in Avengers: Infinity War. Chris Hemsworth has even gone so far as claiming Ragnarok will be required viewing for Infinity War, and that the movie directly sets up his meeting the Guardians. That could, on the surface, mean it explains why he's floating through space to be hit... but it could also mean Thor and the Guardians are sharing the same space, or a common enemy (that makes it even likely for their paths to cross at all).
It's speculation on our part, based on our trip to the Ragnarok set, but the fact remains: if Marvel fans are wondering how the Guardians of the Galaxy get their ride back, the last place we saw it was among the designs for Sakaar's cosmic scrapyards. Here's hoping they come to retrieve it themselves.
Thor: Ragnarok advance tickets are now on sale wherever tickets are sold.
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