had a lot of exciting and clever moments, but there was one in particular that was significantly more enjoyable to longtime Marvel fans than to casual viewers. While Rocket, Yondu and Kraglin were struggling to stay conscious as their ship made 700 jumps, one of the areas of the MCU cosmos they passed by was where Stan Lee in an astronaut’s suit was telling a group of tall, bald humanoids about his exploits on Earth. This moment, and the post-credits scene that came later, confirmed that Lee has been playing the same character in all his MCU cameos, but more importantly, it officially introduced the Watchers, a.k.a. the bald guys, into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While their inclusion in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was more of a throwaway gag, in the grand scheme of things, bringing in The Watchers could have big implications for the franchise, namely with how tied they are with this universe’s history.
In the Marvel Comics universe, the Watchers are one of the oldest species in the universe, and they have one primary purpose. Can you guess what this is? Yes, as the name clearly states, they’re tasked with observing civilizations across the universe, recording all events with their advanced technology. Millions of years ago, they attempted to help an alien race by bestowing them with advanced knowledge, but that act eventually led to the race’s self-destruction. As a result, the Watchers as a whole declared that they are not allowed to interfere in events on any world. They are literally only allowed watch what happens in their respective sectors. The Watchers are primarily represented in the comics by Uatu, who was assigned to observe Earth and its solar system, but has broken the non-interference policy to help our world’s heroes and citizens.
Although Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 marked the Watchers’ first appearance in the MCU, there’s been a fan theory running for years that Stan Lee was a Watcher given that his character popped up in all of these movies, be it on Earth or an alien planet and looking the same age no matter what the year. While Lee in that astronaut suit clearly doesn’t look anything like a legitimate Watcher, those scenes were a fun nod to what fans had been speculating about, and they also set up that his mysterious character has a relationship with…
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