Fans have long held a theory regarding Stan Lee’s multiple appearances across the Marvel movies. Now, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has all but confirmed it.
If you don’t want to be spoiled for one of Guardians‘ five post-credits scenes, we recommend you turn back now.
Stan Lee’s first appearance comes midway through the movie, as Rocket, Baby Groot and Yondu are using portals to bend space and time to travel toward Ego’s planet. It is, as far as Lee’s cameos go, brief — as is befitting the moment — and most fans likely assumed that would be the last we’d see of him.
But Lee showed up once again, during the final post-credits scene. And there was something a little bit special about this one.
During the scene, Lee’s character, though still unnamed, is conversing with a group of blue-robed aliens. Those aliens? The Watchers — a race from Marvel comics, who are charged with overseeing the galaxy. Lee regales them with the tale of his time as a FedEx delivery man (his cameo from Civil War.)
And so, the long postulated theory that Stan Lee played the same character across all his appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is all but confirmed. When questioned by /Film, Kevin Feige played a little coy over Stan Lee’s role.
“Certainly something to be considered. We shot a lot in that moment when he came down to Atlanta to film that,” Feige said. “Let’s just say he, Stan Lee, is certainly a different type of entity within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who can hang out with the Watchers and tell them stories about all his cameos.”
A different entity certainly makes him sound as though he might be part of the mysterious Watcher race himself. In the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 credits, Lee is listed as The Watchers Informant — which could mean he’s something else entirely.
One of the more common theories that has been circulating since before this confirmation is that Lee may have been playing Uatu, the Watcher tasked with looking over Earth. It’d make a certain amount of sense, considering the amount of time he spends there, as well as conveniently appearing wherever there’s a sliver of trouble.
Regardless of whether or not Stan Lee is a Watcher himself, this cameo means one very important thing for the Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Watchers are observing and being informed of all of our heroes’ comings and goings. Though they are expected to abide by a code of non-interference, that hasn’t always been the case.
Uatu has, on more than one occasion, revealed his true self to the heroes of Earth, though with some consequences. Should Marvel decide to expand Lee’s role, could we see him getting mixed up in the action during Infinity War?
With the threat of Thanos creeping in, and the fate of the entire galaxy at stake, we wouldn’t be surprised if that turned out to be the case. And, really, who doesn’t want to see more of Stan Lee?