One of the coolest things about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is that the movie features a Tango & Cash reunion. Well, sort of. While both Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone appear in the film, the two '80s action heroes don't actually share any scenes together. And while it's been highly publicized that Russell plays Peter Quill's father, Ego the Living Planet, many fans are still wondering who Sylvester Stallone's character is in Guardians 2. After all, Stallone is a huge star and there has been very little mention of him even being in the film, so who is he playing?
On the surface, it's curious as to why there's been so much secrecy around Stallone's role, as the character he portrays doesn't seem super crucial to the franchise — at least not yet. In the movie, Stallone plays Stakar Ogord, a character more commonly known as Starhawk. In the comics, Starhawk was one of the original members of the Guardians of the Galaxy. See, there are two incarnations of the Guardians. There's the current team of the films, which debuted in the comics in 2008, and then there's the first team, who made their comics debut back in 1969 and had their own title in the early 1990s. They were from a future alternate timeline of the Marvel Universe in the 31st Century, and their members included Starhawk, Yondu, Starhawk's sister Aleta Ogord, Nikki, Martinex, Major Vance Astro, and Charlie-27. The movie of course makes some changes, but the spirit of this original Guardians team remains intact. Small spoilers ahead.
In the movie, Stakar is a high-ranking member of the Ravagers — the space pirates who raised Peter, and who count Yondu as a member. He also has an even longer history with Yondu, as it's revealed that the two of them used to be members of a team that was similar to Peter's current team. You could almost say they were members of the original Guardians of the Galaxy (that is of course the intent). Along with Yondu and Starhawk, this original group also included members from the comics Charlie-27 and Aleta Ogord; along with two more relatively obscure characters who made sporadic appearances in the original Guardians comics: the sorcerer alien Krugarr and the robot Mainframe (who's voiced by Miley Cyrus). In a post-credits scene, Starhawk gathers his old team together, implying that they'll return for the sequel.
Director James Gunn has stated that Starhawk is important to the future of the MCU, though it's not clear yet how or why that is. "My plan is to see more of him," Gunn told the Toronto Sun's Mark Daniell. "I’m not sure about him appearing in Vol. 3, we’ll have to see about that, but it’s our plan to see more of Stallone. Kevin (Feige) and I are working on what is going to become of the Marvel Cosmic Universe and where it’s going to go. We plan to see the rest of them in the future ... It’s my plan to have Sly — and I talked to him last night — to find a place for him in the future of the Marvel Universe."
So it sounds like the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially the cosmic side of things, could at least partly revolve around Sylvester Stallone's Starhawk. I've got to admit, I did not see that coming — but it sounds pretty cool.