Taika Waititi Explains the 'Cliffhanger' Mid-Credits Scene in 'Thor: Ragnarok' (EXCLUSIVE)
By John Boone
Massive spoilers below for Thor: Ragnarok.
It's not a spoiler to say you should stick around through the credits of Thor: Ragnarok. Marvel Studio's latest release comes equipped with the standard two post-credits stingers. (Similar to Spider-Man: Homecomingbefore it, but scaled back from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's whopping five tags.) With Ragnarok now in theaters, it's time to finally discuss them.
The end-credits scene is fairly self-explanatory, a bit of a gag intended to tie up lingering plot threads. On the outskirts of Sakaar, The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) falls out of some sort of shipping container and, as he is surrounded by junkyard rebels, he proclaims, "This revolution has been a great success." Yammering in the most Goldblum-y of ways, he adds, "You can't have a revolution without someone to overthrow. So, congratulations! It's a tie!"
(That said, considering The Grandmaster is one of the universe's immortal Elders who, in comic book canon, can cause death to others just by wishing it, he's likely not in too much trouble.)
The mid-credits scene, however, left me with at least one massive question. The moments picks up not long after the final shot of the movie, with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) en route to Earth with what's left of the Asgardian people, the so-called Revengers and some Sakaarian refugees in the wake of Asgard's demise at the hands of the fire demon, Surtur. In the tag, Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are looking out into space when the God of Mischief asks if it's such a good idea to be heading to Earth.
"Do you really think it's a good idea to bring me back to Earth?" Loki questions, as he most surely reflects on the events of the first Avengers movie (when he led a Chitauri invasion of New York City) and the fact that he's on Doctor Strange's list of inter-dimensional threats.
"Probably not," Thor replies, though notes that he himself is quite popular on Earth. "Don't worry brother, I have a feeling everything will work out just fine."
At that very moment, their ship is eclipsed by another far, far bigger, armored and seriously malevolent-looking spaceship. But...whose ship is it?! After exhaustively Googling variations of "Marvel + Villain + Spaceships" without finding an exact match, ET went to the source and asked Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, himself. And he immediately started laughing.
"I can't! I'm so nervous about saying anything about any other movies," Waititi rebuffed coyly. "What's good about Marvel is that they don't let the directors really find out about the other movies. I think that's a good thing, because I've got a big mouth and I will just give away spoilers. I'm not going to say. I'm not going to say!"
Based on the Avengers: Infinity War trailer shown at D23 and Comic-Con, we know that an unconscious Thor will somehow end up floating through space before landing on the hood of a spaceship flown by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Connecting the dots, I'm guessing our mystery ship does not come in peace. Which means it could belong to Thanos (Josh Brolin), the big bad of Infinity War. Or could it be one of the Mad Titans' Sanctuary ships piloted by his Black Order minions? Or Chituari aliens? Or someone else?
"That was Kevin Feige, the genius behind this entire thing," Waititi continued. "He wanted a scene like that, where basically it was a cool cliffhanger. It's what these guys are great at with their post-credits and mid-credits scenes. He wanted something that showed Thor and Loki together -- maybe for the last time? Who knows -- and then that big ship coming up. It was all his idea."
UPDATE: Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed that the ship does, in fact, belong to Thanos. "We call it the Sanctuary II," he told The Wrap. In the MCU thus far, Sanctuary has referred to the Domain of Thanos, that odd scrap of cosmic realm he presided over from his floating throne in The Avengers and the first Guardians of the Galaxy. In the comics, "Sanctuary" is also the name of Thanos' flagship transport. With this confirmation, we now know the Mad Titan is already on the move.
While the Sanctuary II's connection to Infinity War is clear, it's not the only bit of housekeeping Ragnarok does to set up the Marvel universe's biggest team-up yet. Earlier in the movie, as Hela (Cate Blanchett) takes inventory of Odin's vault, she pointedly reveals the Infinity Glove on display is a "fake," retconning some confusion resulting from an Easter egg in the first Thor movie and the stinger of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
There's also the matter of the Space Stone -- one of the almighty Infinity Stones that Thanos will be hunting come Infinity War -- which Loki spots in Odin's treasure room at the tail end of the movie. If you recall from all the way back in the first Avengers, Loki was dispatched to Earth to steal the stone for Thanos. Considering the very intentional beat during which Loki clocks the Tesseract, the fact that he and Thor will likely soon be separated, and that Loki is seen in the Infinity War trailer offering the Space Stone to...someone, it seems Thanos won't need to work too hard for that one.
But for all the steps Ragnarok takes in the direction of Infinity War, there's also one major curveball: Thor's eye, which he seemingly loses for good while doing battle with Hela. Yet, in everything we've seen of the God of Thunder's next appearance, his Odin-like eye patch is nowhere to be found. Was Thor's eye was only temporarily gauged out? Or perhaps it's simply been painted out for now, as it was in trailers for this movie? I'm expecting answers to all of these questions when Avengers: Infinity Wars arrives on April 25, 2018. (If things aren't already made clearer via the Black Panther post-credit scenes, that is, when Marvel's next film opens on February 16.)