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Everything We Learned About THOR: RAGNAROK at Marvel’s SDCC Panel

You’ve probably seen the trailer by now, but unless you were in Hall H, you have not seen all the Thor: Ragnarok footage shown. Suffice it to say, based on the five extra minutes or so we got in advance of the trailer proper, this will be by far the most broadly comedic Thor movie to date. With its bright colors and retro soundtrack (if that wasn’t temp music), it so far lives up to the “Asgardians of the Galaxy” nickname some fans gave it after the first trailer hit.

And yes, Jeff Goldblum is at his most uh uh Goldblumy. But first, here’s what else we got a glimpse at:

Disneyland can re-skin Space Mountain after this if they like

Yeah, we know they’ve got the Star Wars-themed Hyperspace Mountain going, but Thor takes a ride of his own in Ragnarok. Stuck in a chair that has his wrists held down with magical cuffs, he rides along a conveyor belt in a metallic, sci-fi corridor…


A robotic female voice tells him he is happy now, and he belongs here, as the chair moves along the track, closer and closer to the opening ahead…and then he’s launched into a starfield, but still on the track. Definite Space Mountain vibes here, but it’s also reminiscent of the ride Arthur goes on with Slartibartfast in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 3D simulations appear on either side, as an instrumental version of Willy Wonka‘s “Pure Imagination” plays. Images of gladiators, the female voice exalting them, and the silhouette of the Grand Master appear in pink clouds, as the large planet of Sakaar looms ahead.

The voice tells Thor to prepare to meet the Grand Master, as he begins to accelerate towards the planet, and the lights around him become hellish and red. Thor screams as he descends, and then suddenly finds himself in an immobile chair in a throne room, an array of colorful armed knights behind him. In front of him is the Goldblum, flanked by Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie and Rachel House’s Topaz. The music switches to disco.


Valkyrie sold Hulk and Thor to the Grand Master

Satisfied with the fact that she provided him his grand champion and this new blonde contender, the Grand Master, in true Goldblum fashion, hems and haws about how she’s that word that begins with “B.”

“Trash!” snarls Topaz.

“That’s not very nice; were you just waiting this whole time to call her trash? No, no, it begins with B.”


At this point the Grand Master remembers he means “best,” asks Valkyrie hat she wants for him, and she asks ten million. He gives it to her over Topaz’s objections, but then Thor breaks the wrists shackles, only to be stunned by a taser-like device in his neck. The next thing we know, he’s in a cell.

The director is a bouncy rock


Taika Waititi plays rock monster Korg, whom Thor finds as a cellmate. The thunder god tries to run, but the hallway they’re in is an infinite loop — run one way and you’ll just come right back the other. Korg wants a revolution but he’s lazy and finicky, and he also serves as inadvertent hype man for the Grand Champion, by pointing out all their fellow cellmates whom said champ has defeated…each one of whom is actually dead, and especially a recent one named Doug.

Waititi said he based Korg on “Polynesian nightclub bouncers” whom he says are huge but always have delicate voices.

The Grand Champion, of course, is Hulk, and this is right about where the trailer picks up, although it does not show that Loki is sitting beside the Grand Master in the arena.

Loki is a bad leader

Now on Odin’s throne of Asgard, Loki has been ruling Asgard for four years, devoting his energies to narcissistic self-glorification rather than governance. But now Ragnarok is coming, courtesy of Hela, and he’s not ready. The four year interval seems like an obvious commentary on our own particular leadership cycle, but nobody is saying so; not that it need be partisan, since most recent presidents have been accused by their opposition of being egomaniacs less concerned with our real enemies than they should be.

Anyway, like none of our leaders, he winds up in chains in the trailer.

Hulkamania forever

It may not quite have been a banner term for Loki, but it’s been completely Banner free for Hulk, who is done with his puny human alter ego for now, and is enjoying being the gladiator champion. “He kicks a lot of A!” said Ruffalo, and “he’ll be damned if he’s going back to Banner.” He speaks, but has the vocabulary of a two-year old.

Surtur is here


We speculated he might be a major villain, but not quite how huge this fiery demon would be. He is really, really big.

The Grand Master is old, and more or less invented WWE

Grand Master and the Collector are elders (and brothers) of the universe — the oldest living race. Jeff Goldblum repeatedly said they were around just after the Big Bang, and now he puts together the great match of Thor versus Hulk for everyone’s entertainment pleasure. Given the way he makes an indestructible guy named Hulk his champion for four years, only to have him potentially lose to a long-haired, super-muscular “ultimate” warrior, you might call him a galactic Vince McMahon.

Is Thor a real Asgardian, to fight for the rights of every man? Lemme tellya somethin’, BROTHER! Leave a comment below and you tell us!

Images: Marvel Studios

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