Marvel Facts: The Marvel Cinematic Universe has shown us that space is full of weird villains. On the planet Knowhere, the motley collection of jerks known as the Guardians of the Galaxy encounter Taneleer Tivan, the Collector, played by Benicio del Toro. Meanwhile, a few years later, the Grandmaster, En Dwi Gast, played by Jeff Goldblum, is holding both Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) prisoners somewhere across the universe. Despite the fact that they’ve never shared a scene, these two characters are inextricably linked – beyond their matching lip marks.
The Collector, as the name implies, spends his time collecting stuff. In an attempt to gather all of the Infinity Stones, he employs Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to obtain the Power Stone, but this proves pointless after Thanos (Josh Brolin) enters the picture. The Grandmaster, on the other hand, reigns supreme over the planet Sakaar, where he spends his time forcing people to compete in his Contest of Champions.
They spend much of their time pursuing their own self-interests, although they are both members of the Elders of the Universe, an extremely restricted society.
The Elders of the Universe have yet to be named in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but they’re a strange group in the Marvel comics: They are the universe’s oldest living organisms. Each of them is the only surviving member of their species, which arose shortly after the Big Bang when the previous universe perished. They are all passionate about completely diverse things, but they are linked by their longevity, which is preserved by their dedication to a single aim or interest – therefore their titles.
Aside from the Collector and the Grandmaster, there are numerous more Elders, including the Gardener, the Contemplator, and Ego the Living Planet – Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) godlike father in the movies. In the comics, the Elders of the Universe regularly come into touch with the Infinity Stones. They try to use the Stones to destroy Galactus in a power grab in “Silver Surfer Vol 3 #17,” but Thanos discovers them and grabs the stones for himself. It’s plausible that the Collector in the MCU was gathering the Stones for the Grandmaster’s ultimate scheme, rather than for his personal entertainment.
“Everyone in the galaxy knows you’d sell your own brother if you believed it would add even the tiniest trinket to your miserable collection,” Thanos says to the Collector in “Avengers: Infinity War,” after Thanos confronts him about obtaining the Reality Stone.