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In my opinion, a good Tie-In should take the events of the movie and apply them to the larger MCU. If the movie expands the scope of the MCU in some definite way, the Tie-In should show how that expansion affects Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
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From what we know so far about Doctor Strange, it’s difficult to say whether the events of this movie will be on a large-enough scale to warrant S.H.I.E.L.D.’s attention—that’s one of the defining criteria for whether or not there should be a Major, Direct Tie-In. Given the inter-dimensional nature of the movie, my inclination is to say that any Direct Tie-In would be relatively minor, similar to with Ant-Man or Thor: The Dark World.
In terms of Indirect Tie-Ins, however, there is one huge possibility for a Thematic Tie-In: Magic. We have seen very little in terms of “magic” on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. so far—the only example yet is the exploration of Darkforce in two different episodes (“The Only Light in the Darkness” (1x19) and “Parting Shot” (3x13))—and so far all “magic” has been given some sort of scientific explanation. Once Doctor Strange has introduced magic to the landscape in a big way, I expect that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be free to make as much use of it as their effects budget will allow. We already know that the inclusion of Ghost Rider will be one result of Doctor Strange’s introduction of magic. However, as an additional Thematic Tie-In, I would like to see (and kind of expect) the introduction of Sebastian Druid, a.k.a. “Druid,” as a potential Secret Warrior. In essence, this would mean that Druid’s first appearance on the show would come the week after Doctor Strange premiers, and would come about because Coulson is intentionally seeking out magic users now that he knows real magic is out there.
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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Like the first Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 has been stated to take place almost exclusively off-Earth. As such, it is highly unlikely that there will be any Direct Tie-In between Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If there is any, it would likely come in the form of a Crossover, with a background movie character (or someone from a race introduced in the movie) arriving on Earth and telling S.H.I.E.L.D. about what happened. Why would this happen? Honestly, I have no real reason for it. It probably wouldn’t.
However, that does offer an option for a viable Tie-In between Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I could see them working in an Indirect Tie-In by having an alien race, perhaps one which appears in the movie, invade Earth. These aliens attempt to invade the planet, but S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Secret Warriors manage to stop the invaders without allowing the invasion to become public knowledge. However, because this is the second alien invasion in less than five years (interspersed with an “Alien Crisis” (Terrigen in the water) and at least a half-dozen extraterrestrial visitors), the U.S. government, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the A.T.C.U. decide to collaborate in organizing a new agency to deal with extraterrestrial threats: the Sentient World Observation and Response Department (S.W.O.R.D.), which uses the alien invaders’ ship as an orbital station. Additionally, one or two aliens introduced through the invasion could either defect or be liberated and join S.H.I.E.L.D., S.W.O.R.D., or the Secret Warriors.
Now if this were to lead into Marvel TV spinning off an Agents of S.W.O.R.D. series from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which would Tie-In very closely with Avengers: Infinity War, so much the better!
Based on what we know so far, it is unlikely that there will be any Major, Direct Tie-Ins between Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and these upcoming movies. However, I think this will give AoS time to really focus on the story it wants to tell and work in the movie elements that it really wants to play with, such as Magic and Marvel Cosmic.
I hope that you enjoyed reading my ideas for Tie-Ins between Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the next two movies. Even if there aren’t Major, Direct Tie-Ins, I do think the possible Indirect Tie-Ins would be a great way to expand the MCU onto the small screen and push the series in new and interesting directions.
How do you think AoS should Tie-In with these movies? What do you think of my Tie-In ideas? Let me know in the comments!