Guardians of the Galaxy came during the early stages of the comic book film era. Its arrival opened the door for new and weirder superhero stories. Given the film's level of success, a sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, was announced almost right away. The film will see Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket coming together to unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's father while meeting new and exciting characters.
Well, San Diego Comic-Con is here and gone and, as it usually goes with Marvel, the studio had something to not just hold us over until the film hits theaters, but to make us beg for 2017 to get here as fast as it can. One of the biggest mysteries from the film was who Kurt Russell was playing, and that mystery was solved during the Guardians of the Galaxy portion of the Marvel panel at Hall H on Saturday. Many rumors indicated he would be playing Star-Lord's father and yes, that's proved to be the case...but that's not all.
So Who Is Kurt Russell Playing?
Russell is... the person who raised Pom Klementiff's Mantis and is also Peter Quill's father. But he's also Ego the Living Planet!
After Saturday's Marvel SDCC panel, James Gunn talked about Ego's role in the film as Peter Quill's dad in more detail through his Facebook:
“Yeah, his dad is a planet… Sort of. It will all be explained in the film. But to me, this is the absolute center of Vol. 2, and one of the reasons I’ve been so excited about it.”
Talking about the ridiculousness of the character, he said this:
“Ego [the Living Planet] seemed, in many ways, like an even more ridiculous character. But I asked myself, if a planet was alive, how could that be? And how could it father a child? The answers to those questions took me to a far deeper place [than] I expected. I don’t want to give away too many answers at this time. But what Nova Prime said about Peter’s father at the end of [the first movie] is certainly true – he is something ancient and unknown. And, as we will discover, being a cosmic being, alone for eons, is perhaps even more lonely than being the universe’s sole talking raccoon. I can’t wait for you guys to see Kurt Russell bring this character to life onscreen. It has been a rapturous experience creating Ego with him. We’ve both pushed ourselves as far as we can go in making him real, and grounded, and emotionally centered.”
Ok, all this talk about the character is great and all but...who is he?
Who Is Ego, The Living Planet?
Ego, by his own description, is the result of a merger between a scientist and a planet when its sun went supernova. This isn't true though. His existence is due to the Stranger (another mystical being who gets a kick out of creating sentient planets) giving the planet a consciousness.
At first, Ego was creating humanoids from himself to take over other worlds. This is when he first encountered Thor, who thwarted his plans. Feeling humiliated, the planet gave up on them.
Some time after that, Ego was about to be consumed by Galactus. Fortunately, the God of Thunder jumped to his rescue and drove the planet-eater away. As a sign of gratitude, Ego allowed the "Wanderers" - a race of beings whose planet was destroyed by Galactus thousands of years before - to remain in him. However, as soon as Thor left, he literally ate them, so...yeah, not a nice guy this Ego.
There was also a time where a colonizer by the name of Tana Nile, working for the Rigellian High Commissioner, took a small sample from Ego, hoping to create habitable planets. Instead, the sample became its own entity known as "Ego Prime." But after a lengthy battle with a group of super-powered humans called The Young Gods, the entity, having spent all its energy, disintegrated.
After this, Ego went insane... well, on a bigger scale. As evil planets usually do, he started a massacre until Galactus, of all interplanetary beings, attached a sidereal propulsion unit to the planet and sent Ego flying through space to keep him away from any inhabited planets.
Something I find really interesting is that, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Ego is the father of both Mantis, the newest member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord. How a planet is able to father two children of completely different races, I have no idea.
Could this mean a friendlier interpretation of the living planet is on the way?
Well, you are now all caught up on who Ego is. Honestly, I'm really excited to see this character finally brought to the big screen. Adding to that the intriguing reveal of being Mantis' and Star-Lord's father, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is sure to be a fun ride. We'll just have to wait until May 2017 to see it. But what do you think?
Are You Excited For Ego? Are You Happy With The Casting?
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Ego was not Star-Lord's father in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. That has been corrected.