At the very end of the new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer, Kurt Russell walks out of a ship, looking oddly like Spock’s brother from Star Trek V, and introduces himself to the team.
Cool. Cool, cool, cool. Snake Plissken and the Guardians. Makes sense. He’ll fit right in. Who’s he playing?
Say whaaaaaaaaaaaat? My comic book-reading friend told me Star-Lord’s dad was a planet or something. How is Kurt Russell playing a planet? That’s just silly.
Your “comic book-reading friend” was both wrong and right. In the comics, Peter “Star-Lord” Quill’s dad is J’Son, king of the planet Spartax, whose inhabitants pretty much look just like us. This actually makes Quill a Prince and rightful heir to the throne, though when he does finally and quite reluctantly take power he royally mucks it up because, well, he’s Star-Lord. What else would you expect from him?
As BirthMoviesDeath put it back in 2014, “It’s unlikely that Guardians 2 is going to reveal that Quill’s dad is J’Son. For one thing, the Spartoi aren’t particularly ancient or interesting. For another, his mom tells the boy that his dad was an angel, a being of pure light. That doesn’t gibe with the Spartoi being your standard space people.”
On top of that, anyone could simply Google “Star-Lord’s Dad” and have Guardians of the Galaxy 2’s big twist spoiled. So, James Gunn decided to do something completely different. He officially announced at Comic-Con last year that in his version of things Star Lord’s dad will turn out to be Ego the Living Planet, a Jack Kirby creation from the 60s (because what didn’t Kirby create back then?) originally designed as a Thor villain before later becoming more of a roaming foe, quarreling with the Fantastic Four, Professor X, Nova, etc.
Here’s Ego’s (since-negated) origin story (a scientist and a planet merge when the planet’s sun goes supernova) from Thor #228:
TotalComicMayhem has a very, very thorough run-down of Ego’s comic book history, but the key takeaway for our purposes is that on multiple occasions Ego has been able to take human form. Gunn is taking that and running with it for Vol. 2, presenting Ego as a powerful God which sometimes takes human form, e.g., impregnating Quill’s mother on Earth, raising the new-to-the-movies character Mantis we’ve glimpsed in all of the trailers so far. As Gunn told io9:
One of the things I impressed upon people early on is the identity of Quill’s father is not the big stunner in this movie. I’m not leading it all to Darth Vader being Luke’s father in the third act reveal. This is really about the relationship between [Star-Lord] and his father, who happens to be a living planet, and his other father, Yondu, who is an abusive jerk. It’s about the dysfunctional family triad that those three characters have. That’s the center of the movie.
The fact that this twist isn’t some make or break story point in the movie is likely why Gunn was okay with spoiling it in this trailer. Furthermore, his focus on family for Vol. 2 is always likely why Gamora’s ongoing bickering with Nebula was emphasized in this trailer.
But what about poor J’Son? What did he do to deserve this, Gunn. Huh. Tell us that, buddy. This poor comic book character will now be forgotten to history, and all those little brat kids who only watch the movies instead of reading a damn book because they’re practically sub-literate will never know the glories of J’Son.
Classic J’Son below:
Explain yourself, Gunn. EXPLAIN!:
I didn’t like that in the comics J’Son is a king, and he also reeked very much of Star Wars, so I didn’t want that same sort of thing. I like the idea of Quill’s father being an ancient, cosmic, incredibly powerful being who, just like Rocket, has problems connecting to other people because […] there’s nothing else like him. This character has a hard time connecting to other people because he’s a god who’s been alone for billions of years.
Well, that all makes perfect sense. Suck it, J’Son. Plus, if anyone really wants to see J’Son he’s been on DisneyXD’s animated Guardians of the Galaxy series.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2…well, you know the drill by now. It comes out the first week of May in the States and other select countries, but in late-April throughout most of Europe. It’s the Marvel Studios way.