Comics on Film: So Who Is Star-Lord's Dad in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'? We Investigate

Comics on Film: So Who Is Star-Lord's Dad in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'? We Investigate

Dec 17, 2015

One of the biggest mysteries that surrounded the plot of Marvel Studios' surprise 2014 hit Guardians of the Galaxy was the identity of Peter Quill's (Chris Pratt) father. The young human who would grow into his role as Star-Lord clearly had something of a chip on his shoulder throughout the space-faring film, and it goes without saying that the question surrounding the identity of Star-Lord's dad may be one of the big curiosities that fans will have when going in to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for the first time in May of 2017.

One place that the uninitiated fans can likely look for answers, though, is the comics. In the source material, the identity of Star-Lord's dad is not the mystery that it is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and there's actually a fair amount of material detailing who he is and how he came to be Peter Quill's father.

Of course it's worth noting that the comics and the films are obviously not the same thing, and that even the generally faithful films of Marvel Studios have their critical points of deviation from the source material. Comics fans know of many of the major differences already: the identity of the Mandarin, the overall demeanor of Malekith, Hydra as a Nazi organization, and while we're at it -- what the hell is the "Tesseract?" I thought it was the Cosmic Cube! Infinity "stones?" What's wrong with calling them "gems?"

The ultimate point is that the upcoming film doesn't necessarily have to follow the comics very closely when it comes to specific character details, at least within reason. Beyond that, a type-A personality like Star-Lord's, as embodied by actor Chris Pratt, likely needs at least an equal swagger in the man who would be his father. If current rumors are true, then Marvel Studios may have found such an actor who could embody that very effectively.

 

The Man Who May Be Star-Lord's Father

According to The Wrap, writer/director James Gunn's first choice to take on the role of "Star-Dad" is none other than Kurt Russell, '80s action star extraordinaire, who has re-established himself in recent years with notable starring turns in films like Furious 7, as well as Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight.

While The Wrap is careful to say that Russell has yet to be offered the part, this choice would make a lot of sense. Chris Pratt has established himself as an A-list action star with a sense of humor, due to his part in the success of both the first Guardians film, as well as this year's Universal sequel Jurassic World. That sense of levity would need to be balanced by an older, similar version of Pratt himself, and Kurt Russell would likely be one of the few men who could embody the part of "Star-Lord Senior" pretty effectively.

But who, exactly, could he be playing?

Will the film stick with the recent comic book mythology for the character behind the part of Star-Lord's father, or will they go in a more...unique direction? Well, why don't we start with exploring the man who we actually know to be Star-Lord's father in the current Marvel comics.

 

 

The Man Who IS Star-Lord's Father... In the Comics, At Least

Established most recently in the Marvel NOW! Guardians of the Galaxy series written by Brian Michael Bendis, a human-looking alien called J'son of Spartax is the father of Peter Quill. The son of the Emperor of another world, J'son is a prince and heir to the royal throne of the Spartai people (an offshoot race to the Shi'ar race prevalent in many prominent X-Men stories).

While living in exile after being falsely accused in a plot to assassinate Lilandra -- a plot Ronan forced to be carried out by other future Marvel movie stars the Inhumans -- J'son was called to return home and reclaim his title by his father when the Spartai engaged in a war with another alien race.

On his way home, his ship was forced to make a crash landing on Earth, which put him into contact with a human woman he would fall in love with: a woman named Meredith Quill.

When he recovered from his crash and was forced to leave the planet, J'son locked out Meredith's memories of him in order to spare her the pain of losing the man she loved. Not long after their encounter, Meredith gave birth to a son that she named Peter. Peter wouldn't meet his father until well after he became known as Star-Lord, when he was presented with a choice to become the heir apparent to the Spartoi throne. When Peter refused, his father passed him over for someone else, and Peter resumed his life as the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Now, if he ends up taking the part, could Kurt Russell be playing J'son as we know him from the comics? It's certainly possible, but considering what we know about J'son and his demeanor (generally idealistic and regal considering his place as a planetary ruler) it seems like a less-than-certain possibility. By aiming to cast someone like Russell, that would seem to say that they want an older version cut from the same brand of "smart ass."

 

What Has James Gunn Said on the Topic?

The writer/director of this whole endeavor was asked about the identity of Star-Lord's father in the Marvel Cinematic Universe about a year ago, when many were anticipating the home media release of the first Guardians film. In an interview with Empire, Gunn spoke specifically about Peter's dad when he said,

"There have been a lot of documents passed around about who Peter Quill’s father is between a select two or three of us. That’s been part of the plan since the beginning, that’s something I had to work out before we shot the screenplay. We wanted to make sure Yondu’s place in everything made sense and it does, so it’s all very specific stuff. It’s definitely not the character who it is in the comics, I’ll say that much."

Well...that would seem to rule out J'son entirely, and the potential royal lineage that the Peter of the comics lays claim to. Gunn seemed to have that question well worked out with Marvel by the time the cameras rolled on the original film, so it looks as though they're heading into new territory -- very new territory if the man ends up being played by Kurt Russell.

 

So...Who the Hell Is It?!

All sorts of theories have popped up on the internet, most of which revolve around characters either established in or near the first Guardians film. It doesn't seem likely that it's Michael Rooker's Yondu, given Gunn's statements on the matter. Some theories have even claimed that Thanos himself is Quill's dad, but that doesn't seem likely since that big bad has already been cast in the form of actor Josh Brolin.

Another interesting theory that came to fruition right around the release of the film is that it was the Collector, as played by Benecio del Toro in Guardians. Again, though, if the scuttlebutt surrounds the casting of Russell, then it's most assuredly a character that has yet to appear in a Marvel film. Weirdly enough, the most zany theory comes from something we already saw on screen in the original Guardians film.

The cocoon that appeared in the Collector's, uh, collection (see above) was more than just a piece of set dressing to comic book fans. as it signified the origins of perhaps the most important central hero to the original Ininity Gauntlet comic book story: Adam Warlock. Perhaps the craziest theory is that the cosmic hero himself, who could be destined to stare Thanos in the face in Avengers: Infinity War, might actually be Star-Lord's father. There are a lot of "ifs" attached to that possibility, though, since it might warrant some pretty substantial alterations to the mythology of a well-liked, though little-known character.

Adam Warlock in the comics became one of the most powerful and definitive members of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and served as the central cosmic hero in Jim Starlin's original Infinity Gauntlet story arc. Adding fuel to the fire? Gunn confirmed that the cocoon, as seen in Guardians and the post-credits scene of Thor: The Dark Worlddoes indeed contain Adam Warlock. We just haven't seen him emerge yet. At least not directly, since the cocoon looked pretty broken during the post-credits scene for Guardians itself.

In any event, whether Quill's father is a brand new character or an established character we just haven't met yet, we're likely in for quite a ride when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 drops in May of 2017. For more on the run-up to the latest releases from Marvel Studios, be sure to check in regularly with John Gholson's Marvel Studios Countdown right here at Movies.com!


Chris Clow is a geek. He is a gamer, a comic book expert and former retailer, as well as a freelance contributor to The Huffington Post and Batman-On-Film.com, as well as host of the Comics on Consoles podcast. You can find his weekly piece Comics on Film right here at Movies.com. Check out his blog, and follow along on Twitter @ChrisClow.

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