Kurt Russell is Ego, the Living Planet!
But that’s not the question you want answered, is it?
Hey, epistemophiles, and welcome to another installment of the Answer-Man’s Archives, where folk send me questions they wouldn’t dare bring to anyone else without getting that look…
With that in mind, we have learned that Kurt Russell (Big Trouble in Little China, Furious 7, Death Proof — as well as a bunch of other movies I had totally blanked on — my god, how long has this guy been acting?) —will be appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
When we heard Russell was going to be in this movie, we were asking ourselves: as who? Then we heard it was going to be the intentionally mysterious father of Star-Lord. A father so mysterious, his genetics allowed Peter Quill to pick up an Infinity Stone (the Power Orb) and not immediately turn into an awesome fireworks display like others who were not so fortunate. See: Carina; assistant and slave servant to the enigmatic and more than occasionally monstrous, Elder of the Universe, Taneleer Tivan, The Collector.
Before Ego was the amorous, mobile, self-indulgent, planetary body, trying to make time with Mother Earth we see up above, he was significantly less friendly, a bit more destructive and his idea of a good time was reducing a civilization, its planet and anything else they might hold dear into dust. He was a binge-eating Galactus without the herald or the table manners…
For example here was his first introduction to Earth, all those years ago… I don’t think he was lining things up for a call back…
The Dreaded Question:
Okay. Trying to see the logic in the choice of Ego (channeling my inner James Gunn):
- Ego is an unofficial member of the Elders of the Universe (one of a group of super-old, mysterious, cantankerous, dangerous, unpredictable immortals who pass the centuries engaged in singular pursuits to stave off the boredom of their immortality.)
- Associated with the Infinity Gems (always questing for power over their fellow immortals, ties in nicely with the MCU Thanos’ quest to acquire their MCU counterparts, the Infinity Stones.)
- Not much is known about him, making him far more interesting than Star-Lord’s comic parent J’son, also known as “Jason of Spartax” the former ruler of a star-spanning empire related to the Shiar. You’ve seen one star spanning empire, you’ve seen them all. We can skip that.
- Could lend itself to spectacular, over the top visual sequences, including even visiting Ego, the Living Planet. (channeling complete)
- The choice is unexpected but not impossible given Ego’s physical abilities. He has complete control over the surface of his planet, and can extrapolate environments from your memory and genetic materials which can be compatible for life from any world.
- He does this very thing for Thor (in the awesome, must read, Thor #133) upon their first meeting in seconds. He even creates a bio-construct for Thor to interact with. James Gunn has decided, and probably rightfully so, such constructs could be, should be, “fully functional.” (Star Trek joke; you probably had to be there.)
With that quick analysis complete, let’s give you a brief answer to your question.
The entity known as Ego, was the result of a scientific accident/experiment eons ago. It is not a genetic trait likely to be passed on to any of the offspring of Ego’s construct intelligences. His offspring may have other unusual abilities, but becoming a planet won’t likely be one of them.
Anyone interested in extra credit should read on.
After digesting this, I have come to the conclusion, Star-Lord is a genetically-engineered Human with his mother providing the DNA necessary for his existence and Ego either mimicking Human DNA to complete the process, or creating a compatible Human from samples he may have come across in his travels across the Universe. Why he opted to have offspring in the first place is as yet unknown, but maybe he will reveal it during GOTG2.
Apocrypha — Marvel Comics Earth-616
Ego, the Living Planet is indeed a living ecosystem which has a mind connected of the planet’s physical materials. Ego, being an unofficial Elder of the Universe is millions upon millions of years old.
Ego has had many origins over the years, some said he was the result of experimentation gone wrong, others indicated he was the result of natural forces augmented by the Celestials in the Black Galaxy, but the most recently accepted origin is Ego and his brother Alter-Ego were created by the enigmatic cosmic entity known only as The Stranger. It would appear Ego and Alter-Ego were the result of an experiment at a grand scale of Nature vs. Nurture as told in Astonishing Thor #1 and #2.
Ego upon achieving sentience and the full scope of his powers would go on to harass other lifeforms, engage in struggles against Thor, Galactus, Beta Ray Thor and many others.
Ego is a planet-sized entity that has immeasurable intelligence, and incalculable strength. Its stamina and durability are god-like, and it can fly through space at warp speed. Since Ego is essentially a “living planet”, it has total control over its total mass down to the molecular level.
It can shift its surface to appear as if it had a giant face, or grow enormous tentacles. It can make itself look like either a paradise, to lure unsuspecting travelers to their doom, or a barren world and can use its mass to create plant-like growths or humanoid bodies to carry it consciousness.
Ego has an internal organ system that has giant tunnels, or arteries, a brain-like organ that is buried deep within its surface, and digestive organs to digest the living beings it absorbs into its body. Ego also has an immune system that will attack an entity that resists being absorbed.
Ego has vast mental powers that allow it to tap into energy sources such as the stars or absorbing other living entities and use that power for itself. It also has extreme telepathic abilities that are effective over interstellar distances.
Ego has also had, for a time, access to the Worldmind of Xandar and even operated as the base of operations for the Nova Corps. Ego has probably copied the incredible abilities of the Worldmind for its own and is now capable of creating space warps, traveling instantly between locations.
Persistent, annoying, duplicitous, and very, very powerful, Ego acquired the ability to shape the life on his planet to his specifications, and even imbue that life with a sliver of his consciousness.
For the sake of the Guardians of the Galaxy 2, it can be presumed that Ego, in one of his bio-construct meat-suits, was capable of fostering life and did so resulting in the Human hybrid that is Star-Lord.
Whatever differences there are in Peter Quill they would have had to be very difficult to recognize, because he lived on Earth until he was at least ten years old and no doctors found any detectable anomalies. Whatever differences there are in him, are at best genetic but unlikely to result in him becoming a planet no matter his parentage.
However, it does mean the writers could imbue Star-Lord with unusual characteristics at some later time in the future. Such as his ability to survive contact with the Infinity Stone without immediately dying in a purple explosion of awesomeness… as shown in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
If this does nothing else for the Star-Lord, it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “let’s go talk to my father about his planet-eating problem” and have no one blink in disbelief. Except maybe Drax, who may try to figure out of this was a metaphor or not… Metaphor, no. Nightmare, yes.
The Answer-Man’s Archives are a collection of my articles discussing superheroes and their powers in relationship to their respective universes. We deconstruct characters, memes, profiles and how superheroes relate to real world culture. You can find other Archives on Quora and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange or at The World According to Superheroes.
Thaddeus Howze is a writer, essayist, author and professional storyteller for mysterious beings who exist in non-Euclidean realms beyond our understanding. You can follow him on Twitter or support his writings on Patreon.