Marvel’s panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con dropped a lot of details for their upcoming projects including a new trailer for Doctor Strange, Brie Larson’s casting as Captain Marvel, and Black Panther’s extended cast. But one of the weirdest reveals was Kurt Russell’s character in James Gunn’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
While many fans knew Russell would be cast as Star-Lord’s father in the sequel, the reveal that Russell would be playing the living planet Ego came from left field. Mostly because canonically, Ego hasn’t really been associated with Peter Quill. Still, reports out of Comic-Con confirm the existence of Ego the Living Planet so who or what exactly is Ego?
Ego’s origin is complicated, messy, and has gone through a couple revisions over the years. Originally, it was assumed that Ego formed naturally like any other planet, collecting dust and rock bits to form a planet, and then oddly, a consciousness. Its insides began to take organic shape and soon the whole planet, its outer surface and atmosphere, all came together to form Ego.
However, that turned out to be not quite true, as it was later revealed that Ego was created by a cosmic being called The Stranger. The cosmic being originally intended for Ego and his brother Alter Ego (another living planet) to grow up separately and fight each other. Ego was left alone while Alter Ego was given to The Collector (played by Benicio Del Toro in the MCU).
Either way, Ego was a literal planet infused with cosmic powers and high intelligence. As a result, he quickly developed an agenda of his own, and that agenda was cosmic domination. Its goal for hostile planetary takeover made Ego an enemy to heroes who were tasked with defending the galaxy like Thor and The Silver Surfer.
After losing to Thor a couple times, Ego retreated back into The Black Galaxy where he was originally from. However, he quickly came across Galactus, the planet-devouring cosmic god. Since Ego was a planet, he naturally became prey to the larger, more dangerous entity. Galactus was so deadly that Thor came to help Ego fight him off.
The partnership didn’t last long, and after another attempt at destroying other planets (including Earth), Ego was sidelined from major comics. That is until the Nova corp attempted to control the planet. It didn’t go well and Ego, mad from a lobotomy which spawned a mini-humanoid version of him, went off back into the dark depths of space.
There, he finally fulfilled the destiny his creator had for him and his brother, and Ego engaged in combat with Alter Ego and won. However, they later joined together, with Alter Ego joining Ego’s orbit as a moon. Together, they’ve calmed down and stopped trying to destroy other planets and each other.
So yeah, crazy stuff.
Canonically Peter Quill’s father is usually J’son of the Spartoi Empire, but it looks like the idea of making Peter’s dad a living planet was too much for James Gunn to pass up. While Ego has a history of creating mini, human versions of himself in the comics, it’s unknown exactly how Ego’s full appearance will be handled in the film. The clip teased at Comic-Con confirms that Kurt Russell is a human form created by Ego, to which Drax asks if he even made a penis for his human self (spoiler: yes he did).
It’s left to be seen just how insane the whole thing will turn out in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. While the trailer is still under wraps, images of Ego’s costume in the film have made their way online. Audiences can expect top levels of insanity with Ego, the living planet, when the sequel hits theaters May 5, 2017.