When it was revealed that Kurt Russell would play Star-Lord’s father in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, many fans assumed Russell would play J’Sonn of Spartax, the warrior king of a space empire. Instead, Russell was cast as Ego, the Living Planet, a significantly different choice. Now, director James Gunn reveals that the choice reflects his aversion to the “Royal Father” plotline.

Hamlet, Game of Thrones, and even Star Wars, all of them feature what Gunn calls, “Royal Father” trope where the character and his previously unbeknownst royal dad deal with some Shakespearean levels of family drama. If Gunn chose to pursue the J’Sonn plotline from the comics, it would have been much of the same.

In the comics, Peter is actually the alien son of J’Sonn, who rules a military empire that spans multiple planets. As the heir to the throne, Peter is taken by his father to fulfill his destiny as a space emperor.

Instead, Quill’s dad in the film will be Ego, the Living Planet, a character that is exactly what it says on the tin.

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Despite being an actual planet, Ego is able to create a human-shaped form, which is presumably how he was able to become Peter’s father in the first place. The trailer for the film even asks whether or not Kurt Russell’s Ego-Human form has a penis (he does).

It’s nice that Gunn chose to avoid a common opera trope in favor of having a character who is a literal planet, another sign that Gunn prefers the strange over the safe choices for his upcoming film.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters May 2017.

Photos via Marvel