Marvel fans will finally learn why Star-Lord was able to hold an Infinity Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. As was teased in the first film, Peter Quill’s biological father isn’t human. In fact, he’s not even technically humanoid. Ego the Living Planet, whose name says it all, will be portrayed by Kurt Russell in the Guardians sequel. Director James Gunn says bringing this particular Marvel character to life was quite literally the largest and most involved special effects project of all time.
That’s a hefty claim, but consider Gunn’s description of Ego’s “final form.” “We have over a trillion polygons on Ego’s planet,” Gunn tells Empire. “It’s the biggest visual effect of all time. There’s nothing even close to it. Which is cool.” Fans have seen multiple images of Kurt Russell as Ego in his human, illusion form, but no graphics have been released depicting Ego in all his planetary splendor.
Gunn also says Ego’s imagery is inspired in great part by the art of Hal Tenny, a painter who worked on Guardians Vol. 2. Tenny’s art is heavy on fractal imagery, which will likely look a great deal like Doctor Strange once the concept is fed through Marvel’s digital effects. If Gunn describes Ego’s conception as being built by trillions of polygons, that means geometric shapes (like fractals and the triangular polygons themselves) could very well make up most of Guardians Vol. 2’s aesthetic. That’s pretty cool to imagine.
Gunn has told the press previously that Guardians Vol. 2 doesn’t save the reveal of Star-Lord’s father for a pivotal moment in the film. In fact, the drama of the sequel will be more about Peter learning to live with both his biological and adoptive father (Yondu), knowing that neither of them is exactly what he needs. “I think 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,” Gunn told io9. “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.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 premieres May 5.