One of the more heart-wrenching moments in Peter Quill’s Marvel Cinematic Universe origin story comes when we learn that his dead mother used to call him her “little Star-Lord.” (That’s because his father was a Celestial.) The upcoming Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy from Eidos Montréal is about to rewrite how Peter got his moniker in the most rock ‘n’ roll way possible — and we mean that literally.
On Thursday, Eidos Montréal and publisher Square Enix released a new extended look at the music for the upcoming game, in terms of the score, licensed tracks, and some original tunes composed specifically for the game. Eidos Montréal Senior Audio Director Steve Szczepkowski hosts the 4:34 video, explaining in great detail how the game’s music will celebrate a rock ‘n’ roll style we’ve come to love from the James Gunn films while also doing something unique.
The game will employ a fun music-based “Huddle Up” mechanic where Star-Lord can select a song on his Walkman and play it for his companions alongside an inspirational speech. When executed well, the mini-event will boost everyone’s abilities. Bumble your way through it, and you just might piss off Drax.
Licensed music from Iron Maiden, KISS, New Kids On The Block, Rick Astley, Hot Chocolate, and more will feature prominently as part of this mechanic, but one of the most interesting approaches that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy takes with music is by reinventing how Star-Lord got his name: He stole it from his favorite band.
“My creative director, he approached me and he was like, ‘Peter Quill took the name Star-Lord because in our universe, he loved this band growing up called Star-Lord!’” Szczepkowski says of a conversation with Jean-François Dugas. “‘What about if you spend part of your day writing this rock album?’”
Szczepkowski wrote some lyrics and recorded the first song “Space Riders With No Names” and sang it himself. Despite Szczepkowski planning to outsource the final vocals to someone else, the creative director liked it so much that he became the voice of Star-Lord the band.
It’s a unique way to celebrate the Guardians’ dysfunctional rock ‘n’ roll family, and also a refreshing spin that seems even more in line with Peter’s personality. The Star-Lord album, called Space Rider, should appear in-game in its entirety. The cover art features the titular Space Rider on some kind of hoverbike fending off a mob of violent aliens with his handgun and electric guitar.
To be fair, this isn’t the first we’ve heard of the band called Star-Lord. A video on character design posted to Twitter on August 10 confirmed that Star-Lord was the name of his favorite band as a kid, and “everything from then kind of just exploded.” That obsession informed his ‘80s style and affinity for rock ‘n’ roll — and why the band’s logo is patched onto the back of his jacket.
That explains those hardcore “space metal” vibes.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy will be available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on October 26, 2021.