What Does Kurt Russell's Ego Mean For 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2'?

The latest Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer offered our first look at Kurt Russell's Ego the Living Planet in real, live, flesh-and-blood form. As we've known since Comic-Con last year, Ego is the biological dad that Peter has been searching for. But now that the mystery of Star-Lord's parentage has been solved, we're left with still more questions about the guy. Like: why is he here? What does he want with Peter? For that matter, do we know Ego is Peter's dad? All we have to go on right now is his word, and we don't know how trustworthy this guy is.

While combing through the new promo, we started to form some ideas about the role Ego could play in the movie, based on the footage we've seen so far, the interviews conducted with the cast and crew, and the character's comic book history. Learn more about him below. 

Who Is Ego?

Let's start with the basics. In the footage we sat at Comic-Con last year, Ego explained to the Guardians that although he isn't human, he was able to create a human body for himself, complete with a penis — hence how Peter Quill was conceived. The new trailer shows Ego stepping out of an ovoid white ship and introducing himself as Peter's dad, much to the shock of Peter and the rest of the Guardians. We don't get to learn much more about him than that.

Ego's new Kurt Russell-esque look is very different from his comic book counterpart, who usually looks more like the above image. The comic book version of the character isn't really a supervillain, but he's not exactly a good guy, either. Mostly he's just out for himself, and his selfish behavior has a way of causing trouble for other characters in the MCU. (Especially when he goes insane, as Marvel characters so often do.) He's hyper-intelligent and incredibly powerful, and he'll do things like devour other planets to restore his own energy. But he's also capable of being helpful or grateful.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 trailer breakdown

What Does Ego Want?

While we don't know how the cinematic Ego will differ from the comic book version, it sounds like they share a similar sense of loneliness. Here's James Gunn on what we can expect from Star-Lord's dashing dad:

Ego seemed, in many ways, like an even more ridiculous character [than Rocket]. But I asked myself, if a planet was alive, how could that be? And how could it father a child?

The answers to those questions took me to a far deeper place that I expected. I don't want to give away too many answers at this time. But what Nova Prime said about Peter's father at the end of Vol. 1 is certainly true – he is something ancient and unknown. And, as we will discover, being a cosmic being, alone for eons, is perhaps even more lonely than being the universe's sole talking raccoon.

I can't wait for you guys to see Kurt Russell bring this character to life onscreen. It has been a rapturous experience creating Ego with him. We have both pushed ourselves as far as we can go in making him real, and grounded, and emotionally centered.

Maybe that explains why he's so eager to reconnect with his son — he wants to get closer to one of the few beings in the universe that he can actually count as family. Or perhaps he's got some other ulterior motive up his sleeve. However, Gunn has also hinted that their father-son relationship isn't without complications:

It runs the gamut of emotions for [Star-Lord], wanting to understand why his father wasn't around to quickly idolizing him and ultimately learning the reality of the relationship and comparing the man who sired him to the man who raised him.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 trailer breakdown

What About Yondu?

"The man who raised him," of course, is Yondu, whom we already know will play an even bigger role in Vol. 2 than he did in Vol. 1. While we were watching the most recent trailer, my colleague Peter wondered if Ego might not be Peter's biological father after all — and if that's the case, I think the obvious guess is that Yondu is Peter's biological dad. It'd explain why Yondu has such a soft spot for Peter, and why Yondu picked up Peter in the first place. It'd also dovetail neatly with a line Peter delivers in the trailer (while we see a shot of him inside Ego's ship, no less): "Sometimes, the thing you're searching for your whole life is right there by your side all along."

The more I think about it, though, the more I'm inclined to believe that Ego is Peter's biological father — but also that it doesn't really matter. Vol. 2 is all about family, but it's also very clear that "family" doesn't have to mean the people you share a bloodline with. Gamora and Nebula, whose relationship is also explored in Vol. 2, are adopted sisters, not biological sisters. Drax calls the Guardians "family" even though they're not technically related. Perhaps Peter's takeaway here will be that while Ego may or may not have been the one to provide Peter with his DNA, Yondu's the one who raised him — and therefore his "real" dad after all.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Ego

What's Ego's Role in Vol. 2?

So how does Ego fit into the rest of the Vol. 2 plot, then? This is the part where I'm just going to speculate wildly based on my hunches. You've been warned.

One of my colleagues floated the idea that Ego might be the villain or at least one of the antagonists of Vol. 2. The trailers have offered snippets of the film's climactic battle sequence, but it's never very clear who the enemy is. The promotional campaign would have us believe the Guardians are fighting the Ravagers and/or the Sovereigns, but mostly all we see is a lot of explosions and mayhem. It could be anybody. Including Ego, in some fashion or another.

Narratively speaking, it might be more satisfying to have the Guardians battle a villain with whom they share a deeper connection, rather than just a disgruntled client (which is essentially what Ayesha seems to be). Plus, Ego would fit into the trend of Marvel casting iconic stars to play villains — like Robert Redford in The Winter Soldier or Jeff Bridges in Iron Man. I'm also curious to see if the Sovereigns' genetic superiority and Ego's high self-regard (and uniqueness) will bring them together in some way. Then again, if there's one thing we know about Marvel, it's that they tend to be really, really bad at making emotionally compelling villains. It definitely wouldn't be out of the question for the bad guys to be faceless randos and not much more.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Ego

While we're spitballing, I wonder if this mysterious, idyllic, and apparently empty planet might actually be Ego. We don't know a lot about the process that allowed Ego to present himself as a human man, but I'd have to assume we'll see his planet form at some point or another. (Why pluck such a bizarre character from the canon if you're going to portray him as a basically normal person?) The trailer shows the Guardians looking incredibly content and happy while visiting this planet, which just makes me believe things are going to go really sour. You don't see superheroes looking that blissed-out unless something really awful is about to happen.

Or, you know, maybe I'm reading way too much into this, and I've just spent the past half-hour concocting Guardians fanfiction in my head. But I'm telling you, something's up with that Ego guy. Feel free to don your tinfoil hats and speculate with me in the comments.