Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 SDCC logo

As usual, Marvel Studios’ Hall H panel at San Diego Comic Con was full of surprises. True Believers were treated to all sorts of good stuff related to ‘Black Panther’, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, ’Doctor Strange’, and ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. But the grand finale (right before the massive casting news for ‘Captain Marvel’) spotlighted James Gunn’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ and confirmed a number of details mixed with some shocking revelations. 

After being interrupted by some rowdy Ravagers and Michael Rooker in full Yondu attire featuring his classic fin, Gunn showed off some footage that confirmed some previous reports. First, Elizabeth Debicki is playing Ayesha, the golden High Priestess of a genetically-perfect people called the Sovereign. Sylvester Stallone is also in the film, though his identity wasn’t confirmed. He was shown interacting with Yondu in the montage shown to those in attendance though.

But the biggest news came when the filmmaker finally disclosed the identity of Kurt Russell’s character. As many had guessed, the legendary actor will portray Star-Lord’s father. However, no one could have guessed that Peter Quill’s father would be Ego the Living Planet. Following the panel, Gunn elaborated on this information via Facebook and compared this choice to making Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon the emotional center of the first film:

Ego The Living Planet“Yeah, [Star-Lord’s] dad is a planet. Sort of. It will all be explained in the film..

But to me, this is the absolute center of Vol. 2, and one of the reasons I’ve been so excited about it. When Marvel first approached me with the first movie, I thought, “Wait a second? A talking raccoon? Isn’t that a rather ridiculous idea to base a movie around?”

It was then that I took a step back and asked myself: Okay, if a raccoon could talk, and shoot a machine gun, how could that be? And answering that question ended up being the entire foundation of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1’. There was a sadness in the answer. Rocket was an animal experimented upon, torn apart and put back together, without compassion. He was the only being of his type, had never known any hint of kindness, and was utterly and completely alone until he met his fellow Guardians. And, one of them in particular – Groot – thought it was worth sacrificing his life for his sake. This melancholy and beautiful undercurrent helped to ground the character for me. He had far more in common with Frankenstein’s monster than he did Bugs Bunny. And I related to him, greatly, and I hoped other folks who felt like outsiders would as well.

Ego seemed, in many ways, like an even more ridiculous character. 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.”

Riding that Ego wave into the final day of SDCC, Marvel displayed Russell’s costume from the highly anticipated sequel at their booth. You can check it out here courtesy of Agent M’s Instagram:

Just revealed: The Ego costume, played by Kurt Russell in @Guardians! #gotgvol2 #MarvelSDCC

A photo posted by Ryan Penagos (@agentm) on

Yeah, I don’t know how it’s possible that Quill’s dad is a planet either. But like Gunn says, we’ve already seen weirder things in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Maybe we have a ‘Wizard of Oz’ scenario here where this guy is operating a ton of machinery to make him look like something he’s not. Or maybe this “ancient and unknown” being can take a human form. For the true answers, we’ll have to wait until the movie debuts next year. But until then, what do you think about Kurt Russell playing Ego the Living Planet? Are you surprised to learn that he is Star-Lord’s father? Sound off in the comments.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2’ starring Chris Pratt, Zoë Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, and Glenn Close takes off on May 5, 2017.

horizontal lineDespite being a “professional writer”, Ben likes run-on sentences far too much. For more of his attempts at being funny and the occasional insightful thought, follow him on Twitter and Instagram.