Kurt Russell’s Bizarre ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Character Ego the Living Planet, Explained

In 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2', Kurt Russell plays Star Lord's dad and a walking, talking PLANET. What gives?

Kurt Russell as Ego the Living Planet in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'

Image via Marvel

Kurt Russell as Ego the Living Planet in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'

Right above these words is Kurt Russell, taken from a trailer for the emo AF Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. He'll be portraying Ego the Living Planet—who is not only walking around like a goddamn human being, but is also being billed as Peter "Star-Lord" Quill's father, which had my nerd senses tingling. Why? Because for the last five decades in Marvel Comics history, Ego the Living Planet has looked more like this.

Ego the Living Planet

Yes, Ego the Living Planet's name is literal, not just some fancy title. That shit just wasn't adding up for me. Aside from how people are made (like, the actual "birds and the bees" of it), it was confusing to understand how Ego—a fucking Living Planet—exactly fit into this story, when the Living Planet had virtually no hardcore connection to the Guardians of the Galaxy (or Star-Lord) in the comics. That interesting piece of intel aside, James Gunn was so gung-ho on Ego being an integral part to the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 story that Fox and Marvel Studios had to make a character swap just so Ego could show up—as the story goes, Deadpool scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese needed Negasonic Teenage Warhead in their movie, forcing Fox to give up the rights to Ego in the process. If Gunn needed Ego in the film so much, it must have been worth it.

I know you have questions, namely "how the hell does an actual Living Planet that's walking around as a human fit into the second Guardians film?" There's always a plan when Marvel Studios integrates a comic book character, no matter how small. With that knowledge at hand, let's take a look back at what's made Ego a constant within the Marvel Comics universe for over fifty years, in hopes that some dots will be connected for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Ego debuted as a Thor character

Ego the Living Planet talks about Thor

That's right, Ego the Living Planet made his official Marvel Comics debut in September 1966 via Thor #132. Calling himself "the largest, most powerful Intelligence in all Infinity!," Ego met Thor during a time when Ego was set on invading and conquering other worlds. Thor encountered Ego after an alien race known as the Rigellians feared Ego would consume their world. Ego relents, and some time later, Thor actually helps Ego from being consumed by the god-like Galactus, who feeds on the energy of planets in order to survive.

One has to wonder: if the Guardians are supposed to play an "integral part" of Avengers: Infinity War—primarily because of their connection to Thanos—will Marvel Studios ever bring Ego's comic book connection to Thor onto the silver screen for that film?

Ego regularly shifts into a humanoid form

Ego Prime

While planets are mostly known as round-ish objects that float in the cosmos and can inhabit all kinds of wild shit, Ego is a bit different. One of his most interesting abilities is his ability to control of the organic molecules that form his surface. This allows Ego to change form; when initially interacting with Thor, Ego shifted his surface to resemble a more human face, and throughout his time in the Marvel universe, he's been seen as a planet with a fire old man face (and beard).

This would obviously be an easy way to explain how a living, breathing human like Kurt Russell could walk around as this Living Planet.

Ego's got a big ego

Ego the Living Planet

While it was initially thought that Ego the Living Planet was the result of a scientist merging with a planet, Ego was actually a creation of the cosmic being known as The Stranger, who is said to have given a planet consciousness in order to see it do battle against another conscious planet, Alter-Ego. In giving Ego supreme intelligence, the planet manifested a giant superiority complex.

Ego also has psionic abilities, which would allow it to destroy opposing planets (or enemies in general) with powerful blasts of energy, and if for some reason Ego's own powers have been diminished, he has the ability to consume planets and other stars to replenish himself. Ego's power has been said to rival Galactus', which would make Ego a truly all-powerful being. No wonder he's got such a huge ego.

Ego is one of Marvel's oddest characters

Ego the Living Planet was triumphant

"Duh," you're saying, "we already read a bunch of insane shit about this Living Planet named Ego." But it's true; back in 2009, Time actually listed Ego the Living Planet among Marvel's oddest characters, and with his inclusion in the upcoming Guardians film, it feels like he found a perfect home. Without knowing anything about Marvel's future plans for Ego (or how Guardians Vol. 2 ends), it's going to be interesting to see how Ego the Living Planet will fit into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.

See, Thanos is looming. Avengers: Infinity War is something that's been in the making since the beginning of Marvel's Cinematic Universe. Did Marvel introduce Ego at a time where they needed another all-powerful being to face off against a being who is so relentless in his quest for power that he'd work to gather all of the Infinity Stones in the MCU to turn himself into an actual god? We'll see. It depends on how much Marvel Studios lets Ego cut loose, and given his history within the comics, Ego's certainly able to hold his own against damn near everyone, including a charged up Thanos.

Guess the question is, what's the deal that Kurt Russell signed with Marvel? Currently, his future with Marvel is unknown, so we'll just have to wait and see how Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 shakes up before we plan Ego's future.

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