Spoilers ahead for folks who haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Things are starting to get weird in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I, for one, couldn’t be happier. The latest bit of strangeness added to the MCU came courtesy of Kurt Russell‘s role in James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. If you find yourself asking why Russell’s role was so weird because you haven’t seen the film yet, turn back now.
In the latest episode of the Empire Podcast, Gunn fielded a number of questions regarding his smash-hit sequel and quite a few of his answers ventured into very nerdy territory. So while the full episode is worth a listen for Gunn’s insight, we’ve pulled some interesting explanations about the origin of Ego, the duplicitous character played by Russell in the space-faring adventure film. Check out his answers below:
When asked if Gunn knew that Ego was going to be Peter Quill’s dad at the time he’d finished the first Guardians of the Galaxy, he said:
Around that point. I knew before the movie who his father was, like I knew that he was a Celestial, he was a being of great power, made of light, who created himself. So I knew what the origin of Ego was; I knew who he was. I don’t think I decided upon Ego the Living Planet until around the end of the first movie. I definitely didn’t tell Kevin [Feige] until after we opened up and made a lot at the box office opening weekend.
Was he always intended to be the villain?
Oh yeah, I knew his father was quite a bad guy. I thought of him as a very, very bad guy. And he is; he’s really bad.
How bad? Well, remember that Ego not only planned to kill billions across numerous planets, but was also responsible for killing Meredith Quill, as played in both films by Laura Haddock. When did Gunn decide on that plot point?
I knew that from before I started the first movie. I knew that when [Meredith] was talking about a being of pure light in the first movie—in the first scene of the first movie—that that was the man who killed her. That was always a part of what the first story was, in my head.
Despite killing her, did Ego actually love Meredith?
I think he feels those feelings of love. There used to be a little bit more, in earlier drafts of the script, of Ego being fascinated by being able to feel now that he has a human brain. He’s able to feel these human emotions, he’s able to experience them, but he experiences them in a way that he doesn’t really put any meaning or purpose on them. So he experiences love, but he just thinks of that as a thing to overcome, pretty simply and he does it pretty easily. In some ways that makes him worse …
The most important, primary relationship in both Guardians of the Galaxy movies is really his relationship to Meredith Quill, and, of course, we have it revealed that the secondary relationship is really his relationship with Yondu. At the end of the day, Ego exists in the movie, in a lot of ways, just so we can see what Yondu means to Peter Quill.