The Guardians are coming! With the movie a little more than a month away, we’re taking the opportunity to introduce, and examine, each of the main characters of the Guardians of the Galaxy. In this series, we’ll be examining what makes each of these characters tick, what are their backgrounds, what are they currently up to in the world of the comics, and how they’ll be brought to the big screen in Marvel’s upcoming blockbuster. To start, we’ll look at the current leader of the Guardians, Star-Lord, played by Chris Pratt. Take one part Han Solo, one part Tony Stark, and add a whole mess of space, and you get Peter Quill in a nutshell. Hit the jump for an in-depth look at this boisterous rogue.
Originally created in 1976 by Steve Englehart and Steve Gan, Star-Lord actually began his career fairly under the radar (wearing an exceptionally goofy costume). Aside from a handful of appearance in the Marvel Comics publication, Marvel Preview, Quill was gone from the super hero docket for decades, only reappearing recently in 2006 during the resurgence of the “Marvel Cosmic” line in the miniseries, Thanos and Annihilation respectively. From his reintroduction, Quill’s been on the up and up, just recently announced that he’ll captain his own ongoing series and making waves in the Marvel movieverse this August.
In the comics, Quill’s mother is killed by aliens as a young boy, who only laters discover that while his mother was an ordinary woman on Earth, his father ruled the stars with an iron fist. The name, “Star-Lord”, is a play on his destiny that he wants no part of, as he bounces across the universe, shirking his duties and fighting against the malevolence of his pops. For nearly all of his comic book career, Quill acted alone, but during the “Annihilation War” the parts of the puzzle begin falling into place, and Starlord realizes that a proactive force had to be put together in order to stop intergalactic threats before they became a problem (and really, what better way to combat evil than with a talking tree and gun toting raccoon, I ask you).
Star-Lord is an interesting case for a Marvel film, along with the rest of the Guardians for the most part, in that most of the Marvel stable has extremely long histories and stories to pull from, while Quill doesn’t. Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor have decade upon decade of super heroics to put on display, but we’re moving into some unexplored waters here. Granted, Marvel’s stock of cosmic stories is nothing to sneeze at, and these are already being mined quite well from what we’ve seen in the previews to the upcoming film, but it will be great to see Starlord explored further in the film.
STAR-LORD!….How Does He Work?
So you may be wondering, this guy’s name is STAR-LORD! What amazing powers does he have and what spectacular feats can he accomplish? Well, the answer is … not much to be honest. Aside from being an amazing tactician/strategist, Quill doesn’t really have many powers to speak of in the super hero variety. Armed with a suit that allows him to fly through space (which pretty much every space goer has anyway), and an armory of guns at his disposal (which, again, pretty much every space goer has anyway), he leads his team of misfits through the galaxy. Quill isn’t an interesting character because of his gadgets or potential powers, he’s interesting because his roguish charm and ability to pick up the chips wherever they may land. He was originally designated as the Guardians leader by default really, because Groot can’t exactly dictate order to the rest of the team and no one trusts Rocket with that responsibility, but has proven himself numerous times in firefights.
It’s a testament to the character that fighting guys like Thanos, the Skrulls, and the Kree hasn’t put the final nail in his coffin. Quill relies on his wits just as much as his armaments, usually attempting to think his way out of a situation, all while making snide comments over the laser blasts. During his first appearances, Starlord actually had a bunch of random powers such as being able to telepathically talk with his ship and shooting an “element gun”. Certainly, the ship communication power would be useful in getting a quick ride out of a battle zone or asking the ship about your love life.
Aside from seeing him in movie theaters this summer and in the monthly comic books with his mug, what are some other places you can find Star-Lord? Well he has appeared in numerous cartoons from Marvel Studios including Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Ultimate Spider-Man and in some good video games, including Lego Marvel Super Heroes and Disney Infinity. Surely however, if this doesn’t quench your Star-Lord thirst (man that sounds weird) expect many more appearances once the movie takes flight.
Chris Pratt, who was originally most known for his role as Andy in Parks and Recreation, was pretty universally hailed for the role of the upcoming “spacebuckler” that is Peter Quill (see what I did there? I took “swash” and replaced it with “space”.) In the tradition of casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Chris Evans as Captain America, Marvel Studios seems to have made the right choice with Pratt as the previews show a wit and level of humor that may not have been able to be found with any other actor. Pratt’s star is on the rise in Hollywood, with the lead role of Jurassic World (the fourth installment of Jurassic Park) around the bend, and what better place than Guardians for him to sharpen his acting chops?