Peter Quill was introduced to the Marvel universe in 1976, a year shy of the mega hit space opera Star Wars. Now, almost 40 years later Peter made his debut on the big screen in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. The casual viewer may not have been surprised that GOTG was a mega hit, but some of the hard core Marvel readers were surprised that the film was even made in the first place. To be honest, when someone says Marvel Hero you’d likely think of Peter Parker (Spider-Man) before you think of Peter Quill, Star-Lord. This puts Marvel in unique situation. Given that he is not a well-known character such as the Iron Man, it allows them to be free of the established comic book canon.
The Star-Lord Back Story
Branded a traitor, J’Son of Spartax fled from his home that was on the verge of a galactic war. Crash landing on Earth, he was rescued and nursed back to health by Meredith Quill. During the year it took to repair his ship they had developed a relationship and eventually had fallen in love. With the ship finally repaired, J’Son, reluctantly had to return to his home world. Fearing that he may endanger his love and unborn son, he left Meredith pregnant with Peter on Earth. He had also placed a mental block of her so she would not remember him and spare her any heartache.
Years later, enemies of J’Son were sent to Earth to kill Meredith and her young son. Peter survived the encounter and was placed in an orphanage and vowed to one day seek revenge on space…or something. Growing up he is able to work for NASA and is sent into space to work on a space station called Eve. There an alien appeared before the crew calling itself ‘Star-Lord’ and was looking for recruits. Peter is actually deemed unworthy and booted back to Earth. Pissed that he may not get the chance to avenge his mother he steals a ship from Cape Canaveral and shoots himself back into space, knocks out the guy who was actually up to be Star-Lord and meets before The Master of the Sun. Peter admits to his wrong doing and need for vengeance yet the Master of the Sun allows him to become the new Star-Lord.
It would be some time in the character's continuity before he eventually met his father and learned the truth of his alien and loyal heritage.
Peter’s story like most in comics has been retconned a few times but the basic idea is there: his mother is of Earth and his father is a space alien from the furthest reaches of Space. You’ll also notice that the above paragraph is nothing like the origin for Peter that we saw in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy (Thank God.)
So we know that Marvel is willing to break some rules when it comes to this franchise which leads me to…
My Theory of Who Peter’s Father is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
According to James Gunn, the writer and director of ‘GOTG’ and its upcoming sequel, J’Son will not be the father. When watching the first film audiences of course noticed that his father was talked about but never revealed. To an extent this makes sense. The film was never about who his father was, it is about the absence of family and finding a new one. It makes perfect sense to continue the story of his father's identity in the sequel. Given the type of hints that were left in the film, Marvel fans assumed that they would all point to J’Son. It may also be fair to say that so did the execs at Marvel Studios. James Gunn it seems has a trick up his sleeve. In another interview about ‘GOTG2’ he explains:
"It’s different than what’s in the comic books. Peter Quill’s father is somebody different in the comics. So then when the movie came out, we got green-lit on the sequel right away. I went in and I sat down with those guys and I’m like, ‘Okay, here’s what I think the sequel should be.’ And they were like, ‘Oh, whoa. That’s risky, but okay,’" he said. "Now I’m going to turn over the story in a few short weeks and we’ll find out how well it works.”
I am fascinated by the word ‘Risky’ and that Marvel would choose to use that word. After all, it was a damn risky move to even film a lesser known comic from the seventies on the heals of The Avengers. So what could be so risky? How far are they departing from the cannon? Who is Peter’s father?
First of all lets go over what we do know and what’s been given to us.
In the opening of the film, we see Peter standing before his mother as she is dying in the hospital. She notices an injury from a fight and asks him why he’s been fighting the other boys. He is upset because other kids killed a defenseless frog. She replies:
“You're so like your daddy, you even look like him. And he was an angel, composed of pure light...”
Ok, so his father is an angelic being of light and perhaps had a strong sense of right and wrong and was willing to fight for it. Like defending a harmless frog.
After the climactic battle with Ronan the Accuser, Yondu, the man who collects Peter when he was a boy:
Kraglin: Yeah, Quill turned out okay. It's probably good we didn't deliver him to his dad like we was hired to do.
Yondu Udonta: Yeah, that guy was a jackass.
Let’s also note that Peter was able to hold on to one of the infinity stones. The Nova Corps was also able to determine that he is only half human and half something else? An unknown alien species.
So far we have:
Angel, composed of pure light
A fighter and possibly one that defends others
Strong, like stronger than any human we’ve seen in the Marvel films so far
Alien, but not so alien that Peter wouldn’t look human
What alien species have we seen thus far in any of the film franchises that fit this description?
That’s right. Peter’s father is from Asgard. I’m not saying it’s Thor or Odin but I believe his dad may be of Asgardian descent.
Remember, the characters of Thor as well as Guardians have crossed over already. In the post credit scene for The Dark World we find Lady Sif and Volstagg visiting the Collector at his base “Knowere” you know, the giant following head of a dead celestial? Well it’s also the same location in Guardians of the Galaxy. We now that Asgardians can and have traveled to other parts of the galaxy to enlist the service of others! Like asking the Collector to store the Ether. So whats to stop them from asking to pick up a kid they left behind on Earth?
We know that Asgards know about Earth well before the events of the first Thor film and have been there! And how do the Asgardsians get around? That’s right the bifrost and they come down in a beacon of light, very much like an Angel.
This fits the criteria: They are angelic, God-like, travel in light, they are natural warriors who protect the weak, they are strong and could very well hold on to an Infinity gem, they are aliens but they also look human. Having an Asgardian be Peter’s father could work for Gunn on a narrative level. It would be anticlimactic for him to use an alien species that most casual movie fans wouldn’t know. If he were to use an Asgrdian, culture of aliens that we have seen in 3 films prior to ‘GOTG’ could work and pack quite a punch. And just for giggles, remember when Peter was upset those kids were picking on a frog? Well….maybe there was a reason for that.
Sure, may be its a stretch but I think the possibility of Peter Quill being Asgardian is not only a real possibility but an exciting one. It would serve as excellent narrative connective tissue for the Marvel cinematic universe. GOTG is set to be released a full year before Thor: Ragnarok, perhaps it could serve as a two part story with series time line. If he's not from Asgard, perhaps his father could be Inhuman?
Only time will tell!