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Spoiler Warning: This feature contains major spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy. If you haven't seen the film yet and wish to go in without knowing anything about the plot, I would recommend clicking away to another one of our wonderful articles on the site!
By the end of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy there is one big question that looms over everything: who is Peter Quill’s father? The movie itself offers up a few hints and pieces of evidence towards the end, but also leaves the matter unresolved. It’s pretty clearly a set up for the announced Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in 2017, but we’re far too impatient to wait three years for the issue to resolve itself. You know what that means: it’s speculation time!
Sorting through the information available in Guardians of the Galaxy of course, the history of Guardians of the Galaxy comics, we’ve determined three different characters who could potentially wind up being Star-Lord’s dad. Long-time fans may think they already know what the answer is, but let's not forget that Marvel Studios isn't always married to the comics). So who are our guesses? Read on to find out!
The Solid Bet - J'Son of SpartaxWho is he?: This takes a bit of fun out of the game, but J’Son of Spartax (a.k.a. Jason of Sparta) is Peter Quill’s father from Marvel Comics. Born on the planet Spartoi, he is actually a member of royalty, and eventually becomes the leader of the entire Spartoi Empire. He is well-trained in many fields, but is particularly skilled as a pilot. It was during an intergalactic war that he crash landed on Earth, met and fell in love with Meredith Quill, and produced a son, Peter.
Why could he be Star-Lord’s dad?: Actually being Star-Lord’s dad in the comics obviously gives him a leg up against any and all competition – hence the "solid bet" moniker. He also has the "ancient alien" qualities that fit into the very loose genetic description provided by Nova Prime, which makes him a believable candidate. Let’s also not ignore the fact that the Guardians of the Galaxy leader’s full name happens to be Peter Jason Quill, suggesting that he was partially named after his dad.
Why couldn’t he be Star-Lord’s dad?: Whether or not J’Son winds up being Star-Lord’s father in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 really just depends on the direction that James Gunn and Marvel Studios are looking in. If it makes sense story-wise to introduce Spartax into the mix, that’s totally possible – but don’t discount the possibility that they might try to change up comic book canon for the better. Hence, there are some other options floating out there…
The Outside Chance - Yondu UdontaWho is he?: If you’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy, you are already well aware who Yondu Odonta is. While his portrayal in the movie is quite a bit different than the comics, the character is somewhat of a cross between Jabba the Hutt and Boba Fett – he’s the box of criminals as the leader of the space pirate crew the Ravagers, but also kind of a solo badass with his whistle-controlled arrow.
Why could he be Star-Lord’s dad?: As we learn at the end of the film, Yondu originally picked up young Peter Quill from Terra after being hired by Peter’s dad… but what if that was a lie and Yondu actually sent himself? Mirroring some of Peter’s mom’s last words, the blue, mohawk-ed alien describes himself as being pretty as an angel, and obviously there was some sort of reason that he stopped his crew from eating the human kid and never brought the package back to whoever actually gave him the mission. Perhaps at the very end he tells his number two Kraglin that Peter’s dad is a "jackass" because he’s still trying to hold on to his secret.
Why couldn’t he be Star-Lord’s dad?: This theory not only strays away from the comics in a big way, but also requires that Yondu is doing quite a bit of lying to absolutely everyone around him. There is also the fact that Yondu happens to be part of an alien race known as the Centaurians, and while they are certainly powerful, they’re probably not the biologically ancient race that provided Peter Quill with his extraterrestrial DNA.
The Wild Card – Adam WarlockWho is he?: Artificially generated by a group known as the Enclave on Earth, Adam Warlock’s first act of existence was to rebel against his creators (who wished to use him for evil) and travel into outerspace, where he would be gifted the incredibly powerful Soul Gem and tasked to help protect the universe. In the comics, he eventually became one of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy - though he obviously didn’t make it into the team’s first feature adaptation.
Why could he be Star-Lord’s dad?: Marvel would certainly have to tweak Warlock’s back story a bit, it’s not totally unreasonable to think they could do it as a means of introducing the character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His DNA would certainly be incredibly powerful, allowing Star-Lord to pull off what he did in Guardians of the Galaxy with the infinity stone, and his cape and appearance could perhaps give him the appearance of an angel. It’s also worth mentioning that Warlock’s cocoon has already appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (seen above), so the door is open.
Why couldn’t he be Star-Lord’s dad?: This idea is largely motivated by the fact that Adam Warlock will probably have to be introduced at some point, and possibly making him Star-Lord’s father would be an avenue to explore. That said, the move would require a few big canonical changes to the character, which would greatly upset the members of the audience who believe the comics should be treated as scripture.