UPDATE: James Gunn has returned to set the MCU canon record straight! While fans have discussed the Captain America/Star-Lord theory for a while, and Gunn even joked about part of it in the past (see below), the director delivered the last laugh himself:
For the sake of argument, the grandfather we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy might not have been Meredith's biological father -- he might've just helped raise Meredith and she knew him as her father -- but if James Gunn is saying this is canon, then there goes the fun theory.
So, there’s three MCU actors named Chris and they share enough of a likeness to be stopped on the street under their costar’s names. But what if a couple of them were actually relatives in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Some fans theorize Chris Evans’ Captain America is the biological grandfather of Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord. Sorry, Hemsworth! Should have gone for the head.
The MCU theory first surfaced when fans noticed that the same actress who plays Meredith Quill in the Guardians of the Galaxy films also briefly shows up in 2011’s Captain America: the First Avenger. In Laura Haddock’s other MCU appearance, she meets eyes with Steve Rogers during his grand tour across the U.S. to perform on behalf of the war effort.
Because the universe has been so carefully crafted over the decade, one Reddit user believes the repeat casting to be on purpose, too. The Marvel fan recently theorized Steve and the woman had a one-night stand back in the ‘40s and she must have become pregnant. Which would make Peter Quill a relative of the first Avenger and super soldier! The timeline may check out, too. If Meredith was born in the ‘40s, she’d be in her 30s in the '70s when she meets Kurt Russell’s Ego, as she appears to be in the second Guardians movie's flashbacks.
Last year, the theory was brought to James Gunn’s attention on Twitter, too. Check out his response:
Okay, so it seems like the Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker is taking the theory pretty lightly. He throws out the theory but he also says he “just made it up”... so that doesn’t help bring weight to it. But, Meredith Quill could very well have a mom who loved a hunky Star Spangled Man during the war. Steve Rogers having a one-night stand on the other hand does feel a bit out a character.
I mean… the guy couldn’t even set up a date with Peggy Carter until he was about to crash into some ice. Yet, the Reddit user believes that because Cap was gaining some celebrity during the tour, he may have just gone for it with the blonde beauty. The fan also points to a scene where Peggy shoots at him to test the shield as an act of jealousy from seeing other women.
The fact that Star-Lord is the only one of Ego’s children out of millions who has the inner light is also something that has convinced some fans that he could be related to Captain America. Yet, as explained in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, this was because Quill was older when he was brought in by Ego.
Then again, sometimes one actor could have just played two parts in the same universe. Gemma Chan is about to play a second role in the MCU as Sersi in Eternals after playing Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel – doesn’t mean those characters are related!
What do you think about this theory? Could Captain America be Star-Lord's grandfather? Sound off in the comments and vote in our poll below!