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Marvel's Original Star-Lord Plan Would've Hurt Both GOTG Movies

Marvel's original plan for Guardians of the Galaxy would have made J'son of Spartax Star-Lord's father. Teased as "a being composed of pure light" by Star-Lord's mother Meredith, the mystery of Star-Lord's father was heightened by Star-Lord's ability to survive the power of the Infinity Stone at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy. The original script, however, would have revealed J'son to be Star-Lord's father in the first movie.

Joss Whedon and James Gunn both disliked the character of J'son and the decision was made to leave Peter Quill's father a mystery during the first movie. Indeed, having a father who was a space monarch would have made the family drama reminiscent of the many science fiction and fantasy stories that focus on bloodlines. In the comics, J'son is the merciless ruler of the Spartax Empire and wishes for his son to join him. While these sinister designs for Star-Lord resemble Ego's plan for his son in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, having J'son remain Star-Lord's father would have resulted in two very different movies.

Related: All the Ways Avengers: Endgame Sets Up Guardians of the Galaxy 3

The inclusion of J’son as Star-Lord’s father would have negatively impacted both movies. Revealing this relationship in Guardians of the Galaxy would have robbed the debut of its mystery and freedom to tell the team's story. No longer misfits, Peter Quill's title of Star-Lord would have been less endearing if he were royalty. And including him in its sequel would have prevented that movie from exploring relationships between fathers and sons the way it did through Star-Lord's relationships with Ego and Yondu.

As an origin story, Guardians of the Galaxy thrived on the chemistry between its leads. In addition to removing any mystery around Star-Lord's parentage, J'son would have interfered with this chemistry. A strength of Guardians of the Galaxy is how much room it has to tell its story, free to explore the cosmic elements of the MCU previous movies had only hinted at. This freedom would have been lessened if the series also had to support a family drama in its first entry, and would have lessened the theme of chosen family among the Guardians.

In addition to harming the plot and themes of Guardians of the Galaxy, J'son would also limit the character relationships in its sequel. Not content to settle for uninspiring source material, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 elaborated on the characters that had been introduced three years earlier. Using established character dynamics from the first movie, James Gunn was able to wring greater emotion out of the sequel, giving Yondu a backstory as a father figure to Peter Quill. The addition of Ego as Star-Lord's father, and his admission of killing Meredith Quill, made him both an effective villain and a mirror for Star-Lord.

One of the strengths of the Guardians of the Galaxy source material is how new the team is compared to older properties. While Spider-Man and other characters are burdened by decades of continuity, this incarnation of the Guardians only dates back to 2008. While other rogues galleries have stood the test of time, J’Son is not yet a beloved villain, and James Gunn correctly decided to choose a different father for Star-Lord from among Marvel's cosmic characters. With such a short history, it has been crucial that the Guardians find the correct chemistry for their MCU incarnation. The first two Guardians movies have done that quite effectively, and with James Gunn's being rehired for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it seems a safe bet to anticipate similar innovation.

Next: How Guardians of the Galaxy's Delay Completely Changed Marvel Phase 4

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