Ego as seen in Fantastic Four: The Animated Series

Since February, we’ve known that Kurt Russell would be playing Peter Quill’s dad in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, but director James Gunn has been suspiciously cagey about who that character would actually be. The end of the first movie claimed he’d be someone ancient and mysterious, but would they keep the backstory of the comics and make him J’Son Of Spartax, a space-king who is also a big asshole? At Comic-Con last week, Gunn finally confirmed who Star-Lord’s father is, and it’s someone that nobody could’ve really predicted, because it’s not really someone at all: It’s Ego, The Living Planet, a longtime Marvel space villain who is exactly what he sounds like.

We still don’t know how he’s Peter Quill’s dad (though a clip shown at Comic-Con included him taking on a human form and confirming that he does have a penis, so there’s that), but now Gunn has at least explained why he choose Ego in an interview with io9. Essentially, he wanted to avoid making his movie anything like the Star Wars series, which happens to feature one of the most famous parentage reveals of all time, so he tried to make it so that the identity of Quill’s dad wasn’t “the big stunner of the movie.” Instead, he wanted to tell a story about the relationship between Quill and Ego, as well as the relationship between Quill and Yondu, his adoptive dad (of sorts) played by Michael Rooker. He says those three characters are a “dysfunctional family triad,” and that they’re “the center of the movie.”

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He also explains why he didn’t use J’Son Of Spartan, noting that he didn’t like how Quill’s dad being a king in the current comics series “reeked very much of Star Wars.” Considering that J’Son actually becomes a mask-wearing villain eventually in those comics, avoiding that because it’s too Star Wars-y seems like a smart choice.