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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Ego from the Marvel Cinematic film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Ego the Living Planet.
I call it the "Expansion". It is my purpose, and now it is yours as well. Over thousands of years, I implanted thousands of extensions of myself on thousands of worlds. I need to fulfill life's one true purpose: to grow and spread, covering all that exists until everything is... me!
~ Ego revealing his true plans.
It doesn't need to be like this, Peter. WHY are you destroying OUR CHANCE??!!! Stop pretending you aren't what you are! One in billions, trillions, even more! WHAT GREATER MEANING CAN LIFE POSSIBLY HAVE TO OFFER?!
~ Ego to Peter
Ego, also known as Ego the Living Planet, is the main antagonist of the 2017 Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. He is a Celestial and the father of Star-Lord. He is an egotistical and omnicidal mastermind who desires to expand himself over the entire universe, which would mean the destruction of all life in it. Like Ronan from the first film, this film version of Ego is far more cruel, malevolent and an infinitely bigger threat here than his mainstream comic counterpart ever was. He is the second arch-nemesis of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
He was portrayed by Kurt Russell, who also played Stuntman Mike in Death Proof, and Mr. Nobody in the Fast and Furious series.
Ego: I was afraid it wouldn't take to the soil, but it grew quickly, and soon it'll be everywhere. All across the universe. Meredith: I don't know what you're talking about, but I like the way you say it. Ego: My heart is yours, Meredith Quill. Meredith: I can't believe I fell in love with a spaceman.
~ Ego and Meredith expressing their love for one another.
Millions of years ago, Ego was born as a member of a primordial, brain-like race known as the Celestials. He dwelled in loneliness for years, until he discovered his ability to manipulate matter and constructed a protective shell around himself. Over the course of many years, he kept building layers over the shell which evolved into a planet itself. The interstellar coordinates of this planet were G52 22C848T12F+E16UC22.
After this, he began to wonder about the purpose of his existence. To find purpose and meaning, Ego decided to create a humanoid avatar, which was an extension of his consciousness, to explore the galaxy and dwell among other galactic civilizations as well as learn about these civilizations.
During the 1980s, Ego met Meredith Quill on Earth and fell in love with her. He takes Meredith behind a Dairy Queen and shows her a beautiful small blue flower, and pridefully claims that soon it will be grown all across the universe. Meredith states that she doesn't understand what he is saying, but loves the way he is saying it before continuing to make out with him.
Guardians of the Galaxy
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: Yeah, that guy was a jackass.
~ Yondu and Kraglin, foreshadowing Ego's true colors.
Ego did npt appear in the film, but was mentioned by Yondu and Kraglin where they brought up the Celestial's request to pick up his son for him. The duo stated that not giving him to his father was a noble choice, with Yondu referring to Ego as a jackass, foreshadowing Ego's true colors in the sequel.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
Meeting With the Guardians
My name is Ego, and I'm your dad, Peter
~ Ego as he meets Peter for the first time.
In the present, Ego rescues the Guardians from Ayesha by obliterating all the drone ships chasing them, although only Rocket notices him. After the Guardians crash land on a nearby planet, Ego and his servant Mantis descend onto the planet and Ego introduces himself as Star-Lord's father. Star-Lord and his father then get to know each other and Ego offers to let his son and his friends come to his planet, and, while Star-Lord has doubt about his true intentions and that he may not be his true father, Gamora assures him that there is a good chance that Ego is his true father and that he shouldn't let this opportunity slide. With that, Star-Lord, Gamora, and Drax depart with Ego and Mantis, while Rocket and Groot stay behind with the captured Nebula. On the ship, Mantis uses her powers to help Ego sleep.
Taking the Guardians on his World
On his world, Ego shows his son, Star-Lord and Gamora the beauty of his planet. Ego then explains his origin; Millions of years ago, he was a small, speck like being that developed thought and learned to control matter, eventually building himself the planet. Ego then searched the cosmos for other forms of life, eventually finding life and falling in love with and impregnating Meredith Quill on Earth. After he heard about how Meredith had contracted brain cancer and was dying, he hired Yondu Udonta to retrieve his son from Earth and deliver him, although Yondu didn't follow his orders and instead kept Quill around because he could fit inside small spaces and Ego has been searching for him ever since.
Peter Quill then angrily asks to know why Ego abandoned his mother during her time of need and he states that, if his planet isn't under his constant attention, it will dissipate. Ego then tells his son that he does truly care for him and wants to be the father that he never got to be. Ego then shows Peter how to access his Celestial powers, teaching him how to create and playing catch with him, something Peter was upset over never having done. Meanwhile, Mantis, while bonding with Drax, attempts to tell him something about Ego's planet, but decides not to when Gamora unintentionally interrupts them. While exploring the planet, Mantis states that there are no other people on the planet because "a dog doesn't let fleas onto its back". When questioned by Gamora over what she was about to say, Mantis hesitates and claims she wasn't going to say anything. Because of this, Gamora becomes concerned over what Ego's intentions are and ends up at an impasse with Star-Lord, who completely trusts his father and wants to bond with him.
True Intentions Revealed
I call it "The Expansion". It is my purpose, and now it is yours as well. Over thousands of years I implanted thousands of extensions of myself on thousands of worlds. I need to fulfill life's one true purpose: to grow and spread, covering all that exists until everything is... me!
~ Ego reveals his intentions to Peter.
After Gamora leaves and tries to contact Rocket (ending up in a fight with Nebula), Ego continues to teach Peter about his abilities, stating that, as long as the Planet's core is intact, the both of them are immortal. Ego then prepares to show Star-Lord the purpose of their existence and expands on his origin, giving his son the ability to see the entire universe at once, all of which is witnessed by Mantis, who heads off to warn Drax of what Ego has planned.
Ego explains that, when he found other life in the universe, he was disappointed at what he found and decided that the purpose of all life in the universe was to become him, and that the "flowers" he had planted were actually all extensions of himself that he planted in thousands of different worlds. Ego soon realized that even a single Celestial wouldn't have the power to activate all the extensions at once, however, two would, and then began breeding with thousands of different alien species in order to find the one whose genetics would line up with his own and create a new Celestial, and would then have Yondu retrieve the child he created for him, however, every single child conceived was a failure that Ego soon killed (the skeletal remains of which were all discovered by Gamora and Nebula). Ego then stated that the one thing he did not expect was actually falling in love with Meredith Quill, and knowing that his love would get in the way of his goals, he decided to get rid of her once Peter was born, stating that "It broke my heart when I had to put that tumor in her head." Realizing Ego's horrifying goals and the fact that he was responsible for his mother's death, Star-Lord angrily began shooting him and blowing his form to pieces, although he easily regenerated them. Knowing that his son would never go along with his plans, Ego uses his powers to possess his son to absorb his power and starts activating the extensions. Before his plans could go any further, Yondu and Rocket crash their ship directly on top of Ego, temporarily stunning him while the team freed Star-Lord and got away. After escaping, Yondu wished to leave the planet as soon as possible, however, Star-Lord stated that his father was too dangerous to be left alive and has Yondu fly down to the planet's core, as it is the source of all Ego's power and life.
The team tries to burn a hole in the core's protective layer, however, Ayesha and her Sovereign drones arrive and try to kill the Guardians again, at the same time, Ego manages to find them and uses his energy tentacles to try and kill them. Drax then manages to convince Mantis to use her powers to make Ego fall asleep, temporarily putting him out of the fight, although Mantis eventually ends up being knocked out during the chaos, allowing Ego to continue trying to destroy the Guardians. Ego's physical form then surfaces underground and berates Star-Lord for trying to stop him, eventually managing to have all the Guardians at his mercy, starting to crush Rocket, Gamora, Groot, Nebula, and Yondu to death, drowning Drax in the sand and possessing Star-Lord yet again and beginning to re-spread his extensions, telling his son that there is nothing worth fighting for except power.
Battle on Ego's Planet and Death
Stop. Listen to me! You are a God. If you kill me, you'll be just like everybody else! (Peter: What's so wrong with that?) No!
~ Ego's last words before he dies.
After getting some inspirational words from Yondu, Star-Lord tells his father that he shouldn't have tried to hurt his friends or his mother, before harnessing his own Celestial powers, breaking free from his father's control. Star-Lord then begins to mercilessly pummel his father into submission whilst simultaneously saving his friends and stopping the spread of the extensions. As Star-Lord and his father fight, Groot delivers Rocket's bomb to the center of the planet and arms it, allowing the team five minutes to escape, with Rocket regretfully having to leave Star-Lord behind in order to not risk the lives of his other friends. Exhausted due to having fought each other at their full power, Star-Lord, too tired to use his powers, continues beating and holding down Ego in order to prevent him from ever getting to the core. Ego then shouts at Peter, telling him that if he allows the core to be destroyed, he'll be normal and lose his powers. However, Peter simply asks him what's the problem with that, implying that he's willing to give up his powers for the sake of his own friends. This causes Ego to scream in agony as the bomb goes off and destroys the core, turning him into dust and ending his planet destruction once of all.
Avengers: Infinity War
In the film, the Guardians rescued Thor following the deaths of Loki Laufeyson and the Asgardians at the hands of Thanos and the Black Order. Ego was mentioned when Thor explained his recent battle against his evil sister Hela, to which Peter relates this to his battle against Ego.
Ego initially appears to be very sympathetic and kind, a loving father and lover, but as his true intentions are revealed, the monster inside him comes to the light. He is a very violent, selfish, cold, dangerous, and horrifyingly ruthless monster, being one of the most vicious and dangerous villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, and also the one with the most victims in one film, surpassing the atrocities caused by Ronan (who was the most violent enemy the Guardians faced before the second film). He is shown to have a huge amount of power and doesn't care about killing his own children; he also believes his form and intelligence is the only one that should rule the galaxy. This stemmed from his disillusionment over life he encountered, which he considered inferior and not reached his standard of species perfection, which made him consider expanding his own power by transforming the galaxy into extensions of himself and his progeny as the only meaning of his eternal life. Ego also strongly believes that friends, family or emotional connections are worth little compared to his end goal of The Expansion as well as the fact that unlike the Celestials, they will die out eventually.
As a master manipulator, he usually presented himself as a charming and respectable person, and hides his true nature by acting welcoming, friendly, and even humble, such as calling his planet no smaller than Earth's moon and stating himself as a god "with a small g" and other friendly facades. When Ego met with the women he impregnated from different planets, such as Meredith Quill, he came off as an otherworldly traveler who only wishes to learn more about other species. However, he later describes himself as alternately "the sailor" and "the sea" from a song Peter's mother loved, demonstrating Ego's belief that he is the only thing that matters in the universe, at least from his perspective (As well as further setting himself up as a kind of evil counterpart to his son, taking Peter's love of oldies music and turning it into a justification for his evil). Upon meeting with the Guardians of the Galaxy and his son, Peter Quill, he posed as a cocky albeit wise father, sharing Quill's sense of humor and love of pop culture references to lull him into a false sense of security and eventually unlock his Celestial abilities. Even with his manipulative and charismatic attitude, his belief of universal cleansing was too powerful to hide completely, as Yondu Udonta ruthlessly remembers Ego as a "jackass" when he was hired by him. Though not fully aware with how apocalyptic Ego can be, Yondu knows that bad things will happen to Quill had he reunited with his father, prompting him to adopt him as his son instead of giving him to Ego.
Despite his egocentricity, insanity, and ruthless belief of universal cleansing, Ego genuinely fell in love with Earthling Meredith Quill. He went to visit her three times until it got in the way of his plans to transform the universe, so he "reluctantly" put a tumor within her brain to kill her. Ego also had a degree of fondness for Quill because he was a Celestial like him thus could help with his plan. Ego also still cared for his son before his betrayal, and instead of immediately taking his son's energy the first chance he had, preferred to get to know his son and openly told him that he wanted to rule the universe together and didn't want to live alone, until Quill turned against him and forced his hand.
Meredith Quill † - Former Lover and Victim
Peter Quill/Star-Lord - Son and Enemy
Thousands of unnamed Offspring † - Children and Victims
Ego: After all these years, I've found you. Peter: Who the hell are you? Ego: I figured my rugged good looks would make that obvious. My name is Ego, and I'm your dad, Peter.
~ Ego meets his son, Peter Quill, and the Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time.
Soon, Peter, we will be all there is. So stop pissing me off!
~ Ego as his planetary form, attempting to kill the Guardians.
Who in the hell do you think you are?!
~ Ego to Quill, after the latter shot him with his Quad Blasters.
For the first time in my existence, I am truly NOT ALONE!
~ Ego's wrath about his loneliness.
Ego: But... it broke my heart to put that tumor in her head. Peter: (blankly) What? Ego: Now, all right... I know that sounds bad. (Peter angrily starts shooting Ego and blowing his form to pieces) Who in the hell do you think you are?! Peter: YOU KILLED MY MOTHER! Ego: I tried... so hard... to find the form... that best suited you... and this is the thanks I get? You really need to grow up.
~ Peter and Ego, as he reveals that he had killed Meredith as well as transforming David Hasselhoff in the process.
Peter: I'd like to believe all of this, I really would. But you left the most wonderful woman ever to die alone! Ego: I didn't want to leave your mother, Peter! If I don't return regularly to my planet and the life within it, this form will wither and perish! Peter: Then why didn't you come back? Why did you send Yondu, a criminal of all people, to come and fetch me? Ego: I loved your mother, Peter! I couldn't stand to set foot on an earth when she wasn't living! You can't imagine what that's like! Peter: I know exactly what it feels like! I HAD TO WATCH HER DIE!
~ Ego and Peter having conflict.
I wanted to do this together. But I suppose you'll have to learn by spending the next thousand years as a battery!
~ Ego, after trapping Peter.
My life, my love, my lady is the sea. Peter, this is the sea.
~ Ego, as he smashes Peter's Walkman.
I told you. I don't want to do this alone. You cannot deny the purpose the universe has bestowed upon you!
~ Ego, while reforming his human form and trapping Peter.
Come now, Peter. I know this isn't what you want. What kind of father would I be to let you make this choice?
~ Ego attacking the Guardians.
And that I did. My river lily who knew all the words to every song that came on the radio. I returned to Earth to see her three times, and I knew if I returned a fourth, I'd never leave. The Expansion, the reason for my very existence would be over, so I did what I had to do. But...it broke my heart to put that tumor in her head.
~ Ego expressing his love for Meredith and revealing the reason for her death.
Ego trapping Peter and using him as a battery
Ego destroying the city and (most likely) killing multiple people in the process
Ego's planet starts sucking Drax inside the planet
The inside of Ego's Planet.
Ego squishing Baby Groot inside his planet
Ego in his Skeleton Form
"What greater meaning can life POSSIBLY have to offer?!"
In the comics, Ego is not a Celestial, but rather an Elder of the Universe, like the Collector and Grandmaster. He has been an enemy of Thor and the Nova Corps for a long time.
In the comics, Quill's father was J'son of Spartax and not Ego. Concept art for the movie depicts Ego under the name J'son, possibly to hide the character's actual identity.
In addition to this, James Gunn didn't like J'son in general mainly because of his royal status, which he compared to Star Wars.
Ego was the second Celestial to appear in the MCU (the first one was Eson the Searcher).
Kurt Russell, who portrayed Ego, also portrays Mr. Nobody in the The Fast and The Furious franchise. Coincidentally, both Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The Fate of the Furious came out in 2017.
Ironically, the way Ego died mirrors that of how he reluctantly killed Meredith through damaging the brain: Whereas Meredith was killed by a tumor Ego created and have it slowly killing her, Ego's brain, which is also his core, was destroyed by Rocket and Groot with a bomb made of Sovereign's batteries.
Ego is a huge fan of Brandy by The Looking Glass, particularly the closing refrain "My life, my lover, my lady is the sea" and he uses said line to justify his way of life. In the way he looks at it, he doesn't have time with weaker beings like Star-Lord and Meredith, since he is essentially a god. Similarly, a sailor doesn't have time with their family, since they spend the majority of their time working.
Similarly to Ronan and Hela, although Ego's mainstream comics counterpart was never the nicest being, he was regarded as something of the cosmic hero's joke villain when anyone except Jack Kirby was scripting him. Up until 2017 with his appearance in Ultimates 2 fighting alongside Galactus, most modern stories had silly plots like the Hulk fighting monstrous zits on his surface, and him hiring Rocket-Raccoon to de-louse his hair. Here, he is a purely spiteful, selfish, sociopathic, egotistical, omnicidal maniac who not only has his hands stained with the blood of thousands of his own children when they did not inherit his powers, he also murdered Meredith Quill, the only woman he ever had feelings for, with a slowly degenerating brain tumor, in order to focus on "The Expansion". He plans to assimilate all creation into himself, which would mean he would consume every living thing in the universe, and kill all other life in the process. Thus, similarly to Ronan, the movie version of the character is a far worse monster than his comics version ever was.
Ego's plan to terraform a planet to wipe out life is similar to Ultron's, except Ultron only tried to wipe out an entire planet while Ego tried to wipe out the entire universe.
Quite coincidentally, 2014 Thanos' plan in Avengers: Endgame to wipe out all life in the universe after realizing that his belief about killing only half to allow the survivors to thrive without the danger of overpopulation was wrong is fairly similar to what Ego's Expansion would have consisted of.
However, the main difference is that Thanos planned to then create a new universe with no knowledge of the previous one who would be grateful for the life they were given whereas Ego wanted to assimilate all life to have the universe only for himself with no intentions of repopulate it, thus making Ego far worse than Thanos and perhaps the most dangerous antagonist of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.