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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.
|“||It broke my heart to put that tumor in her head.||„|
|~ Ego's most famous line - he reveals that he killed Meredith Quill.|
|“||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 a major antagonist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is the main antagonist of the 2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
He is a Celestial and the biological 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 and Peter Quill's most hated foe outside of Thanos.
He was portrayed by Kurt Russell, who also played Stuntman Mike in Death Proof, and Mr. Nobody in the Fast and Furious series. Aaron Schwartz was his body double as his younger self, and David Hasselhoff briefly played the character as his alternative form.
|“|| 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.|
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. Unknown to her, her lover wasn't even close to being the gentleman she thought he was.
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.|
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.|
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 that 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 while also being annoyed with her for trying to turn him against 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.|
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. Ego then reformed himself, briefly taking the form of Quill's role model David Hasselhoff just to mock him. Knowing that his son would never go along with his plans and being angry over being shot, 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.|
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 implying that he went through worse since he had to go through with killing his father.
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, immature, selfish, cold, dangerous, and 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 ) until Thanos wiped out half the universe. Unlike Ronan, he is very good at hiding his true goal, the latter does not bothered to even act politely, and while the Accuser was driven by pure hatred, Ego is rather driven by a life's purpose. He has no qualms 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. Also, the countless years of loneliness he has endured could not help. 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. His God complex prevents him to see the entire extent of the evil he has done through millenias and he sees this acts as necessary for his plan rather than evil.
As a 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. However, Ego soon forgot about the love he had for Meredith, with Ego trying to explain to Star-Lord that killing Meredith sounds bad but it wasn't really a bad action. On the other hand, the fact that he needs Mantis help to sleep implies that, for all his horrific actions and callousness towards mortal life, deep down he still felt guilt for his actions over the millennia. However, one could also say that he only did it because he wanted to control her as she mentions that he treated her like a pet. Ego also had a degree of fondness for Quill because he was a Celestial like him thus could help with his plan. He never outright lies to Peter about anything (at least, nothing that he really had any reason to lie about). However, he does pick out specific things to tell him and when to tell him. 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. This led Ego to lose all care for Star-Lord and Ego had no problem turning Star-Lord into a battery for a thousand years so Ego can start his catalysmic plan, and by the way, losing all guilt that he could have.
Ego's relationship with Mantis (his adopted daughter) was heavily tainted by his narcissistic and abusive personality. Ignoring the importance for raising her to survive in the universe, Ego treated her more like a "flea with a purpose" (i.e. a pet) by not letting anyone else reside on his surface prior to meeting the Guardians.
All this makes Ego a childish, selfish monster who will disregard his few redeeming traits to get his way.
- Meredith Quill † - Wife and Strategic Victim
- Peter Quill/Star-Lord - Son, pawn, attempted victim, and Enemy
- Thousands of unnamed Offspring † - Children and Victims
- Nebula- Attempted Victim
- The Ravagers
- Yondu Udonta † - Former Employee turned Enemy and indirect victim
- Kraglin Obfonteri - Former Employee turned Enemy and attempted victim
- The Guardians of the Galaxy
- Peter Quill/Star-Lord
- Gamora- attempted victim
- Drax- Attempted victim
- Groot - Killer and attempted victim
- Rocket Raccoon - Killer and attempted victim
- Mantis - Former Ward turned Enemy and attempted victim
- 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 as well as the 2015 animated show based on Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter Quill's father is a completely different character named J'son of Spartax. James Gunn considered this character's royal status to be a repeat of Star Wars and otherwise did not like him in general, hence the decision to change the identity of Star-Lord's father. Concept art for the movie refers to Ego as J'son to hide the reveal.
- 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.
- Ego's death is an ironic echo of how he chose to kill Meredith Quill. While Meredith gradually died from a brain tumor that was deliberately put into her skull, Ego had his brain destroyed by a bomb powered with the Sovereign's batteries.
- Ego's love for the song Brandy (You're A Fine Girl) stems from the Celestial viewing himself as the sailor who is supposedly singing the closing refrain. Ego feels that he doesn't have time for weaker beings like Star-Lord and Meredith, just as the sailor feels that he doesn't have any time for the woman with whom he begins a love affair.
- Although Ego's comic book counterpart was never particularly nice or heroic, he was a relatively harmless joke character when anyone except Jack Kirby wrote stories featuring him. Prior to his appearance in Ultimates 2 fighting alongside Galactus, most stories had ridiculous plots such as the Hulk fighting monstrous acne on his surface or Rocket Raccoon de-lousing his hair. Here, he is a spiteful, selfish, sociopathic, egotistical, omnicidal maniac who is willing to murder anyone who interferes in his goal, whether it is Peter's half-siblings for not inheriting Celestial powers, or Meredith Quill for triggering the romantic feelings that he considered a hindrance. Ego's "Expansion", which involves consuming every habitable place in the universe, is presented as a completely serious threat for killing all other life forms in the process. Much like Ronan, Ego is hence markedly more malicious in the Marvel Cinematic Universe than in the original comics.
- Gary Oldman, Viggo Mortensen, Christoph Walz, Christopher Plummer, the late Max von Sydow, Alec Baldwin, Ron Perlman, Stephen Lang, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Robert De Niro, Michael Biehn, Mel Gibson, and Liam Neeson were all considered for the role of Ego before Kurt Russell was cast.
- 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. Also unlike Ultron who started out with good intentions, Ego lacked any good will from the moment he started his plan.
- 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 as he was already strong enough to wipe out a universe without any outside help.