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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Starro from the DC Extended Universe. The mainstream version can be found here: Starro.
Villain Overview

Brought us visitors have you Grieves? Have you come to save me from that madman? Thirty years he's kept me here, tortured me, had his way with me!
~ Starro's first words in the film.
THIS CITY IS MINE!
~ Starro preparing to take over Corto Maltese.
I was happy. Floating... Staring at the stars...
~ Starro's last words before its death.

Starro the Conqueror, otherwise known as Project Starfish, is one of the two main antagonists (alongside The Thinker) of the 2021 film The Suicide Squad, the tenth installment in the DC Extended Universe.

It was an alien starfish-like creature with telepathic abilities held captive in the Corto Maltese Nazi base Jotunheim by Gaius Grieves for thirty years. After being inadvertently freed the creature went on a massive rampage throughout the city which it now felt it was entitled to.

Biography

Backstory

Thirty years prior to the events of the film, Starro was found by American astronauts during an exhibition and brought back to earth and sent to Corto Maltese where Gaius Grieves AKA The Thinker led a scientific investigation into what would be dubbed as "Project Starfish", due to the starfish's ability to send an endless supply of miniature versions of itself to latch onto people's faces to take over their bodies and expand himself. Grieves would dub the creature as "Starro the Conqueror" and Corto Maltese officials abused this ability from the creature to have it take care of any potential threats or leaks of the truth behind the island as well as the research being done by The Thinker and his team.

The experimentation on Starro continued for 30 years until the Corto Maltese's governing family was taken down in a military coup. The country's new rulers intended to use Starro as a weapon to attack USA, prompting Amanda Waller to decide to destroy Project Starfish in its entirety, also taking the chance to clean up any loose ends regarding USA's involvement with the project. For that purpose she assembled two Task Force X teams to infiltrate Corto Maltese and remove any and all traces of its existence.

The Suicide Squad

I call it Starro the Conqueror!
~ The Thinker introducing Starro to Rick Flag and Ratcatcher 2.

Starro made its first appearance as The Thinker introduced Silvio Luna and General Suarez to it much to their amazement and simultaneous horror of both men with The Thinker using the demonstration as leverage to get him into Luna's closest circle. Task Force X kidnapped Grieves and forced him to get them into the experimentation chamber. Thinker arrived at the chamber with Ratcatcher 2 and Rick Flag, Starro through its many victims questioned the presence of the new people in the room and begged them to save it from Grieves who smiled sadistically at Starro's cries.

Here Grieves explained everything about Starro to the two who are horrified to learn of the truth, especially when they learn of the American government and Amanda Waller's involvement with the creature, Rick Flag decided to turn against Waller intending to expose USA's dirty secret only to be stopped by Peacemaker who was promised a pardon in exchange for ensuring the incriminating evidence was destroyed. In the ensuing argument between the two men the bombs placed within Jotunheim to destroy it and Starro inadvertently went off early and in the wrong location thanks to a mishap involving Polka Dot Man, resulting in a massive explosion.

The explosion destroyed Starro's prison much to the horror of everyone in the room, especially The Thinker who was quickly dragged before the creature he abused and tortured for so many years. Although he tried to plead with Starro to spare him it simply ignored him and viciously ripped him in half as revenge for thirty years of torture before smashing him to death against a window. After making work of The Thinker Starro made its way outside destroying the rest of Joutenheim in the process. The Corto Maltese army immediately attempted to fire at Starro which didn't accomplish anything other than angering Starro. Starro responded by releasing hundreds of its spores to take over everyone in the area except for the few surviving members of Task Force X who were able to either shield their faces or kill the spores as they flew in their direction. Starro, knowing that Task Force X were the ones responsible for setting it free, chose not to assimilate them, instead simply using one of its drones to tell proclaiming that the city now belongs to it before taking off to go in a rampage destroying multiple buildings and taking over thousands of innocent civilians.

Against Waller's wishes Task Force X remained behind to fight Starro, Starro initially ignored them until they started attacking it prompting it to retaliate with its massive size and army of mind controlled drones. While most of Task Force X's attacks merely bounced off Starro, Polka Dot Man was able to inflict major damage to it with its deadly Polka Dots, but this was short lived when Starro crushed Polka Dot Man with one of its legs killing him immediately. Starro then proceeded to overpower the rest of Task Force X one by one, when the battle seemed lost Starro triumphantly yelled "THIS CITY IS MINE!!" through its drones once again, but Ratcatcher 2 responded by summoning an army of millions of rats to attack Starro all at once. Through sheer numbers the rats were able to overwhelm Starro giving Harley Quinn a chance to stab it in the eye with the javelin once belonging to Javelin, this then created an opening for the millions of rats to swarm into Starro's eye. The rats began gnawing at all of Starro's nerves until finally Starro, overwhelmed at the attacks collapses to the ground, dead followed by all of his victims. Before finally succumbing to its wounds Starro professed to the squad that it was happy when it was floating aimlessly in space and admiring the stars before being captured by the astronauts.

Personality

Starro was originally a being who was content with drifting across space and was quite gentle and docile. When it was captured and tortured and abused in multiple ways by The Thinker over the course of thirty years, it grew a strong hatred for humanity and was left as a frightened, angry and pained wreck. Since then, Starro has longed to conquer, hence it was given the title "The Conqueror" by The Thinker.

Starro seems to only attack when threatened, upon escaping its captivity Starro initially did not act hostile until the Corto Maltese army fired at it which prompted Starro to decide to take over the entire city in retaliation, likewise when Task Force X avoided Starro's assimilation of the Corto Maltese Army Starro did not attempt to assimilate them again and allowed them to walk away from its rampage, only beginning to fight them once they actively started provoking it with attacks.

Starro also despised The Thinker above any other being thanks to years of torture and abuse from him although it apparently was willing to talk to him, probably due to the fact that he was the only being Starro had contact with that it wasn't forced to assimilate over its thirty years in Jotunheim. After being freed, the first thing it did was make quick work of him by killing him in a gruesome and painful fashion, something it likely wanted to do for years and apparently relished in since it didn't even try to assimilate him.

Starro also wasn't completely without reason as it appeared to show some amount of compassion and gratefulness for Task Force X, essentially begging Rick Flag and Ratcatcher 2 to save it from The Thinker and after being inadvertently set free by the group it actually leaves them alone and spares them from its assimilation of the Corto Maltese Armed Forces up until they decided to fight against it.

As it died, Starro said that it was already very satisfied floating in deep space, gazing at the stars in the universe pointing up that it never wanted to come on Earth.

Appearance

Starro had the appearance of essentially a giant starfish hence its name. It's coloration was turquoise and taffy and it had a single yellow eye. On each of its limbs Starro had vertical lines running down its limbs which acted somewhat like vocal chords as they apparently moved whenever the creature made noises. It also had visible glands on the side of each limb which allowed it to produce an endless number of miniature versions of itself. Starro also had the ability to expel, stringy, pink tentacles out of each of its limbs.

Starro initially was rather small, but as explained by Thinker the more hosts it mind controlled the more it grew in size and strength. After 30 years in captivity and feeding on hosts Starro had grown to a gigantic size easily taller than most buildings in Corto Maltese.

Powers and abilities

  • Superhuman strength: As expected due to its large size, Starro has the ability to destroy anyone or objects in its way with no effort whatsoever, being able to easy rip and tear The Thinker apart by using its tentacles.
  • Superhuman durability: Starro's impressive size and skin allow it to survive deadly attacks from Bloodsport's weaponry and shrugged off King Shark's attempts to bite off its flesh. It also survived Polka-Dot Man's barrage of Polka Dots, though it did considerable damage to its leg as seen by how Starro screamed in pain after the attack. However as seen from Harley's attack on the creature it's apparent that Starro proves to be vulnerable when its flesh is damaged which is further shown from its death being caused by the rats eating its nerves.
  • Mind control: As the spores are attached to their victims, Starro can control their minds and speak through them. Once a spore is attached to a victim, they cannot be removed and the victim remains under its thrall forever. As they are linked to Starro, once it dies, so do its victims, likewise if a spore is forcibly removed from the victim's head the victim immediately drops dead.
  • Prehensile tentacles: Starro has short tentacles or tendrils at the tips of its limbs which allow it to grip onto anyone such as King Shark and The Thinker.
  • Spores projection: Starro can asexually spawn thousands of mini-copies from its body. The more minds it controls the larger it gets. The mini-copies can latch onto the victim' skulls and never let go, implying they have inhuman strength as well although it is also shown that they die out quite quickly when unable to find a host's face to latch onto.
  • Psionic Consumption: In addition to allowing Starro to spread his power, the spores drain the mental energy of their hosts and transmit it back to Starro, providing him with nourishment and allowing him to further increase in size.
  • Adaptation: Starro has shown to quickly adapt to its surroundings, having previously existed in space and adjusting to the oxygen rich atmosphere of Earth with little difficulty.
  • Void Survivability: Starro naturally possesses the ability to live and even thrive in the vaccum of space without any discernable atmosphere or nourishment.

Trivia

  • This is the second live-action adaptation of Starro following a cameo appearance in the TV series Powerless.
  • When Taika Waititi was announced as a cast member on the film many theorized that he would be the voice of either King Shark or Starro, however this turned out to be false as Waititi instead played the original Ratcatcher while Starro itself didn't have a voice instead speaking through its victims and King Shark was voiced by Sylvester Stallone.
  • When asked why he chose to make Starro one of the film's big villains, James Gunn responded that it was because the character "scared the s**t out of him" as a child.
  • All of the Starro victims housed within Jotunheim appear to have varying Scottish accents which makes sense given that The Thinker, a Glaswegian man was the person Starro had the most interaction with while being locked in the facility.
  • Starro is so far the only main antagonist of a DCEU film to be a giant and non-human like.

Links

Starro The Conqueror on Sympathetic Villains Wiki

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