Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 made a big change to Star-Lord’s origins by ditching his lineage from the comics and making him the son of Ego the Living Planet instead. In the source material, Peter Quill is the child of J’Son, ruler of the Spartax Empire, but this character was completely deleted from the MCU. At one stage, though the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise nearly brought him to the screen.
Fascinating new book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (via ScreenRant) has confirmed that J’Son was Star-Lord’s dad in the original script for the 2014 movie. Before James Gunn came aboard, Nicole Perlman (who is still credited in the finished film) penned a version of the screenplay that saw Peter find out he was really alien royalty. However, it was Avengers director Joss Whedon, who was still in a key overseeing role at Marvel at the time, urged the studio to ditch this concept and go in a different direction.
It’s interesting that J’Son was eliminated from Guardians before Gunn was even attached as we know the filmmaker is not a fan of the character himself. When explaining why he brought in Ego as Peter’s dad, Gunn’s revealed that he thought making Quill a prince was too formulaic and Star Wars-y so he made him the offspring of a talking planet instead. Which, even those who missed Peter’s comic book backstory have to admit, is a more original idea.
Still, it’s interesting to imagine how different the world of Guardians of the Galaxy almost turned out. If J’Son was namechecked in the first one, that means the sequel would’ve had to introduce the Spartax Empire and explore Peter grappling with his role as a prince, something which would’ve changed his whole MCU trajectory. Though, of course, we did end up with a different Prince Star-Lord in What If…?.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 shoots soon ahead of its arrival in May 2023.