Warning: The following article contains spoilers for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.
Although the film sorely disappoints on that front, it tries to make up for it by introducing a rather unexpected twist — though the studio had voluntarily spoiled it in advance. Yes, we are talking about Mantis being Star-Lord aka Peter Quill’s half-sister.
But when did this nifty little piece of development come into existence? We’ll walk you through it.
How is Mantis Star-Lord’s sister?
Both of the Guardians of the Galaxy films, and every other project the intergalactic team of superheroes has appeared in, have either focused on Star-Lord’s story, his romantic endeavors with Gamora, or his heroic exploits.
But ever since MCU fans were introduced to Star-Lord’s evil daddy dearest, Ego, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, many have speculated that Mantis, a hybrid empath who accompanied the villain initially, was Peter’s sister. This is due to the fact that the mighty Celestial had a hobby of siring children everywhere he went.
The special presentation put an end to the theories by confirming that, yes, Mantis and Peter are indeed siblings. Peter doesn’t really have any fond memories of his father, who killed his mother and tried to end his life as well in his bid to remake the universe. Because of this, Mantis guessed telling him the truth would reduce her to being a reminder of what he had lost and gone through.
This does contradict what Mantis had previously shared with Drax. Upon being asked how she ended up on Ego’s planet, she had explained that he had found her in her larvae state, all alone and orphaned on her home world, and taken her with him.
How the Peter and Mantis twist was initially revealed
It is now evident that the story of Ego being the only one who raised her was mostly a half-truth. This has been something that has been suspected since Vol. 2 came out thanks to an Easter egg and a since-altered Instagram post.
Apparently, Ego mated with a female from the species Mantis belongs to. This was something that was noticed by fans in the many displays the Celestial presents while revealing how he tried to create another being like him. This was enough for fans to speculate whether Mantis and Peter share a familial bond.
The theory was not initially confirmed
Though James Gunn shot down the theory at the time, the speculation was backed by a post by actress, Jennifer Sharp, who uploaded a picture of herself in Mantis-like makeup and confirmed that she had been a part of a deleted scene in the film. But the original content of the caption she framed — and swiftly changed — revealed that she was indeed supposed to play Mantis’ mother and one of Ego’s many partners.
Evidently, the MCU and Gunn are done shooting down the very obvious assessment of fans and have finally confirmed that Mantis is indeed Peter’s half-sister. The only thing left to wonder about is why Ego, who killed every single one of his children because they didn’t have Celestial powers, didn’t subject Mantis to the same fate. The most reasonable explanation is that it was probably because she was of use to Ego. She aided in lessening the pull of his neurotic tendencies with her empathic powers, which may have been enough to spare her life.
As Peter has warmly accepted Mantis as his sister, we can say that all’s well that ends well.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is currently streaming on Disney Plus.