Peter Quill (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
|Marvel Cinematic Universe character|
|First appearance||Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)|
|Voiced by||Brian T. Delaney (What If...?)|
|Full name||Peter Jason Quill|
|Origin||Missouri, United States|
Peter Jason Quill, also known by his alias Star-Lord, is a fictional character portrayed primarily by Chris Pratt in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) media franchise, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Quill is initially depicted as a member of the space mercenary group called the Ravagers who was abducted from Earth as a child. He becomes the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy after they assemble out of necessity to stop Ronan the Accuser from destroying Xandar.
As of 2021[update], Quill has appeared in four films, as well as the animated series What If...? (2021) as an alternate version, voiced by Brian T. Delaney. Quill will return in the upcoming films Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023), as well as The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022).
Concept and creation
The comic book character first appeared in the black-and-white magazine publication Marvel Preview #4 (Jan 1976). Creator Steve Englehart established the character as "an unpleasant, introverted jerk" who was intended to evolve into "the most cosmic being in the universe", but this development went unrealized after Englehart left Marvel. Star-Lord continued to appear in Marvel Preview, with writer Chris Claremont revamping the character and using science fiction adventure stories like the Heinlein juveniles for inspiration. Star-Lord made sporadic appearances over the next few years in various titles, with the character playing a central role in the "Annihilation: Conquest" crossover storyline, and the second volume of the 2008 run of Guardians of the Galaxy, featuring a team led by Star-Lord for the duration of the title's 25-issue run.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige first mentioned Guardians of the Galaxy as a potential film at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International, stating, "There are some obscure titles, too, like Guardians of the Galaxy. I think they've been revamped recently in a fun way in the [comic] book." Feige reiterated that sentiment in a September 2011 issue of Entertainment Weekly, saying, "There's an opportunity to do a big space epic, which Thor sort of hints at, in the cosmic side" of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Feige added, should the film be made, it would feature an ensemble of characters, similar to X-Men and The Avengers. Feige announced that the film was in active development at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International during the Marvel Studios panel, with an intended release date of August 1, 2014. He said the film's titular team would consist of the characters Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Groot, and Rocket.
Quill is introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy as the half-human, half-alien leader of the Guardians who was abducted from Missouri as a child in 1988 and raised by a group of alien thieves and smugglers called the Ravagers. Pratt was cast in the role in February 2013, as part of a multi-film deal that he signed with Marvel. About the character, Pratt said, "He had a hard time as a kid, and now he goes around space, making out with hot alien girls and just being a rogue and a bit of a jerk, and through teaming up with these guys, finds a higher purpose for himself." He also added that the character is a mix of Han Solo and Marty McFly. Pratt, who was mostly known for playing supporting characters, including Andy Dwyer on the television series Parks and Recreation, initially turned down the role. Pratt had lost weight to portray fit characters in films such as Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty, and had given up ambitions to play the lead role in action films after humbling auditions for Star Trek and Avatar. Casting director Sarah Finn suggested Pratt to Gunn, who dismissed the idea despite struggling to cast that role. Despite this, Finn arranged for a meeting between the two, at which point Gunn was immediately convinced that Pratt was perfect for the role. Pratt also won over Feige, despite having gained weight again for Delivery Man. Prior to filming, Pratt underwent a strict diet and training regimen to lose 60 pounds (27 kg) in six months. Pratt signed a multi-film contract with Marvel, and was granted a temporary leave from his work on Parks and Recreation to accommodate his participation in the film. Wyatt Oleff portrayed a young Quill in this film, and again in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Pratt said that Quill is now famous throughout "the galaxy for having saved so many people... He feels like he's part of this group, a leader of this group. He's a little more responsible and trying to stay out of trouble, but not necessarily doing the best job." Pratt stated that working on the film forced him to come to terms with the death of his own father. Pratt described his role in his next appearance, in Avengers: Infinity War, as a "guest star" appearance and said "you get to be a little more vibrant; a little more irreverent; a little bit more colorful if you want it to be".
Fictional character biography
Peter Quill's father was the Celestial Ego (a fact of which Quill does not become aware until later in life), while his mother, Meredith, was a human from Missouri. As a child in 1988, Quill watches as his mother is dying from cancer. Unable to deal with it, he runs away and is abducted by the extraterrestrial spaceship of a mercenary gang called the Ravagers, led by Yondu Udonta. Although Yondu has been hired to deliver Quill to Ego, being aware of Ego's monstrous intentions, he instead keeps the boy and raises him as a surrogate son.
Becoming a Guardian of the Galaxy
26 years later, an adult Quill is a member of the Ravagers, and has had many adventures around the galaxy. While on a scavenging job, Quill finds himself embroiled in a significant power struggle and revenge war between two advanced galactic powers, the Kree warlord Ronan the Accuser and Xandar's Nova Corps, while also being hunted by Yondu after failing to bring him a stolen relic he found on Morag (later revealed to be an Infinity Stone).
After he successfully retrieves the Power Stone, he returns to Xandar, where he is confronted by Gamora, who attempts to steal the Stone for herself, and Rocket and Groot, who attempt to capture Quill to collect a bounty on him. After a fight breaks out, the four are sent to a Nova Corps prison called the Kyln. They break out with another cellmate named Drax the Destroyer and escape on a spaceship, where they become the Guardians of the Galaxy. Gamora takes them to Knowhere, where the Collector teaches them the significance of the Infinity Stones. However, they are attacked by Ronan's forces and forced to flee, losing the Power Stone in the process. Learning that Ronan plans to use the Power Stone to completely destroy Xandar, they travel to Xandar to stop him, with the help of Yondu. After a battle between Ronan's army and the Nova Corps, the Guardians manage to destroy the Kree warship. Quill initiates a dance-off to distract Ronan while the others blast Ronan's axe to free the Power Stone, which Quill and the others are able to use to disintegrate Ronan. In the end, Quill and the Guardians are hailed as heroes as Quill vows to keep an eye on the team in case they break any laws again. Throughout, Quill is shown listening to a mixtape of various hit songs from 1962 – 1986 in a Walkman that was given to him by his mother, which serves as his only connection with Earth.
A few months later, Quill and the Guardians are hired by the Sovereign to fight off an alien attacking their valuable batteries, in exchange for Nebula. After learning that Rocket stole some of the Sovereign's batteries, they crash land on a planet, where Quill meets his father, revealed to be Ego, a primordial Celestial who manifests a human avatar that allows him to interact with other races. Quill, Gamora, and Drax go with Ego to his planet where they meet Ego's ward Mantis. Ego informs Quill that he too possesses his Celestial abilities. Quill is initially happy to have found his father and to have family again, however, it is eventually revealed that Ego intends to terraform all other planets into extensions of himself, killing all other life, and had conceived Quill with the intention that his son would provide the extra power necessary to do so. After Ego reveals that he killed his mother, Quill turns against him. Quill keeps Ego occupied in combat with his newfound Celestial powers until Baby Groot places a bomb on Ego's brain. After Ego dies and Quill loses his Celestial powers, he is rescued from the planet's destruction by Yondu, who reveals himself as an adopted father to Quill. In space, Yondu gives Quill the last space suit, sacrificing his life to save him. The Guardians hold a memorial to give Yondu an honorable funeral, and the Ravagers arrive to pay homage. Quill also replaces his Walkman, which Ego had destroyed, with a Zune.
Infinity War and resurrection
Four years later, Quill and the Guardians respond to a distress signal and end up rescuing Thor, who is floating in space amidst the wreckage of the Statesman. Quill takes Gamora, with whom he is now in a romantic relationship, to Knowhere, accompanied by Drax and Mantis. On the way, Gamora makes him promise to kill her if Thanos ever captures her, to prevent him from learning the Soul Stone's location which she knows. On Knowhere, however, Gamora is captured by Thanos, and Quill fails to kill her as he had promised, because of Thanos’ use of the Reality Stone. After Thanos leaves with Gamora, Quill, Drax, and Mantis travel to Titan and meet Tony Stark, Stephen Strange, and Peter Parker, leading to a brief confrontation in which they realize they are on the same side. They fight Thanos when he arrives and gain the upper hand, with Mantis subduing him with her powers, until Quill learns of Gamora's death from Nebula and attacks Thanos, breaking Mantis' hold. Thanos is then able to obtain the Time Stone and depart Titan to finish assembling the Infinity Gauntlet. When Thanos snaps his fingers, Quill is a victim of the Blip.
Five years later, Quill is restored to life and is brought through a portal to upstate New York, where he participates in the final battle against an alternate version of Thanos. There, Quill meets an alternate Gamora, who (due to not having the memories of her deceased counterpart) rejects his affection. After Tony Stark sacrifices his life to defeat Thanos and his army, Quill is one of the attendees of Stark's funeral. He leaves Earth with Thor and the restored Guardians, who suggest that he should fight Thor for the honor of leadership, a suggestion that both he and Thor jokingly dismiss.
An alternate variant of Quill from the events of Guardians of the Galaxy appears in Avengers: Endgame.
In an alternate 2014, Quill arrives on Morag to take the Power Stone but is knocked out by Nebula and James Rhodes, who came from the prime timeline.
Life on Earth
In an alternate 1988, the Ravagers mistakenly abduct T'Challa instead of Quill. As a result, Quill spends the next twenty years living a normal life on Earth in Missouri. In 2008, while working as a Dairy Queen janitor, he is found by Ego, who begins to drain Quill's Celestial powers and terraform the universe. He is then saved by T'Challa, who destroys Ego's physical body before he is recruited by the Watcher to the Guardians of the Multiverse.
Scott Foundas of Variety said "James Gunn's presumptive franchise-starter is overlong, overstuffed, and sometimes too eager to please, but the cheeky comic tone keeps things buoyant—as does Chris Pratt's winning performance".
Awards and nominations
|2014||CinemaCon Awards||Breakthrough Performer of the Year||Guardians of the Galaxy||Won|||
|Young Hollywood Awards||Super Superhero||Nominated|||
|Detroit Film Critics Society||Best Ensemble||Won|||
|2015||Critics' Choice Movie Awards||Best Actor in an Action Movie||Nominated|||
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Male Performance||Nominated|||
|Best Shirtless Performance||Nominated|
|Best Musical Moment||Nominated|
|Best Comedic Performance||Nominated|
|Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Male Action Star||Nominated|||
|Saturn Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|2017||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actor: Sci-Fi||Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2||Won|||
|Choice Movie: Ship (with Zoe Saldana)||Nominated|
|2018||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Liplock (with Zoe Saldana)||Avengers: Infinity War||Nominated|||
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