Connecting Imaginary Dots is our title here at MCU Exchange for speculation pieces, so though the title is a definitive statement, make no mistake – this piece represents nothing more than some informed guesswork, and doesn’t claim any kind of insider info. That said, we think our reasoning is pretty solid, and while we could be completely off base, we think we’ve got a pretty good guess about the new characters who will be appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy 2
As we reported yesterday, James Gunn recently revealed he may be adding only two new characters to Guardians of the Galaxy 2. We expect that one of them will be Quill’s father and that the other will be an existing cosmic female character due to Gunn’s comments on both earth based characters and female characters. Additionally, this character is supposedly one of Gunn’s favorite characters. The exact identity of these characters remains pure speculation, but a variety of clues provide frontrunners for each.
In the comics, Peter Quill’s father is J’Son of Spartax, but Gunn has said definitively that’s not who it will be in the films. As a result, there’s been a ton of speculation over just who Quill’s father is, but one of the more prominent theories is that he is the occasional Avengers member and cosmic hero Starfox, also known as Eros. One of the key points of evidence for this theory revolves around Quill’s powers of “pelvic sorcery.” For the most part, Starfox has a classic Superman style power set – he can fly, he’s strong, etc. – but his defining ability is his power of “pleasure stimulation” or “love power,” which is just about as weird and creepy as it sounds.
Starfox is also a member of the alien race known as the Eternals, an ancient and immortal race originally from Saturn’s moon Titan. We’ve actually already met an eternal in the MCU – the Mad Titan Thanos, who is in fact, Starfox’s brother (meaning that if Starfox is indeed Quill’s dad, Thanos would be Quill’s uncle). At the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova prime remarks that Quill is only half human, and that his father is “something very ancient, that we’ve never seen here [on Nova] before.” Thanos hasn’t been formally identified as an eternal, but it seems a reasonable bet that he might have such a lineage, given his hopes for controlling all the infinity stones.
Starfox is a pretty obscure character who’s barely appeared in the comics for the last decade. His last prominent appearance was in 2006, when he was on trial for sexual assault – seriously, “creepy” is a bit of an understatement when it comes to the characters powers and history. Curiously enough, he was recently reintroduced in the original graphic novel Rage of Ultron, which was released to coincide with the debut of Avengers: Age of Ultron. It seems unlikely that Marvel would choose to reintroduce such a fringe character in such a prominent release, particularly one aimed at new readers who are mostly familiar with the films, unless they had bigger plans for the character.
Oh, and it just so happens that Starfox bears an uncanny resemblance to fan favourite lothario and frequent Gunn collaborator Nathan Fillion, and it’s possible that Gunn has already reached out to Fillion about the part. According to Screenrant, Gunn recently revealed on periscope that he’s already begun talks with the actor he has in mind for the role. While he doesn’t specify that he’s talking about the role of Quill’s father, given that Gunn has known who the character would be the whole time I’d bet that he’s had Fillion in mind for the role from the start. Anyone who’s seen either Castle or Firefly knowns Fillion can pull off charming with a hint of sleeze like nobody’s business, and his infectious charisma (both on and off camera) as well as his clear status as a geek icon make him a perfect fit for the part.
There’s even less evidence to hint at the identity of the likely female Guardian, but I’d be willing to wager a great deal that it’s Moondragon. In the comics, Moondragon is one of the most powerful telepaths in the marvel universe as well as one of the universe’s most deadly fighters. She’s also the daughter of Drax, but is adopted by Thanos and raised by him to be a deadly warrior. We already know that Drax had a daughter named Kymeria, and that Thanos has multiple adopted daughters. It seems entirely possible that rather than having killed Kymeria as Drax believes, he instead abducted her and raised her to become a living weapon. Certainly the revelation that Drax’s daughter is alive (now as an antagonist for the guardians) and that she is another one of Thanos’s daughters would fit neatly into the theme of fatherhood, which Gunn has said will be a key part of Guardians 2.
Now as mentioned before, Gunn has also stated that Guardians 2 won’t include any earthlings beyond Quill, and in the comics Moondragon is in fact a human named Heather Douglas. But then again, in the comics, Drax is also originally human (specifically, he’s a dude named Arthur Douglas who is killed by Thanos and whose consciousness is then placed into an artificially constructed body designed to kill Thanos – yea, don’t ask). It certainly doesn’t seem much of a leap to similarly adapt Moondragon’s origin as they did Drax’s.
Moondragon has a few other connections to key Guardians lore, such as the Celestial Messiah and the Church of the Universal Truth, both or either of which could feature in the sequel. The Church of Universal Truth in particular is likely, given it’s connection to Adam Warlock, who El Mayimbe has suggested will appear in the sequel. Of course, that’d break the two new character limit, but I think it’s more likely we’ll see elements of Adam Warlock merged with other characters – the MCU’s version of Vision already has a number of similarities, and perhaps Magus, the evil alternate reality version of Adam Warlock, will in fact be revealed to be Nebula with the power of the time stone (though that is pure baseless theory on my part). Moondragon is also a key character in the iconic Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning run of the Guardians, which Gunn has cited as the primary comics inspiration for the film – and I’d guess that Moondragon is the “favourite character” Gunn has referred to.
But the best argument for Moondragon’s inclusion has no evidence based on clues or even ties to Guardians lore – rather, Moondragon’s inclusion would be an exciting step for greater representation of queer characters in film. Moondragon – who is bisexual – would not only be the first queer character to appear in a Marvel film (though it looks like AKA Jessica Jones will also feature gay characters), it might well represent the first major gay character in a big budget film that didn’t appear merely to serve as a punchline. If Gunn’s only introducing the two characters, then we’re unlikely to see her lover and fellow Guardian Phyla-Vehl appear, but hopefully she’ll be introduced in a future Marvel film – perhaps after Mahr-Vehl is introduced, who is likely to appear in 2018’s Captain Marvel.
It’s less likely Gunn has a clear actor in mind for Moondragon, but personally I’d love to seem him go with Jamie Chung. She’s a phenomenal actress with a martial arts background who also has a ton of experience with action films and green screen in particular in films like Sucker Punch and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Furthermore, she’s already worked alongside Dave Bautista in the martial arts epic The Man with the Iron Fists and in fact has sort of already played a superhero – she provided the voice for Go Go in Big Hero 6. Casting an Asian-American actress would continue Guardians excellent track record for diverse casting.
Of course, Starfox and Moondragon aren’t the only possibilities – Devin Faraci has a particularly good run down of the various options for Quill’s father and a female guardian (and indeed he suggests both Starfox and Moondragon as likely options). Gunn also stated in an interview with Screenrant that “We may have some Guardians we’ve already met,” though my guess is he’s just being cryptic and referring to Yondu, who is in fact one of the original Guardians from the 31st Century – we’ve even speculated that the MCU Yondu might even be from the future (perhaps a dark timeline where Magus/Nebula rules?) but there’s really no evidence to support that theory either. Either way, it’s pretty safe to predict that Yondu and the Guardians will be teaming up again, and personally I think the focus on an existing character joining the team is a bit misleading.
Ultimately, we won’t know who will be joining Guardians of the Galaxy 2 until we start getting official casting (possibly as early as later this year), and of course we won’t know anything for sure until the film hits theatres on May 5, 2017. Until then though, speculation will no doubt remain rampant – but my money is on Gunn doubling down on the themes of fatherhood by introducing characters who are already related to our favourite a-holes. How they get along however – that I wouldn’t presume to guess.