Coming off of the overwhelming successful and beloved nature of the first film, it’s no surprise that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has already emerged as one of the most anticipated films set to hit theaters this year. Set just a few months after the events of the first Guardians, writer/director James Gunn and those involved have teased Guardians 2 as being simultaneously bigger and smaller than its predecessor, telling a more intimate story set against a possibly larger scale. At the center of all of that too, is Kurt Russell’s Ego the Living Planet, a character who is revealed to be the father of Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) in the film.
Now, not much is truly known about Russell’s overall role in Vol. 2 as of yet. Even the footage revealed of him at San Diego Comic-Con last year was more or less, just a little bit extra from the scene teased at the end of the most recent Guardians 2 trailer. Specifically, Gunn and co. have made sure to keep the character’s original form, as a gigantic, living planet, fairly close to the chest throughout the whole process of creating and promoting the sequel.
However, it looks like fans shouldn’t take that as any reason to get less excited about seeing Ego in both his human and planet forms. In fact, while recently speaking with Empire Magazine, Gunn revealed that Ego’s planetary form wound up being the most difficult visual effect to pull off in the film. Taking inspiration from the fractal art of Hal Tenny, Gunn also said Ego is, actually, the biggest visual effect in the history of film:
“We have over a trillion polygons on Ego’s planet. It’s the biggest visual effect of all time. There’s nothing even close to it. Which is cool.”
Audiences and fans spent years speculating about who Star-Lord’s father was going to be, after the first Guardians of the Galaxy made a point of teasing and dropping clues as to who it could be. As a result, Gunn was admirably tight-lipped about the character’s identity for almost two years straight, before it was announced that Kurt Russell would indeed be playing Quill’s father, and that he would, indeed, be playing Ego the Living Planet. Suffice it to say, the reaction to the news was a pleasant mixture of genuine shock, confusion, and excitement.
As most fans would agree, though, after taking into account just how massive of a planet and how expressive of a character Ego manages to be in the comics, this news isn’t really surprising. But Gunn’s comments do raise some questions about the nature of Russell’s performance in the film, and what exactly he’ll be contributing when audiences are seeing Ego in his original form. There’s no way of knowing for sure until the film hits theaters this May, but it does continue to build on Gunn and Chris Pratt’s previous comments about Vol. 2 being the largest spectacle film of all time. Now, at the very least, it’s guaranteed to have the biggest visual effect.