Marvel fans need to stop their Star-Lord hate. Chris Pratt's Peter Quill has been a popular hero ever since his debut in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, but after Avengers: Infinity War he's become hated and reviled by Marvel fans. Although the heroes assembled on Titan launched a desperate trap for Thanos, a single moment of emotional weakness meant Star-Lord blew their plan. As a result, many fans argue that he is directly responsible for Thanos's victory at the end of the film.
It's a powerful argument, and it does make sense. The heroes actually look to be within a hair's breadth of getting the Infinity Gauntlet away from the Mad Titan, and they'd likely have succeeded had Peter Quill not lost his temper and broken Mantis's control over Thanos. The Guardians of the Galaxy have become far too blase when the fate of the universe is at stake, and Quill isn't really used to there being a consequence to his emotional reactions. When the dust settles, Star-Lord is left reeling, unable to understand the reality that the good guys have just lost.
But is it really fair to blame Star-Lord for Thanos's triumph? Or are fans oversimplifying the narrative, removing the human element from it?
- This Page: Marvel's Defense of Star-Lord
- Page 2: Star-Lord Isn't To Blame For Infinity War
Infinity War's Star-Lord Problem
The reality is that Star-Lord blew it. Avengers: Infinity War narrative is uncompromising about that; he knows what's at stake, so much so that he was even willing to pull the trigger on Gamora back on Knowhere. Doctor Strange has glimpsed millions of alternate futures, and revealed that there's only one where the "ultimate outcome" isn't Thanos triumphant. Star-Lord himself has come up with the plan to defeat Thanos, one that he's convinced will work; get the Infinity Gauntlet away from the Mad Titan, defeating him when he can no longer call upon the power of the Infinity Stones. Smart teamwork allows each member of the group to play to their strengths; and then Mantis reveals that Thanos has killed Gamora.
In that moment, all the stakes are forgotten, and the scale of the threat becomes meaningless to Peter Quill. The bottom has just fallen out of his world, and he loses all semblance of self-control. Furious and heartbroken, Quill attacks Thanos, striking him - and unwittingly breaking Mantis's hold on him. Making matters even more tragic, that was the very second the other heroes were about to pull off the Infinity Gauntlet. if Star-Lord had maintained control for just a few more seconds, he may have actually had his chance of revenge.
No wonder viewers are critical of Star-Lord. The two-time savior of the galaxy has acted as Thanos's enabler, granting him a moment of lucidity that allows him to escape Mantis's control, and ultimately precipitating the deaths of half the life in the universe.
Actors and Creators are Defending Star-Lord
The Russo brothers, directors of Avengers: Infinity War, don't really seem to have expected the backlash against poor Peter Quill. As Joe Russo pointed out, this is a character who is defined by loss; he lost his mother at a young age, and he was forced to kill his own father. Now here he is, having just become comfortable with his life, suddenly facing loss yet again. Star-Lord is an emotional man, and "made a very emotional choice."
For Anthony Russo, the truth is even more complicated. He pointed to a parallel between Star-Lord and Thor, two characters who came maddeningly close to defeating Thanos. Both failed, and for the same reason; because they let their emotions get the better of them. To Anthony Russo, there's a deliberate parallel between Star-Lord's intervention and Thor's split-second decision not to go for a headshot at the end of the film. "Thor sort of got lost in his emotions in a similar way as Star-Lord," he explained, "and could also have been responsible for Thanos."
Chris Pratt takes a similar view. "I think he reacted in a way that’s very human," he pointed out, "and I think the humanity of the Guardians of the Galaxy is what sets them apart from other superheroes. I think if we did it a hundred times I wouldn’t change a thing." That's a bold claim indeed, given the heavy criticism Star-Lord has come under for his role in Infinity War.
Page 2 of 2: Why Star-Lord Isn't To Blame For Infinity War
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019