The first time you hear his name in Guardians of the Galaxy, Star-Lord immediately sounds like a character that was built from the name first, then the details filled in later.
Peter Quill is simultaneously a space cowboy and the galaxy’s noblest defender. He’s an orphan, isolated from everyone, but he’s an amazing leader and gifted communicator. He was pulled to the stars his whole life to find his father, but once he gets there he and his father become enemies. Meanwhile he’s the nexus of a superteam at the center of Marvel’s cosmic universe.
When he was created in 1976 by Steve Englehart and Steve Gan, he was meant to be an astrology-based hero, born of an immaculate conception from his mother and the Master of the Sun. That idea was for him to become Earth’s mightiest space champion and earn the moniker "Star-Lord" after completing some astrological rite of passage. From there he would channel the entire astrological table to correct imbalance in the universe.
Creating a Superman to defend Earth at least gives things a place to start, but an Earthling going out to face the universe on his own takes a special character. Of everything listed below about Star-Lord, the one thing most overlooked is his durability. Since 1976, he’s been subject to a dozen different pivots and retcons, and the concept of Peter Quill still inspires readers who hope their destiny lies among the stars also.
For more on this topsy-turvy space hero, here are the 20 Weirdest Things About Star-Lord’s Body.
20 He Hasn’t Always Been Half-Celestial
The most recent iteration of Peter Quill in the MCU has made him a half celestial. He's the son of Ego, the living planet, but the original conception of the character gave him even more family drama.
The story of how his father met his mother is the same, a crash landing on Earth, but it was an alien by the name of J’Son, from planet Spartax, that Quill hunts for in the comics. Abandoned at birth, all Quill knows is that his father is an extra terrestrial and his place is among the stars.
Eventually Peter learns that his father is even more of a rogue than he is. J’Son was exiled from his own planet in the middle of a war and became a villain known as Mister Knife.
19 Peter Quill Comes From A Royal Bloodline
The reason J’Son was exiled from Spartax was a rebellion from his people against his leadership. J’Son was prince when he first met Peter’s mother, Meredith, but by the time Star-Lord grows up, the war on Spartax is still raging and J’Son has become Emperor.
Peter Quill’s relationship to this throne has gotten him into trouble before.
As a child, it summoned some Baddoon to come after him and destroy his mother in the process.
Peter grows to place some blame on his father for her passing. He also realizes that J’Son wages a really brutal version of war, which Peter is now related to.
Later, when he takes a hiatus from the adventures of Star-Lord, Quill goes on to take the throne for himself, becoming Emperor of Spartax.
18 He Has An Extended Natural Lifespan
Since Peter Quill is half Spartoi, he’s got some increased abilities courtesy of the alien species. It’s been noted that inhabitants of Spartax have lifespans three times longer than humans, so Quill might have something like 1.5 times the normal human life. A full two times, even.
If the average human lifespan is something like 70 years old, this means that Peter Quill could live anywhere from 115-140 years.
In comic book reality, this can be extrapolated to near two hundred years, if they round up a few times. So far, the comics and the movies have dealt with Star-Lord’s age pretty linearly, but, should that change, the slow aging factor is a blessing for an adventurer and traveler, but a curse for a friend and family member.
17 He Had Cybernetic Implants
Despite being a Lord of the Stars, Guardian of the Galaxy, and half-super powered alien, Peter Quill is still vulnerable to injury, especially due to his tendency to rush into dangerous situations half prepared. The largest battle scar he’s ever received was in a confrontation with the Fallen One, a spurned herald of Galactus.
The powerful cosmic being was on a tear through space, attacking entire planets in a blind rage. As a result of that battle, Peter suffered injuries to his face and limbs which required extensive augmentation with robotics.
His entire left eye was replaced with an artificial version.
This granted him some increased point of view capabilities, but the emotional toll of that battle was even more scarring.
16 He’s Stronger and More Agile Than The Average Human
Spartax, a planet of the Shi’Ar empire, is more advanced than Earth in several key ways. This is a similar civilization to the home of Lilandra, alien beaux to Professor Xavier, who even lived on Shi’Ar for a while.
This advanced evolution made its way to Peter Quill in the form of increased strength and reaction time, compared to most humans.
After he was orphaned at a young age, Peter Quill worked himself to the bone, joined NASA, and stole a rocket to space. All of that makes far more sense with the knowledge that half of his DNA has alien origin.
Being able to sense that power, he was drawn to use his talents jetting around in rocket boots and firing blasters at moving targets-- saving the universe and getting some revenge on it at the same time.
15 He Had The Gifts of the Power Stone
Parallel to the MCU saga, the stones of limitless power are also being assembled by another cosmic super team that involves Peter Quill. During the Infinity Countdown comic event, Gamora spearheads a search for the Infinity Stones as Adam Warlock and Kang the Conqueror are brought in as a third party with their own interest in the stones’ safe keeping.
In both the comic event and the first Guardians movie, Quill is called upon to hold on to the Power Stone.
His alien biology allows him to handle the stone in a way that no other mortal could.
Superheroes, villains, and fans alike eventually realize that the version of Star-Lord we know now might not be ready for that much strength, but it sets him apart, and justifies his exorbitant title at least a little bit.
14 He Heals Quickly and Tires Slowly
Another benefit of being half Spartoi, Peter Quill has increased healing and stamina, but it’s almost as though he doesn’t realize it most of the time. Peter Quill’s heroism is so much tied up in his blind ambition that he’s still tragically unaware of some of his abilities.
It’s clear from his personality, his background, and his actions that Star-Lord is blessed with the greatness to be a hero. The demons inside of him always prevent that acceptance, though.
The irony and agony of Peter Quill is, of all the heroes with healing and stamina powers, he may make the worst use of his, with his reckless treatment of himself. Despite his healing factor, Quill may be one of the heroes who suffers the most from a broken heart.
13 His DNA Is Linked To His Element Guns
When he was around ten years old, the Badoon landed on his home in Missouri and came after his DNA signature. They tracked it to his mother somehow, even though they were looking for alien life signs, and they nearly got him too.
His house burned down in the battle between ten year old Star-Lord and some Badoon assassins, and the only thing left was the Element blaster that his father had left him.
Over the years, one has become two.
These weapons, which only work for Spartaxian royalty, conjure manipulations of the four elements: Fire, Air, Water, and Earth.
For a touch of heart, on top of all those powers, Quill has made it known that the guns names are Clarice and Terry.
12 He’s A Master Tactician and Strategist
His battle savvy has been watered down a little bit for film audiences, but in the Marvel universe, it’s Star-Lord against almost everyone else. Over the years, he’s cultivated a shrewd eye for self -preservation, leading to exceptional combat skills.
His biology doesn’t hurt here, either. Being raised a head above other humans, he was probably always looking for impossible solutions, knowing the same rules didn’t apply to him.
Then, being orphaned really young, he likely enters every situation with some distrust, immediately scanning for an escape just in case he needs one.
Add that to decades of travel and nearly seeing it all, and it’s logical that Star-Lord has delivered the grand plan to save the day on more than one occasion.
11 He Survived An Interrogation From Ultron
After the Annihilation comic event, Peter Quill and the rest of the current team of Guardians of the Galaxy were recuperating in Kree territory when the techno-organic Phalanx launched a full-scale attack.
The Phalanx are a species that coexist as one massive organism, connected by their shared programming. This made them the perfect target for rule by the once-defeated Ultron.
Star-Lord and the Guardians took the lead on defensive strategy of the attack for the Kree empire, but in the process, Quill was captured by Ultron.
Despite prolonged aggressive questioning, under horrible conditions, Star-Lord stayed strong.
The defensive line held off the Phalanx’s progress just long enough for Adam Warlock and Quasar to take down Ultron.
10 He Became Stevie Rogers
The MCU has capitalized on Peter Quill’s fondness for late '70s pop music. His favorite songs have lifted many scenes to more humorous, and human results. Juxtaposing a walkman against a space suit says all the film needs to about its tone.
It’s surprising that more superheroes don’t have a hidden musical side.
Peter Quill’s love of music was written into the comics as well. During the Secret Wars event, Star-Lord was thrust into a strange parallel universe called Battleworld, and took refuge under an assumed alias for a period of time. His adopted cover was as a lounge singer, by the name of “Swingin’ Stevie Rogers," working in a New York City bar.
Doctor Doom was the villain of that world; fortunately he doesn’t hang out in jazz clubs.
9 He Had A Telepathic Connection With His Spaceship
The Guardians have had many ships over the years. They frequently keep getting blown up or sacrificed to save the team somehow. Perhaps most notable among these vessels was the one with a developed sentience, AI, and even a name for herself.
Ship, as she was known, was a very close friend of Star-Lord’s for a period of time, even sharing a telepathic link.
The two met via their mutual acquaintance, the Master of the Sun.
Aurora was a defunct star that the Master of the Sun turned into a spaceship to bestow on Peter Quill when he earned the title Star-Lord. Ship was unfortunately blown up in a battle with the Fallen One.
No craft since has had her knack for both common courtesy and triple barrel rolls.
8 He Once Wielded The Cosmic Cube
When a rift is torn in space by the War of Kings, Peter Quill and his new team of Guardians fly head first into it and begin to fall through various timelines of the future, each of them looking pretty bleak.
Between the Inhumans, the Kree, Skrull, Badoon, and Adam Warlock’s alter ego, Magus, the battle has raged to tie the space time continuum into knots. Star-Lord has to use the Cosmic Cube to set everything right.
Some of it may be continuity false starts, but Peter Quill is constantly walking this line of being in too deep over his head, and being born for the task in front of him.
In this particular instance, the Cosmic Cube forces him down a path he’s not sure he’s ready for.
7 He Was Enhanced by the Mandalay Gem
In his ongoing quest to steal them all, Star-Lord laid his hands on one more immensely powerful object, perhaps the most mysterious ever: the Mandalay Gem.
Cut from an unknown cosmic element, the Mandalay Gem was created by the Celestials and has passed from possession among the Badoon, Spartoi, and for a time, Star-Lord.
It came in handy for a battle against Thanos, but other than that, Quill remained remarkably untempted by this universal power force. Star-Lord leaves the gem on the moon, where it will presumably be found by some lucky hero or villain, but readers get a more valuable insight into Quill’s character.
For all of his torment and the size of the chip on his shoulder, he’s never much tempted by objects of great power, and he’s surprisingly rarely inhabited by the dark side.
6 He Used To Wear A Suit Of Armor
These days, Star-Lord is more outlaw than man of the people, so the extra-long, space-leather jacket totally works, but in past designs, he’s had a much more classic spaceman look.
Full body suits of blue, white, and yellow armor, with varying degrees of metallic bulk made their appearances in the early days of the character.
The overall impression was much more one of a space knight than an outcast, but the increased armor provided more protection and greater ability to travel through space as well.
Thanks to Iron Man, huge suits of armor feel a bit redundant in other characters, but this was a classic suit that gave Star-Lord his own logo and an elevated look.
It's great alternative for fans who think the current jacket is a little too reminiscent of Firefly's Browncoats.
5 He Has a Gift For Languages
Either due to a biological advantage or maybe just another benefit of flying everywhere, doing it all, and seeing it all with a good attitude, Star-Lord is amazingly adept at deciphering alien cultures and languages.
This gets lost in the translation from comics to big screen, but dozens of Star-Lord comic book scenes take place with him in the corner of some space tavern on an outer rim of a new solar system.
Quill feels like a drifter, like an outcast, and he’s managed to leverage that into an ability to talk to almost anyone and strike up a conversation, either to negotiate a deal, find some information, or to get some help from a new friend.
It’s also been mentioned that his helmet has a universal translator, so that helps too.
4 His Space Helmet is Custom Built
For whatever reason, Peter Quill’s helmet has held on longer than any other other piece of his equipment.
The two red eyes and the blunted snout present an unsettling robot effect, putting an opposing party off balance instantly.
Not much has been disclosed about this new helmet, but it plays into the space cowboy theme better than ever now, with automatic retraction, pressurization capabilities and advanced visual displays. At times it showcases Quill’s quaff of blond hair, other times, it fully surrounds his head for space travel.
Two more notable things about the helmet that fans keep seeing with Quill’s character these days: it bears a striking resemblance to the Ant-Man helmet, and it appears to use a similar shrinking effect. Coincidence?
3 His Wore A Kree Battle Suit
In between the knight-in-shining-spacesuit version, and the leather jacket-cool version of Star-Lord, he was running around in a very traditional looking battle suit of Kree origin.
They were able to keep the blue and yellow, along with Star-Lord’s trademark starburst logo, but it mimicked a Kree military design with a wide double breasted jacket, red piping, and matching combat pants. With a trilobite shaped helmet in the same color scheme, Peter Quill made quite the incognito mercenary.
This was during a time in his career when he was looking for a change, maybe settling down somewhere. His team had gone through so much turnover and he was contracting with the Kree army more and more frequently.
He remained in this suit until after he battled the Mad Titan in Thanos Imperative.
2 The MCU Star-Lord Almost Looked Completely Different
Peter Quill has always been blond, and between Tony Stark, and Doctor Strange, adding a third white, dark haired, egotistical snark machine, may have just pushed the movies over their limi.
Chris Pratt was originally way down on the list of actors in consideration for the role.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eddie Redmayne, Jim Sturgess, Glenn Howerton, and Jenson Ackles were all reportedly considered for the role. Of all those actors, Chris Pratt is probably the one who looks most like he’s from the midwest, and that goes a fair distance toward balancing out the poster.
Still, there’s an alternate universe somewhere where Dennis from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is pressing the button that activates his space helmet and knocking the heels of his jet-boots together three times.
1 He Wore Kree Nega-Bands
If there’s one thing the Guardians of the Galaxy have gotten really good at, it’s stumbling onto really valuable cosmic artifacts. One of their biggest scores was a set of Nega-Bands, originally invented by the Kree.
After stumbling upon this weapon in a wrecked ship, drifting in space, Quill was tracked down for its return. It turned out that once Captain Marvel had made the bands famous, using them to teleport around the universe and defeat supremely powerful foes.
They attracted several bounty hunters and mad scientists. Claiming to be experimenting with Negative Energy, Star-Lord’s former teammate Nova’s unsettled brother came after him for the weapon.
He didn’t wear them long, since they brought so much trouble.
Still, Star-Lord can count himself among one of the lucky few to hold one of the most powerful objects there is.
What else is unusual about Star-Lord's body in Guardians of the Galaxy? Let us know in the comments!