When Gamora suggested to Peter Quill that he might find some comfort in going back to Earth in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, he said he would never want to go back to Earth, because it’s where his mother died.
What a lot of MCU fans missed in the chaos of Avengers: Endgame’s final battle was that it marked the first time Quill had returned to Earth after being abducted by the Ravagers, getting raised by Yondu, and becoming the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy. So, here are 10 Ways Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Might Deal With Peter Quill’s Return To Earth.
10 Doctor Strange told him where they were going before opening the portal
There have been a lot of theories about how Doctor Strange managed the “portals” scene in Avengers: Endgame. After everyone was snapped back into existence by the Hulk, the Sorcerer Supreme might’ve transported himself to Wong and the other Masters of the Mystic Arts to tell them where to go and who to bring to the battle and where the battle was taking place.
But he was on Titan, with Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy, so there’s a strong possibility that he told them they’d be going back to Earth to join the fight. This would mean that Quill dealt with returning to Earth on Titan, and it could be explored in a flashback scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
9 Rocket will talk to him about it
Over the course of Avengers: Endgame, we saw Rocket get well-acquainted with Earth. He’d never been before he triumphantly arrived on the Wakandan battleground with Thor and Groot in Infinity War, but after losing all of his family to the Snap, he stuck around Earth and joined the Avengers. So, he’s now well-versed in all things Earth, which would make him the prime candidate to talk to Quill about his long-awaited, emotional return to his home planet.
Whether this means talking about how movies have changed or how the extended Quill family is coping after the death of Meredith and the disappearance of Peter is another story. Five years is a long time, and Rocket is clearly more sensitive now, so perhaps he headed to Missouri to pay the Quills a visit and tell them about Peter’s life as Star-Lord.
8 He’ll find a documentary about his own disappearance
As Peter Quill catches up with modern Earth media, he’ll naturally discover streaming services. As shown by Spider-Man: Far From Home’s movie selection on the plane to Europe, there have been a number of in-universe documentaries made about MCU characters.
After Quill was abducted by aliens on the eve of his mother’s death in Missouri in the 1980s, there’s a good chance that a documentary was made about his disappearance, interviewing his family and classmates. Maybe Quill will discover such a documentary and it’ll form an important part of his character development as he reconciles with the past and tries to move on.
7 He’ll restock his pop-culture collection
Star-Lord’s prized Walkman was crushed by Ego in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and as a replacement, Kraglin gave him a Zune he found on Earth. To be fair, whoever’s Zune it was had pretty good taste (we see the Guardians listening to the Spinners’ “Rubberband Man” on it in Infinity War), but it’s not the best way to consume music.
Clearly, Quill’s closest connection to Earth is its popular culture, like movies and music. While he’s on Earth, Quill might kit out the Benatar with a Blu-ray player and buy all the movies he grew up with, or pick up a new speaker and a record collection.
6 He’ll nostalgically revisit Missouri
One of the funniest quotes in Infinity War saw Tony Stark asking Peter Quill if he was from Earth. Quill said, “I’m not from Earth, I’m from Missouri!” and Stark replied, “Yeah, that’s on Earth, d*****t!”
But there’s something deeper to this quote. Quill spoke about Missouri as if it was a separate planet from Earth. He doesn’t see Earth as the place he’s from; as far as he’s concerned, he’s just a born and bred Missourian. The final battle in Endgame brought him to upstate New York. His return to Earth won’t be complete until he nostalgically heads back to Missouri.
5 He’ll find it unrecognizable from the place he left
Peter Quill left Earth in the 1980s and he hasn’t been back since. The Earth that he returned to wasn’t even 2019’s Earth – it was 2023’s Earth. And thanks to Tony Stark, Hank Pym, and other technological innovators, that version of Earth is even more different from the Earth of the ‘80s than the one we live in today in real life. Quill will find Earth unrecognizable from the Earth he left.
There’s actually a great opportunity for some culture-clash, man-out-of-his-time comedy here. Quill might look for a RadioShack to buy a new Walkman or a Blockbuster to rent the greatest movie of all time, Footloose, and find that nothing is the same as how he left it.
4 It won’t feel like home to him anymore
The way Peter Quill remembers Earth, David Hasselhoff was a big TV star and Footloose was a popular movie and a Walkman was the most advanced way to listen to music. So, when he returns to Earth, it won’t really feel like home anymore.
It’s like when you move away from your hometown and come back a few years later to find that it just doesn’t feel the same anymore, except multiplied by a thousand because it’s a whole planet and not just a town. He might wonder what the big deal about returning to Earth was, because it wasn’t so bad.
3 He’ll reunite with his grandfather
In the opening scene of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, right before Quill is abducted by the Ravagers, his grandfather approaches him in the hospital and says, “Peter, your mama wants to speak with you.” He encourages him to take his mom’s gift and have a few final moments with her, but Quill pushes past him and runs away.
As long as he’s back on Earth, Quill should reunite with his grandfather. His grandfather would be a lot older now, but it would be an important and poignant moment for his character development and provide some much-needed closure on the open-ended prologue of the first Guardians film.
2 He’ll connect with the light within Earth
Peter Quill might have lost the powers that came along with his Celestial DNA when he killed his Celestial father to prevent his genocidal plan from coming to fruition, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still half-Celestial and unable to connect with the “light” that he draws his power from. Ego drew his “light” from his own planet, and as a half-human, half-Celestial being, it would make sense if Quill draws his “light” from Earth.
In fact, being back on Earth and getting in touch with that “light” might bring his Celestial powers back – and make him able to bring back Gamora with an Infinity Stone.
1 He’ll visit his mother’s grave
Quill said he didn’t want to return to Earth because it was where his mother died. But maybe a more accurate version of this is that it was where he left his mother’s deathbed. He couldn’t bear to take her hand and accept her fate, and as a result, he missed her death, her funeral, and a proper mourning period.
So, when he returns to Earth, he should get some closure by visiting his mother’s grave. Maybe this will be a flashback to right before Tony Stark’s funeral, which will add a sense of poignancy to the look of grief on his face at the service – in his mind, he’s attending the Earth funeral he never got to attend.