Ego the Living Planet in Guardians of the Galaxy 2


Seeking Bert, the living planet dermatologist

Seeking Bert, the living planet dermatologist

Nobody expected Guardians of the Galaxy to rule so hard. Even comic books readers  weren’t prepared for how everything would be so updated, fleshed out, and hilarious. Director/writer James Gunn is damn good at that. What’s more, the Guardians of the Galaxy, as we know them, all had short comic book runs. Not a single title breached 30 issues. That’s a fail state in the world of comics.

The Guardians of the Galaxy movie unified their mythology and presented it as down-and-dirty and digestible. No high-falutin’ sci-fi claptrap. Just who they are as a motley crew, what role they have in the universe, and what that universe is. That’s a HUGE deal. Not even the current run of the comics cares about that. That means that we, the movie-going audience are the KEY audience to all that Guardians is and will become.

So what does the inclusion of Ego mean? It means that James Gunn is doubling down on the weird factor that made Guardians of the Galaxy an unexpected hit. He’s not doing an “easy” space adventure by regurgitating the formula of what worked before. He’s not using single-environment planets (desert, winter, lava, etc.).

But this will be our second head-as-planet location…

But this will be our second head-as-planet location…

Gunn uses crazy characters like Ego (much as he used the Collector and Howard the Duck) to broaden his universe and strengthen his characters. There’s something very Star Trek about the idea of conversing with a living planet. How does one approach it? What does one ask it? What crises, if any, does one resolve on it? How does one combat it? Can one control it? Ego offers a moral conundrum that may fit into the broader picture of Guardians of the Galaxy 2‘s projected themes of parents and responsibility.

Moreover, Ego is a perfect villain for the way Gunn operates as a writer/director and how his Guardians of the Galaxy universe operates. It’s a very violent, threatening world where, even in the center of civilization, its seedy underbelly is only a block away. Planet-threatening threats are out there, and, like the Power Stone, are surprisingly attainable.

ego the living planet in guardians of the galaxy 2 dance

But damn, that goofy side.

You could probably rattle off your favorite jokes from Guardians of the Galaxy in a heartbeat. The movie had at least three dance scenes. Hell, you only have to say “I am Groot,” and people chuckle.

They BETTER chuckle.

They BETTER chuckle.

Guardians was an epic space comedy, and THANK GOD it didn’t take itself too seriously. Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser took himself way too seriously, all it took was a little dancing to render him a buffoon. Ego’s the kind of villain who, despite his world-ending threat and endless intellectual potential, is the butt of the joke. You’re damn right he’d be the victim of a dance off.

Granted, he's only got one move...

Granted, he’s only got one move…

Need more reason to care about him? He was probably the inspiration for your childhood nightmares.

Welcome back, childhood nightmares!