Just when you think that the Marvel Universe can’t possibly get any stranger or more bizarre, it seems that you are challenging it to do precisely that, and normally the Marvel Universe wins the challenge. Ego is a planet that is alive. Not in the metaphysical sense of “everything is connected” or “mother nature”. Ego has a face and eyes – and tentacles, made up of the planet’s crust – as well as the ability to move around the universe and a fully developed individual consciousness. He was given life by The Foreigner who, far from being a charitable soul, created Ego and Alter Ego in order to be able to set them against each other in combat several hundreds of thousands of years later to see which of the two had evolved more and better and was stronger. Along the way he also made Id, the Selfish Moon (all very Freudian) who used to orbit Ego but abandoned him to go off and look for a party – literally.
As a living planet, Ego has control over everything that happens on his surface, and at the same time, he is everything that there is on the planet, because all the biomass is his. In fact, when the Rigellians steal a little bit of his biomass, he goes mad and starts wandering the universe looking for destruction, and even makes it to the Solar System. To interact better with humanoids, Ego can create an avatar in human form that has the same intelligence and memories as the original Ego and also has super-strength, of course.
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Ego is not human – that is evident – and so, much as he can take on human form, human behaviour is not to be expected of him. His personality is based on an exaggerated survival instinct and his only objective is to obtain life force from humanoids or starlight. For this he spares nothing and he is capable of destroying planets or entire solar systems to achieve his goal, not only with his brute strength but also through cunning and confusing plans and a lot of patience. Occasionally, for example, he pretends to be a green and healthy planet to attract humanoids to his surface, only to devour them as soon as they land.
Friends and Enemies
How many friends can a selfish planet obsessed with survival at any cost have? Well, not many. As he is unique – more or less -, old and powerful, he is one of the Elders of the Universe, but this club is hardly the best group in the world. However, his list of enemies is rather longer. Ego appears for the first time to face Thor in one of his galactic journeys, but he has also been seen with the Fantastic 4, the Rigellians who live in his galactic zone, Nova, and an infestation of lice, although he did hire Rocket to kill them off. However, his enemy par excellence is without a doubt Galactus, nicknamed the devourer of planets. The two have faced each other multiple times in galactic battles that have taken days and that have always ended in a draw. There is no enemy that Ego fears more, because there is no more succulent dish for Galactus, and both share the sole objective of surviving in a universe that wants to destroy them for being too powerful.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
The ending of Guardians of the Galaxy gave us a hint that Vol. 2 would explore the subject of Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) relatives. The phrase “something very ancient we’ve never seen here before”, made fans hunt and hunt among the pages of comics for possible candidates other than J’Son, Peter’s father in the comics. Even so, when Kurt Russel confirmed that it would be Ego, the Living Planet, and that in addition he would be the father of Starlord, it came as a pleasant surprise. On the other hand, adapting a character of this nature to the big screen is brave, and hiring such a famous and well-known actor to play the role of a planet – although it is in line with Vin Diesel playing a tree and Bradley Cooper a racoon – is something only Marvel can do today.
Thanks to the words of director James Gunn, we already know that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be a more personal film that will go deeper into the relationships between the characters, in this case the father-son relationship between Peter and Ego, which will be crucial to the whole film. Also, Ego is one of the Elders of the Universe and now they are three – the Collector, the Grandmaster and Ego – so we can expect him to appear in future Marvel films, whether as a leading role or as an ally. Disney-Marvel wouldn’t take the time and risk of bringing a character like this to the cinema and then not give him the space he needs to shine.
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Without a doubt, saying that a whole planet is alive is a bit difficult to visualise. It’s enough to say that Ego’s consciousness is capable of bringing to life and controlling all that is found within his atmosphere, because it is all organic material, even the rocks, giving them the shapes that he likes, from the face of an elder, to giant galactic tentacles. Despite having almost mystical and very pseudoscientific aspects, analogies can be found between Ego and a human body. He has a digestive tract to swallow food, a beating heart and a core where he houses his macro-brain. What’s more, he can produce almost infinite antibodies as or more powerful than a human’s and with which he plans to conquer the universe. Lastly, Ego is capable of generating a huge amount of psychic energy, capable of rivalling entities like Galactus or superheroines like Sue Richards.
The revenge of Gaia
If our planet were conscious and intelligent and could get rid of us as if we were an illness or any old infestation, it would be a serious problem bearing in mind that we are wrecking it. For sure Ego wouldn’t allow such a thing if we lived on his surface – we wouldn’t be the first race he annihilates – and the artists and scriptwriters of Marvel probably drew their inspiration to create this character from this kind of radical environmentalism. What could be scarier than an intelligent planet wandering through the universe that might well decide to take revenge on his sister the Earth, or wake her up.