Be thee warned, oh faithful Blumhouse reader! What follows will include spoilers for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2! If you haven’t seen it, or if you have, but somehow forgot everything that happened in the movie and want to see it again with no idea of what will go down, don’t read any further!
Let me give you a quick synopsis of a Kurt Russell sci-fi movie:
An alien lifeform comes to Earth with the intention of assimilating every living thing, taking over all life on the planet. This lifeform, this “thing”, can take on any form it wishes and seems to have a singular goal – replace all living things across the galaxy with versions of itself.
Now, am I telling you the story of THE THING or GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY?
Here’s the rub – I’m telling you the story of both movies. Now here comes the real fun – what if GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 is a secret sequel to THE THING?
Consider this; in 1982, an American research facility in Antarctica is destroyed after taking in a dog from a decimated Norwegian research center. The only survivors are researcher Childs and pilot MacReady who are taken back to the US. Unknown to those who came to save Childs and MacReady, both men are actually dead and have been replaced by a creepy shapeshifting alien thing.
Now free to roam about in the good old USA, the alien in the guise of MacReady plants two seeds – one he puts in a wooded area behind a Dairy Queen, the other he puts inside a nice young woman who will give birth to a real cool guy nine months later. She names her son Peter, never knowing that he would go on to save the galaxy time and again, including from his own evil dad, Ego the Living Planet, aka the Thing From Another World.
Does this fun fan theory hold up? Some of it kind of does. IN GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2, when we see Russell in the 1980s he has the same haircut as he did in John Carpenter’s classic horror sci-fi flick THE THING – minus the beard. The Marvel comics character, created by Jack Kirby, has a lot in common with the alien from THE THING as well – both can take various forms, both absorbed living beings to survive, and while we don’t know the goal of the alien from THE THING, we know that Ego wants to conquer the galaxy and turn everything into itself. When we think of THE THING, we tend to think of the alien more like a virus, but it arrived on a ship, so the thing seems to come from a pretty evolved planet/race, and we see that Ego can create ships which stick around after he’s done with them – could the craft from THE THING have been a biological extension of the alien just like Ego’s ship?
With both Ego and the alien from THE THING, we don’t know their origins. Ego gives us a story about how he came into being but doesn’t know how, but he may be lying. In GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2, Ego claims to be a Celestial, but in the comics, and from what we’ve previously seen in the movies, that isn’t true. Celestials, for one thing, don’t have the powers that Ego does. For another, they don’t look like planets. In the comics, and in the first GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, we see what Celestials look like, which is this:
Celestials are two thousand foot giants who wear awesome looking armor and never speak. They are one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe and have been hunted to near extinction by the only thing out there that appears to be stronger than them – the Beyonders.
So, since we saw the Celestials in the first GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, we know that they exist, or at one time existed, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while Knowhere, the giant flea market/city that the Guardians visit in the first movie, is inside the decaying head of a Celestial, they don’t usually take the form of planets.
Celestials can do lots of crazy cool stuff, but one thing they don’t do is change form or break off into little bits to go running around the galaxy looking to get some interplanetary nookie, which is pretty much Ego’s whole deal in the movie (and to a lesser extent in the comics).
With that, I feel safe in saying that Ego was lying when he called himself a Celestial. Or maybe he didn’t know any better, but I find that hard to buy, as an immortal being who has visited an untold amount of species, it would be hard to buy that he had never heard of the Celestials. So what is Ego?
In the comics, Ego once claimed to be a scientist who merged with a planet when the nearby sun went supernova, but over the years the living planet, and the readers, came to learn that this was not true. Ego was created by a cosmic being called the Stranger. Along with Ego, the Stranger created Alter-Ego. Ego’s twin has never known freedom – from the moment the Stranger gave Alter-Ego life, it has been held captive by the Collector. You may remember him:
Will this origin end up coming to pass in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? With Ego being destroyed at the end of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2, I doubt it. Which brings us all the way back to the fan theory tying GUARDIANS and THE THING together…
What if Ego was a Celestial who was assimilated by the alien from THE THING? What if the fake Celestial was destroyed, but the brain somehow survived, though with all memories lost? As it came back into consciousness, Ego knows nothing of it’s past, but it still has the inherent biological purpose that it had when it was the creature that took over the Celestial – to take over all living things. Ego creates little bits of itself to search the galaxy for life to take over, destroying who knows how many planets in the process. Still, as it has incorporated the DNA of a Celestial, this creature also has the need to create life, thus Ego’s whole deal of creating hundreds of thousands of kids, only to kill all of them. Well, almost all of them; nothing can stop Star Lord from saving the day!
Sadly, there are a bunch of things that keep this fan theory from being anything more than a bit of fun, most notably that THE THING is a Universal movie, and I can’t imagine they would just let Disney have their stuff for free. Too bad, it could have been cool to see the Marvel characters deal with the creature from THE THING. They could have even used it as an explanation of Venom without getting caught up in all that OG SECRET WARS stuff! Oh well…
*All Photos: Marvel; Disney