There is rich story potential for Marvel's 'What If…' series, coming to Disney+. While there have been years of Marvel comics exploring the consequences of changes to major Marvel Comics milestones, the realms of the movies have been left relatively unexplored.
With limited details as to what stories the series will cover, speculation for possible storylines ranges wildly, from fans wanting to see takes on classic Marvel storylines to ideas for entirely new spins on the events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
We've previously covered speculative predictions for the Captain America trilogy, and now, we cover the 'Guardians of the Galaxy'. You're welcome.
What if Yondu had delivered Peter Quill to Ego?
Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy', for better or worse, hinges on Peter Quill (Chris Pratt). He's the catalyst that brings the Guardians together in the first movie and is at the center of events in the sequel.
The Star-Lord was raised by Yondu (Michael Rooker) and the Ravagers, but he eventually broke away from them to be a free agent and a bit of a thorn in everyone's side.
Originally, though, Peter was supposed to be delivered to his father, a planet-sized Celestial by the name of Ego (Kurt Russell). How different would the galaxy have been had Yondu done as he'd been asked? Drastically!
Keep in mind that Ego's grand plan where he had implanted versions of his consciousness on planets throughout the galaxy. He needed another Celestial, his own offspring, to be able to activate them all.
Ego meant to ascend from a planet-sized consciousness to one that spanned galaxies, and out of all his children, Peter Quill was the only one of them who would have allowed him to do so.
As a child, without his team beside him, it's unlikely that Peter would have been able to resist his father's influence and entire planets would have been lost.
Of course, one does not simply terraform entire planets with one's consciousness without bringing a cosmic response from the galaxy's most powerful people — people who care greatly about the universe's overall well-being. People who don’t respond well to other conquerors trampling their plans. People like Josh Brolin's Thanos.
Thanos, Guardian of the Galaxy?
Thanos' plan, while mad, was for the benefit of the universe. He wanted to find a way to help people thrive. Ego's plan, on the other hand, would have replaced nearly all life in the universe with his own — and there's no way Thanos would allow that.
In 1988, Ego would have seeded a lot fewer planets than he had by 2017 (when 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' was set), giving Thanos a fighting chance.
Cut to 2014 (when the original 'Guardians of the Galaxy' movie was set) and Thanos finds an artifact that is able to destroy entire planets — the Power Stone. He sends a team out to retrieve it, and that's where this universe's Guardians of the Galaxy could come together.
The team would mostly comprise the following members:
Thanos' adopted daughters, Gamora and Nebula along with Kree lieutenant Ronan, whom Thanos entrusted with the Reality Stone in the original movie.
Drax, whose family in this universe would not have been destroyed by Thanos, but most likely Ego himself, would have stood firmly on Thanos' side.
Rocket and Groot, whose loyalties are fluid but competent enough as mercenaries to be hired for this mission. And, finally, Yondu, who feels responsible for the whole mess, to begin with.
When he combined the Power Stone with his hammer, Ronan wielded the power to destroy entire planets in the first movie — exactly what's needed to fight against the multi-planet consciousness that Ego has become.
The story would see a new, darker version of the Guardians of the Galaxy, who had been on Thanos' sides for years, fighting against a power-mad Celestial intent on conquering the universe.
The stakes were never higher. There's every likelihood that the team would have to go up against their would-be teammate, Peter Quill, now a Celestial. A decisive battle made heartbreaking by the fact that nobody knows about their collection from a life that could have been.
As a 'What If…' story, there is no obligation for this to reach a happy ending. The stakes are high and run deep. Thanos' Guardians of the Galaxy would be a vicious team — but they wouldn't be heroes, and it tends to be heroes who get to save the day.
All in all, it's probably for the best that Yondu decided to keep Peter Quill around.