Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Star-Lord's Entire MCU Timeline Explained

The legendary outlaw known as Star-Lord has one of the most colorful backstories in all of the MCU. A notorious human hero adventuring in outer space, he was first introduced in the 2014 James Gunn film "Guardians Of The Galaxy." But the Phase 2 Marvel hero's origins stretch back to the 1970s, back when Hank Pym was still operating as the superhero Ant-Man, and the Asgardian Prince Loki was masquerading as the mysterious fugitive D.B. Cooper.

Leader of an intergalactic band of rebel do-gooders, he's battled cosmic-level threats and villains bent on interstellar conquest. But the hero — whose real name is Peter Quill — came from humbler beginnings. Of course, from his earliest days getting into schoolyard brawls, to eventually fighting alongside Earth's mightiest heroes and stopping Thanos' plans of universal armageddon, Quill has always been a rebel with a cause. 

A mainstay of the MCU, we've charted his course all the way from his Celestial ancestry through to his latest exploits with the Guardians Of The Galaxy. If you're looking for a primer on Star-Lord's role in Marvel Cinematic Universe, strap in and sit tight, true believers, because we're here to explain it all.

Origins and early life on Earth

Some time in the late 1970s before Peter Quill was even born, the being known as Ego — a member of the ancient Celestial race — took human form and visited planet Earth to enact a cosmic plan of grand design. There, he met and fell in love with a young woman named Meredith Quill, and the two shared their lives with each other. Together the star-crossed lovers conceived a child — Peter — but Ego himself would eventually leave Earth to continue his greater purpose.

Born in 1980, the young Peter Quill was raised by his mother and grandfather, and grew into something of a misfit child. Often getting into fights at school, he found trouble wherever he went. Still, he shared a close bond with his mother, who would give him the nickname "Star-Lord" as a nod to the cosmic birthright he never really understood. 

From an early age, mother and son were inseparable. Meredith Quill would even share her favorite music with little Peter, making him a mix-tape titled "Awesome Mix, Vol. 1" intended to be just the first in a series of tapes for the lad. But when Quill was just eight years old, his mother would die of a brain tumor, before he ever got a chance to open her parting gift: "Awesome Mix, Vol. 2."

Abducted by the Ravagers

As Peter's mother lay dying in a hospital bed from an inoperable tumor, the woman asked her son to hold her hand, but the young boy could not bear to watch his mother pass. Peter Quill fled the hospital in tears, listening to his Walkman, playing "Awesome Mix, Vol. 1." As he wandered into a field pondering whether to open his mother's final gift to him, Peter was struck with a great shining light, and was frozen in fear. Little did he realize that he was the target of an interstellar group of renegades called the Ravagers. 

Led by the blue-skinned criminal known as Yondu Udonta, it would later be revealed that the Ravagers had been paid to abduct Peter — the young Earth boy born of cosmic blood — and deliver him to his alien father Ego. But Yondu was not the heartless outlaw many had thought, and when he realized that Ego's plans might not be so noble, he went rogue and kept the child for himself. Knowing what Ego had done to his previous "children" across the galaxy, Yondu had just saved Quill from what he believed was certain death at the hands of an alien madman. 

Having implanted the child with a universal translator chip, Yondu Udonta also gave him a mini Ravager uniform. Suddenly, the young orphaned Peter Quill found himself on the greatest space adventure a human child had ever known.

Early life in space

Now an outer space adventurer, Peter Quill became a surrogate son to the Ravager leader, Yondu Udonta. Yondu took the boy under his wing, as did the rest of his Ravager men. He became a kind of sidekick to the team of bounty hunters, who taught Peter to be a master thief. Using his small size, he was able to play a part on missions where having a pint-sized, crafty outlaw by their side came in handy. In fact, to keep up with his image as a rough and tumble renegade, Yondu would claim he only kept Quill around for this reason, because he was able to slip into the smallest of spaces, and was useful to the team.

Secretly, though. Yondu came to love Quill as a son, even if in his wilder moments he would threaten to eat him as a punishment for his misbehavior. But when feeling more fatherly, Yondu would teach Quill how to pilot his starship and instruct him in marksmanship. Once trained, Quill would take on his childhood nickname "Star-Lord" as his outlaw moniker. Eventually, he'd be given his own ship, which he would call the Milano, named after one of his childhood television crushes.

When he got older, he'd strike out on his own as an independent Ravager, and the adult Peter would become well-known for being a devil-may-care thief.

Adventuring as Star-Lord

Now his own man, out from under Yondu's wing, Peter Quill — with his Walkman of '80s tunes — became a rock n' roll outlaw, a full-fledged space cowboy and bounty hunter. Maybe he was inspired by the Earthly sci-fi heroes from his youth like Lieutenant Starbuck or Han Solo, but the Earth man was now the quintessential thief with the heart of gold. Quill had become slick, cocksure interstellar bad boy with a chip on his shoulder the size of the Horsehead nebula.

According to the Nova Corps, Star-Lord racked up a number of criminal charges during his early days as a free-wheeling hired gun. In fact, Star-Lord's rap sheet was a long one, including charges of fraud, assault, public intoxication, petty theft, and even illegal manipulation of a Gramosian Duchess. His hijinks across the galaxy earned him a reputation as both a skilled bounty hunter and something of a witless oaf. 

Quill was also a womanizer, with seemingly no limit to the kinds women he'd chase, humanoid and beyond. But in spite of his maverick lifestyle and independence, Quill continued pulling jobs for his quasi-father Yondu and was still considered a member of the Ravagers, even if he operated mostly on his own. But one fateful job would finally spur Quill to leave his former team and surrogate outer space family for good.

Hunting for the Orb

Some time later, Yondu contacted a middle-man called the Broker, who wished to obtain a powerful relic on behalf of an enigmatic client. But Star-Lord would hear of Yondu's latest job, and saw it as a chance to break away from the Ravagers for good. He decided he was going to track down and swipe the Orb for himself and make the big bucks that came with it. Traveling to Morag, he managed to locate and take possession of the antiquity, but was pursued by Korath, a deadly enforcer hired by Kree tyrant Ronan the Accuser.

Taking the Orb to Xandar to unload his priceless artifact for a hefty profit, he was attacked again, this time by the deadly assassin Gamora — sent by Ronan on behalf of her father Thanos — and fellow bounty hunters Rocket and Groot. In the melee, all four of them were taken prisoner by the Nova Corps and incarcerated in a remote space prison. But to break out and get his payment — and he'd later find out that the Orb that was worth far more than he ever realized — he had to team up with the three renegades, plus a bruiser named Drax. But once freed, Star-Lord was now being hunted by not just Ronan and the Nova Corps, but Yondu and the Ravagers as well, who had learned of his scheme to steal their prize and take their profits.

But with Drax, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot by his side, Star-Lord had his own new team to help him succeed.

Guarding the galaxy

With the orb in their possession, Star-Lord and his new allies had to find out who the client was who wanted it in the first place. They'd eventually track him down to a remote outpost called Knowhere, the hollowed-out head of an ancient Celestial being. There, they'd find Tanaveer Tivan, also known as the Collector — a man who made a business collecting rare and unique specimens from across the galaxy. Tivan would offer them their reward, but also reveal the true nature of the Orb and what secrets it held. Within its protective shell lay one of the six Infinity Stones, the last remnants of the creation of the universe itself, and possessing nearly limitless power.

Now aware of the Orb's true nature, they couldn't let the relic fall into Ronan's hands, or even Tivan's. Giving it to the Nova Corps for safekeeping wouldn't get them paid. Before they could decide what to do with it, they were attacked by both Ronan and Yondu, who had converged on Knowhere, both in search of Star-Lord and the Orb.

Eventually, Star-Lord's new team were able to convince Yondu to join them in battling Ronan, and together, they successfully used the power of the Orb — and the Infinity Stone within — to defeat him. Calling themselves "The Guardians Of The Galaxy," they set out on missions across the cosmos helping those in need ... for a price.

Adventures in babysitting

Following their victory over Ronan the Accuser, the Guardians of the Galaxy had their records expunged by the Nova Corps out of gratitude for stopping the Kree tyrant. Star-Lord cemented himself as the leader of the newest team of heroes. He also clearly had feelings for the group's deadliest member, Gamora — the daughter of Thanos, meaning they were now targets of the Mad Titan himself. Groot meanwhile, having been nearly destroyed in their first adventure, was still regrowing, and had the mind and body of a toddler (but a powerful toddler). Star-Lord, Rocket, Drax, and Gamora found themselves as babysitters to a misfit seedling. Star-Lord himself, meanwhile, had to make sure his crew didn't get into unnecessary trouble.

But they would, when Rocket stole a valuable item from the Sovereign Priestess in the aftermath of a mission to her planet where they saved it from imminent destruction. Though they'd escape the planet, they would be pursued by the Sovereign's fleet of starships, outgunned and outnumbered. It seemed like Star-Lord's good fortune was finally running out, and he would meet his end unless he could get some kind of divine intervention. Little did he know, that's exactly what he'd get.

Family reunion

Fleeing from the Sovereign, the Guardians Of The Galaxy found themselves at the mercy of countless remote-piloted attack ships, and nowhere to run. Just when it seemed like curtains for Star-Lord, the entire fleet was destroyed by a mysterious ship from out of nowhere. They were greeted by the woman called Mantis, who said her master was named Ego. Taking human form, Ego introduced himself as Star-Lord's long lost father, the ancient being who had coupled with his mother in the 1970s. 

Ego related his long history to his wayward half-human son, and how he had set out into the cosmos to find intelligent life, finding Peter's mother in the process. He also explained that Peter had inherited his own Celestial genes, and as a result, possessed incredible powers of which he'd been previously unaware. Able to manipulate matter and energy, Peter — like his father — could create just about anything he imagined. 

But when Peter learned that it had been Ego who had given his mother a brain tumor, and that his father's aims were anything but benevolent, Star-Lord turned on him. The two duked it out in an epic confrontation, and with the help of Yondu and the Ravagers, vanquished his latest foe. But once Ego was killed, Star-Lord lost the Celestial powers he had only just learned he possessed.

Thwarting Thanos

Reunited with the Guardians, Star-Lord continued adventuring the galactic super-team. Groot was now a modestly grown teenaged plant-boy, and the group found themselves with a new ship, the Benatar, named after the '80s rock star and one of Quill's childhood favorites. Years after the battle with his father Ego, the Guardians Of the Galaxy receive a distress call from an Asgardian refugee ship, the Statemsan. Carrying the entirety of the surviving Asgrardian people after Ragnarok, it was attacked by the Mad Titan Thanos, who was in search of the Space Stone, taken from Asgard by Loki. 

Coming upon its wreckage, Star-Lord and the Guardians discover only Thor alive. Filling them in, Quill and his team learn that Thanos is on the verge of assembling all six Infinity Stones, and needs their help to stop him. Rocket, Groot, and Thor head to Nidavellir, where they will fashion Thor a weapon capable of killing Thanos, while Quill, Mantis, and Drax join Gamora in hunting for her father. They find him on Knowhere, where he has already collected the Reality Stone, but fail to stop him, as he escapes to parts unknown ... but takes Gamora,  favorite daughter — and Quill's girlfriend — with him.

Now, Quill is determined to find Thanos and rescue Gamora. But he may need help if he's going to succeed.

Meeting the Avengers

Searching far and wide for Thanos, Quill and the remaining Guardians spot the ship of Thanos' henchmen, the Black Order, crash landing on Thanos' home world of Titan. But little does Quill know, Thanos' thugs have already been defeated by a trio of Earthbound superheroes: Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man. Blasting his way into the ship, Quill assumes that the Armored Avenger, the Sorcerer Supreme, and the young webslinger are Thanos' newest allies, and does not hesitate to go in guns blazing.

Thankfully, cooler heads prevail, and the two groups realize they're on the same side. Together, they plan to set a trap for Thanos, with Doctor Strange's Time Stone as the bait. Lying in wait, the superhero wizard distracts the interstellar despot, while Mantis puts him into a trance, and Spider-Man, Iron Man and Drax attempt to pull the Infinity Gauntlet off of him. While Quill claims the plan was his idea, it quickly unravels because of him as well.

Once Quill realizes that Thanos killed Gamora, he attacks Thanos in a rage, disrupting Mantis' grasp on him. Thanos re-awakens, and is able to pummel the heroes and escape with the Time Stone. Not long after, far away on Earth, he completes his goal of assembling the Infinity Stones, and eliminates half of all life in the universe ... including Peter Quill, who floats away in a cloud of ash.

All out war on Earth

After Thanos' victory, the Avengers — who were joined by surviving members of the Guardians Of The Galaxy Nebula and Rocket — were able to hatch a plan to bring back all of the people that Thanos had "snapped" and out of existence. But to do it, they'd need to travel back in time and assemble their own version of the Infinity Gauntlet, made up of Infinity Stones from different time periods. 

But during their mission to save the universe, a past version of Thanos — along with his two daughters Nebula and Gamora — discovered their plans and tried to stop them. After Bruce Banner activated the newly assembled gauntlet, and returned the "dusted" heroes back to life — including Star-Lord — the assembled heroes gathered on Earth to confront Thanos and his army, who came with a version of Gamora from the past who had never met Peter Quill. 

During the final confrontation Quill came face to face with the woman he loved once more, seemingly back from the dead. But this version Gamora didn't remember him at all, much to his chagrin.

Leading a new team of Galactic Guardians

With Thanos and his armies obliterated by Iron Man snapping his fingers and using his own Infinity Gauntlet on them, the heroes had won the day, effectively undoing Thanos' mad plan to eliminate half of all life in the universe. Star-Lord was back, as was Rocket and a teenaged Groot, his old friends Drax and Mantis, and the disgruntled half-cyborg daughter of Thanos Nebula. But they were not alone: Thor, son of Odin, King of Asgard, had abdicated the throne to Valkyrie, and was looking for a new adventure all his own. Meanwhile, the new version of Gamora left after the battle against Thanos.

Hitching a ride with Star-Lord, Thor joined him and the Guardians of the Galaxy aboard their ship, the Benatar. Jokingly dubbing this new group, "The Asgardians Of The Galaxy," it seems a friendly rivalry was developing between the hammer-wielding hero and the adventurous space outlaw.