Follow TV Tropes


Characters / MCU: Ego The Living Planet

Go To

Main Character Index > Villainous Individuals and Organizations > Other Supervillains > Ultron | Ego the Living Planet | Hela | Erik Killmonger | Mysterio (Quentin Beck)

All spoilers on this page are left unmarked.

Ego, the Living Planet
"I'm what's called a Celestial, sweetheart."
Click here to see him in his true form 

Species: Celestial

Portrayed By: Kurt Russell, David Hasselhoff (while in Michael Knight form), Aaron Schwartz (body double for young Ego)


Voiced By: Nando Estevané, Roberto Carrillo [David Hasselhoff form] (Latin-American Spanish dub); Salvador Aldeguer, Gabriel Jiménez [David Hasselhoff form] (European Spanish dub); Tetsuo Kaneo, Isao Sasaki [David Hasselhoff form] (Japanese dub); Philippe Vincent, François Dunoyer [David Hasselhoff form] (European French dub); Pierre Auger, Daniel Picard [David Hasselhoff form] (Canadian French dub)

Appearances: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

"I need to fulfill life's one true purpose; to grow and spread, covering all that exists until everything is... me."

An eons-old Celestial who owns his own planet and crosses paths with the Guardians.

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A to E 
  • Abusive Parent:
    • In the latter part of the movie, it's revealed that Ego plans to use Peter's Celestial power to make every planet in the universe become himself by terraforming them with plants he placed on them. It gets worse when it's revealed that he murdered all of Peter's half-siblings when they failed to inherit his Celestial powers, then stashed their skeletal remains in the caverns on his planet. Then, he subjects Peter to a Fate Worse than Death by making him a Living Battery for 1000 years as punishment for his insolence.
    • He's a surrogate parent to Mantis but, according to her, he treats her more like a pet.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Perhaps a major change to his character in this continuity is having his personality match his name, and the film places a large emphasis on his narcissism, which wasn't a major personality trait of his comic book counterpart.
  • Adaptation Species Change: He is a Celestial in this continuity, rather than solely a living planet (which is just one of his forms). This is somewhat ambiguous, though, since this seems to be the name he gave himself (as he doesn't believe he is like anything else in the universe), yet a canon Celestial and the head of a dead one were seen in the previous movie. Not to mention his "truest" form is apparently a giant, disembodied brain which also acts as the core of his planet.
  • Adaptational Abomination: While Ego the Living Planet was quite powerful, the Ego of the film is more of a cosmic being despite having the ability to take a human form. His true form is a giant glowing brain with the planet being something he formed for himself rather than just being a planet given consciousness. He becomes more Lovecraftian when his true colors are revealed, as his Assimilation Plot involves spreading pieces of himself to grow like tumors on planets.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: While still a bad guy in comics, here he has all of his worst attributes ramped up, in a similar manner as was done with Ronan in the previous movie. He was regarded as something of the cosmic hero's joke villain when anyone except Jack Kirby was scripting him. Up until 2017 with his appearance in Ultimates 2 fighting alongside Galactus, most modern stories had silly plots like the Hulk fighting monstrous zits on his surface, and him hiring Rocket-Raccoon to de-louse his hair. The movie version is not a joke, being as dark and destructive as Ronan was.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: He rather loves American pop culture music of The '70s, which he picked up from Meredith. He even takes one song, "Brandy" by the Looking Glass, to heart, seeing it as a "World of Cardboard" Speech for him.
  • Anything That Moves: He tried to mate with any species he came across, although this is for a specific reason rather than just getting his rocks off.
  • Arc Words: The closing refrain from "Brandy" by the Looking Glass is one for him. It plays in the opening scene and he quotes it twice to Peter as a justification:
    "But my life, my lover, my lady is the sea."
  • Archnemesis Dad: He immediately becomes this to Peter when he reveals that he killed Meredith. Oh, and he breaks Peter's Walkman shortly afterward for good measure.
  • Artificial Gravity: A planet the size of the moon would have to be extremely dense to have Earth-like air and gravity. His interior is full of massive caverns, so he must have some kind of power that maintains his air and gravity.
  • The Assimilator: This seems to be how Ego's powers work when manipulating matter that isn't part of his own body. It also turns out to be his grand plan: to absorb every inhabited planet in the universe and make the entire universe an extension of himself.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: His brain within his core is vulnerable and the Guardians use a high-yield explosive to destroy it and kill him. Granted, it's protected by a very tough outer shell and even then requires digging to the very center to even reach it. Once you are through, even conventional explosives are enough to kill him.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Ego briefly summons a human form the size of a building in the climax - it's somewhat incomplete and doesn't do a lot apart from scare audiences shitless.
  • Ax-Crazy: Plans to wipe out an entire universe just so he has copies of himself in every corner of the galaxy, and murders millennia worth of his own children that failed to live up to his expectations. He's a psycho through and through, but he's more of the "cold and calculating" type of insane.
  • Bait the Dog: We are told by Yondu of all people that Peter's father is a "jackass", but Ego at first seems like a pleasant guy, trying to reconnect with his son, sharing his love of 70's music, and playing catch with Peter with an energy sphere that he taught him how to make. And then we learn Mantis is treated more like a pet with benefits than an adopted daughter by Ego. And then we learn of his grand scheme of assimilating the universe. And then we learn that he killed dozens of his children simply because they were of no use to his plan. And then we learn that the best way for him to carry on with his scheme after falling in love is to give his wife a brain tumor... see a pattern yet?
  • Beard of Evil: He has a thick grey beard and he's one of the most despicable villains in the MCU.
  • Big Bad: He is actually the main antagonist of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 while the trailers posed Ayesha as the main menace. Ego wants to destroy the universe by using the combined powers of himself and his son Peter.
  • Big "NO!": Shouts this when Quill rejects his offer of godhood to be a mortal, right before Rocket's bomb kills his brain.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He seems like a pleasant, affable and overall really good guy at first. To say he's not would be a colossal understatement.
  • Blob Monster: His extensions of himself appear as huge, moving masses of grey goo which begin to consume and destroy everything on their path when the Ego seeds he planted unleash them.
  • Body Horror: He is shown reconstructing his body from the ground up, starting with the bones and then slowly adding the organs and tissue on top of them as he approaches Peter. The effect is unnerving, to say the least.
  • Body Motifs:
    • An unconventional example; he's closely associated with tumors. He infected Meredith Quill with cancer using his powers. As he activates different fragments of himself on other planets, they are covered in ugly blue growths modeled on tumors. In behavior, Ego himself is a sentient, malignant tumor; an abnormal organism who exists to grow and consume the universe, killing all in its path.
    • To a lesser extent, he's associated with brains. His original form was a disembodied brain that he gradually built a planet around, and he specifically chose to kill Meredith Quill with brain cancer.
  • Boldly Coming: He invokes finding other life forms as his first purpose, and following that, procreating with them.
  • Brain Monster: Ego existed as a glowing brain not much larger than Baby Groot before he started gathering material to form a planet around himself.
  • Break the Haughty: Moments before his death, he fears about what's going to happen to him and screams when Peter decides not to spare him. Witnessing everything he's done makes this all the more cathartic.
    Ego: Listen to me, LISTEN TO ME! You are a god! If you kill me, you'll be just like everybody else!
    Ego: NO!
  • Bright Is Not Good: Ego's planet (and thus, Ego himself), is brightly coloured, and the Guardians find it beautiful. As it happens, Ego agrees, so much so that he wants to consume all other worlds in the cosmos and turn them into extensions of him. That being said, as Ego's true nature keeps revealing itself, this also reflects on the surface of his planetary self, which goes from an idyllic paradise to a hellish, sinister wasteland.
  • Broken Pedestal: Peter had wanted to meet his dad for years and he was clearly delighted when he seemed like an affable, fun-loving person. Needless to say, Peter is devastated when he reveals his true colors as a genocidal bastard.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: He treats most of the horrible things he does in this manner, including murdering his own children. After all, what is the suffering of mortals to a godlike being such as himself? Even his murder of Peter's mother, whom he genuinely cared for, is regarded as little more than an unpleasant moment for him that he quickly got over like a bee sting or mosquito bite and he really doesn't seem to grasp the full extent of all the evil he's done.
  • The Casanova: Ego seduced many women across the Universe, and had a lot of children. Enough to fill a cavern with their skeletons at least.
  • The Charmer: He's quite charismatic and has seduced hundreds of women across the universe. It's also a front for his real personality as a selfish bastard.
  • Combat Tentacles: Ego's preferred method of doing practically anything (making those humanoid bodies is shown to be a complex process) is to employ tentacles made from light energy and rock.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Is just called Ego rather than Ego The Living Planet, even though the latter description applies.
  • Composite Character: With J'son of Spartax, Star-Lord's biological dad in the comics.
    • His humanoid avatar is heavily reminiscent of Ego Prime, Ego's offspring in the comics.
    • This analysis takes it even further, finding various aspects in Ego (both large and small) from three more characters in the Marvel cosmic universe.
    • And finally, The Great One (obscure Surfer characters) might have been an inspiration for his true form.
  • Consummate Liar: He's a very good liar and smooth manipulator of people. When he first meets Peter and tries to excuse why he left him and Meredith, he says that it was because he couldn't stay on a planet without Meredith. Which wasn't entirely untrue; his growing genuine feelings for Meredith actually began to make him have second thoughts about his entire Assimilation Plot, and he would have stayed on Earth had he allowed them to continue growing — at least, so he says. So he killed her so that he wouldn't be tempted.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Ronan the Accuser was more of a Hate Sink, Obviously Evil, deranged fanatic who set out to destroy Xandar out of his hatred for the Xandarian people and their culture. Ego seems benevolent at a glance, and even when his true nature comes out, he's driven by what he sees as his purpose in life rather than any actual hatred for the people who will die as a result. Their personalities and aesthetic also strongly contrast; Ronan was a rabid psychopath who never made any effort at being personable or even acting like it, and he had a very dark, grim style, while Ego is gregarious and easy-going, although that serves as a cover for his moral bankruptcy, and he's surrounded by colour and light, with Meredith describing him as "an angel, composed out of pure light".
  • Cool Old Guy: What he seems like, at first, coming across as the dad Peter always wanted. He really isn't.
  • The Corrupter: In the backstory, he tempted Yondu to break the Ravager code and traffic him his children. As he admits, he did it knowing that doing so would involve Yondu to break his code, but preyed on him by offering more money than Yondu would ever know. In the sequel, his plot is carefully manipulating Peter to become his puppet, heir and battery to harvest the universe and he preys on Peter's unfulfilled longing for Gamora, his need for family and revealing him to be an immortal superbeing like Daddy with the universe as his oyster. He's effective until he gets too confident and starts slipping and starts spilling the beans about his true nature.
  • Crapsaccharine World: His planet comes off as a bright, Oz-like Crystal Spires and Togas verdant world filled with floating air bubbles that delight the Guardians at first. Upon detecting Ego's secrecy as well as Mantis' guilty behaviour, however, Gamora realizes that something isn't right, which is confirmed when she and Nebula discover the cavern of skeletons.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Ego justifies his absence during Peter's childhood by indicating that his human form needs to periodically go back to his planet in order to recharge energy. Subverted when Ego admits he killed Peter's mother in order to rid himself of any incentive to abandon his cosmic plan to spread to the rest of the universe.
  • Darth Vader Clone: He is the protagonist's long-lost father of the Archnemesis Dad variety. He also killed his lover and asks his son to help him take over the universe. The only real difference between them is that Vader died a good man while Ego died as his evil self.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: When he first came into existence, he really had no idea what he was supposed to do with his vast power, so he decided to travel the universe looking for other life. He ended up being disappointed with it, so he decided to remake the universe in his image. Unfortunately, the purpose he chose and the lengths he went to in order to pursue it mean trouble for everyone else.
  • Dimension Lord: A variation in that he doesn't want to rule the universe as much as he wants to be it.
  • Dirty Coward: See Immortals Fear Death below.
  • Disappeared Dad: He left Meredith before Peter was born, so Peter never knew his father. When Peter naturally asks why this happened, Ego explains that he had to periodically return his planet in order to survive; when Meredith died whilst Ego was away, he was so grief-stricken that he couldn't bear to return to Earth for Peter, instead hiring Yondu to abduct him from earth and bring him to Ego instead. Except that's actually all a lie; Ego was actually off cavorting with other women on other planets as part of his Assimilation Plot and just couldn't be bothered to take time out to retrieve Peter when Meredith died.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: During the climax, the skin on Ego's human body becomes deathly pale, contrasting with his dark grey hair.
  • Eldritch Abomination: While not quite as ungodly powerful as Dormammu (he describes himself as a "small g" god), he still very much qualifies as a cosmic entity: an ancient, shape-shifting Genius Loci Reality Warper who can take a shot at assimilating the universe.
  • Eldritch Location: He's a moon-sized living planet whose biomes and surface are entirely synthetic and capable of being rearranged as Ego wills it.
  • Enlightened Antagonist: Ego came to his plans and discoveries out of normal curiosity and millennia of living, experiencing and sharing connections with mortals who he would eventually outlive, searching for some meaning or purpose for himself, trying to find another being who he could form a bond with, which only increased his loneliness to the point he's decided to replace all known habitable space in the universe with himself.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Deconstructed. He wants to assimilate the entire universe, but he did genuinely fall in love with Meredith Quill, and even in the present still has fond memories of "his river lily". At the end of the day, however, Ego's Assimilation Plot is still his ultimate ambition, and he willingly gave Meredith a brain tumor in order to get rid of her and keep himself from constantly coming back to Earth. He himself says that it broke his heart to do it in a very genuine tone, but in the end Ego still considers himself a higher being. This is also the case with his son, Peter, whom he does genuinely like, and bonds with but, when Peter rebels against him, he has no problem turning him into a living battery for "a thousand years" as punishment (although considering a Celestial's lifespan, this is probably the equivalent of a spanking and a time-out to Ego). He only bothered bonding with Peter, however, because Peter possessed Celestial powers as well, meaning he is the only one with a place in/on Ego's world, as Ego's other children weren't so lucky.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Played for Laughs when Peter tells him that Yondu used to say that he would eat him.
    Ego: Eat you? Aw, that son of a bitch!
  • Everything Is An I Pod In The Future: The white, egg-shaped spaceship his human avatar uses invokes this.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Ego is so convinced in the worthlessness of other forms of life that he killed his lover for being a distraction, and expected her son to agree with him. He's equally baffled that he's willing to give up immortality and enormous power to save the universe.
    • He also genuinely doesn't understand why Peter has a problem with his plan to destroy the universe or why anything he's done is wrong, including murdering children. They were in his way and/or no use to him so he got rid of Them. That's what happens to puny mortals who stand in the way of powerful beings.
  • Evil Counterpart: A violent, egotistical individual who only really cares about his family, with whom he constantly fights. Are we talking about Ego or Star-Lord? But of course, Peter was at most a callous jerkass, but never a sociopath during his lifetime.
  • Evil All Along: He's a benevolent, kindhearted father figure for the majority of the film. We then see his true, murderous nature when he unveils his plan to wipe out the universe and sculpt every planet into his likeness. Yondu was NOT joking when he was referring to him as a "jackass".
  • Evil Is Petty: He crushes Peter's Walkman, the only thing he has to remember his mother by, out of pure spite.
  • Evil Old Folks: He's millions of years old and the main villain of the film. This also applies to his physical form where he's played by sixty-six year old Kurt Russell. Being that he's a celestial, age means nothing to him; he could make himself look younger, but he chooses to look the way he did now.
  • Evil Plan: He even came up with a name for it, "The Expansion"; it involves planting seeds of himself in several habitable planets across the universe and then triggering it with enough power to over-run and absorb the landmasses of all the planets and the people within them and replacing them with himself.
  • Exact Words: Part of his agreement for Yondu finding and bringing his numerous half-breed children to him was promising that he wasn't going to hurt them. He says he kept it because "they didn't feel a thing" when he killed them.
  • Expy: His appearance (as a handsome but gray-bearded older man) and general costume and aesthetic is quite reminiscent of Jor-El in Man of Steel, and the planet has the whole Krypton-style Crystal Spires and Togas and diorama exposition display. Of course the references are intentional to deconstruct the whole space-dad hero's journey concept.
    • Also, Ego is an expy of Kronos the Titan, Father of All The Gods in Greek Mythology; infamous for swallowing his children whole into his belly when he grows to hate them and/or when they become of no more use to him; much like how Ego has sired countless Godlings, murdering them when they are useless to his goals, and "swallows" their bones into the literally cavernous "bowels" of his actual body.
    • He could also be considered one to David Banner from the 2003 Hulk movie. Both killed the mother of their child, both desire to use their sons' powers to accomplish an amoral petty goal (Destroying the military and not being alone respectively). They also both possess similar power sets in the sense that they can make foreign matter part of their atomic structure. Also, they both have a Beard of Evil.

    Tropes F to N 
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Meredith on her deathbed called him an angel and Kurt Russell certainly looks the handsome, heroic type, an iconic hero of The '80s (Snake Plissken). This makes his reveal as the evil living planet all the more powerful.
  • Family Versus Career: Ego twists this to the extreme, he could have settled down with Meredith and Peter but that would come in the way of his career of destroying and assimilating the universe, so he simply gave a brain tumor to his wife.
  • Fantastic Racism: When Gamora asks why no one lives on Ego's planet, Mantis says that a dog would not invite fleas to live on its back. He allows her to live "on his back" because she is useful to him. This is actually one hint that Ego is not all that benevolent.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's very friendly and welcoming towards other living beings he encounters, but he's really nothing more than a grandstanding, predatory narcissistic scumbag who doesn't understand the value of mortal life due to his own immortality and sees said life as a necessary sacrifice to make an immortal universe of himself.
  • Fighting a Shadow: Destroying Ego's humanoid body, at most, slows him down; the body is just an extension of his true body, the planet.
  • Foil:
    • To Yondu. They are both Peter's father-figures. Ego views his son as a tool to get what he wants, while Yondu genuinely loves him, in his own way anyways.
    • Also to Peter himself as both went to Interspecies Romance. Unlike Peter, who is in a sexual tension with Gamora and was a womanizer for fun, Ego decided this to go the eugenetic way to breed the perfect son to carry out his universe-destroying plan. Similarly, Peter seems like kind of a jerk at first, but is a good and heroic person underneath it. Ego has an affable, gregarious personality, but is really a cruel, heartless monster underneath it.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: His true form is a giant brain around which his planet form is built. From this he is able to generate humanoid avatars in order to more personally interact with people. Drax even asks if this form includes a penis. It does. Ego also briefly assumes the form of The Hoff — Peter's stand-in father of the eighties.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Yondu calls him a jackass at the end of the first Guardians film. It seems like a snide comment at first, but the disagreement between the two is key to the plot of Vol. 2 and why Yondu never returned Star-Lord. Likewise, at the end of the first film, the Nova Corps investigating Peter's DNA notes that his father must have been a very ancient and old being, and someone whose DNA isn't on their files, which explains that he's a Celestial, that was also foreshadowed by Peter holding the Infinity Stone, an object that the Collectors stated that the Celestials used to rule and wreck the universe. Ego himself notes that when he heard Peter handled the Infinity Stone, he realized at once who he was.
    • Within the film, there are a few hints of his true nature. The first is when Starhawk chastises Yondu for trafficking children with Yondu insisting that he didn't know what would happen, which is intercut with Ego telling Peter that he hired Yondu to bring Peter to him, both of which hint that there was more than one child Ego asked Yondu to bring to him, and that something happened to those kids, which Gamora and Nebula discover when they find the cavern of skeletons.
  • Genius Loci: His true form is a planet — well, technically it's a giant brain at the center of the planet, but the planet itself is effectively his physical avatar.
  • Glorified Sperm Donor: He is this from the start, and only descends further down the ladder when it's revealed that not only did he willingly abandon Peter (and thousands of other children), but he was also responsible for Meredith's brain tumor. In the end, it's Yondu who's deemed to be Peter's true dad, since he did (or at least tried to do) all the hard work of raising, protecting, and genuinely loving him.
  • A God I Am Not: He never proclaims himself to be a god despite his power and reputation as being one, mostly considering himself to be an immensely powerful being.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: By the time of the film, he's so jaded and fatigued by being the only thing he knows of that never ages and dies that he has lost any compassion he held for mortal life.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Considering the revelation that he is the one responsible for giving Meredith Quill a brain tumor that would claim her life, he automatically becomes this of the first film in its prologue that features Meredith's death and Peter's abduction and anytime he is mentioned then.
  • Hate Sink: Beneath his affable facade, Ego is one of the most despicable villains in the entire MCU, next to Ronan the Accuser, Red Skull, Hela, and Mysterio. He's extraordinarily selfish, cruel, utterly lacking in empathy, cowardly, immature and completely without any moments of genuine kindness or compassion. Even his sole positive traits, his love for Peter and his mother, are undone by his selfishness, as he had no issue enslaving the former and killing the latter to further his goals.
  • Hates Being Alone: Ego doesn't like having to be alone in the universe, and once he finds that he has an offspring (Peter) with the Celestial gene, he revels in the fact that he's no longer alone. With regards to the expansion, he isn't quite powerful enough to do it alone, and if he has to force his own son to stay by his side for eternity, so be it.
  • Hidden Depths: Ego is really into 1970's Earth music, even using the song "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" as a way to justify his way of life. While he treats Mantis as more of a pet than an adopted daughter, the fact that he needs her help to sleep implies that, for all his horrific actions and callousness towards mortal life, deep down he still feels guilt for his actions over the millennia.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His demise is due mostly to his arrogance and callousness towards his 'family'. He regards Mantis, his supposedly adopted daughter, merely as a way to escape his boredom through sleep; she repays his disregard by using her powers against him so the Guardians have a chance to destroy his brain. Peter, of course, immediately turns on Ego and tries to kill him when it's revealed Ego murdered Meredith via brain tumor.
  • Human Aliens: His avatar could be justified as A Form You Are Comfortable With but his flashbacks imply he created it before he started searching the universe for life.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: Horrifically defied. He killed Meredith in the face of, he says, developing enough feelings for her to abandon his plan, and had Peter not developed his Celestial powers, Ego at best would have abandoned him. His liking for some aspects of human culture, such as American pop music, is not going to lead him to spare it.
  • Humanoid Abomination: He assumes a human-like form to deal with the Guardians, but his true form is that of a cosmic entity of enormous power.
  • Hypocrite: He tells Peter that he needs to "grow up" when he opposes him, but he killed several of his children simply for not having powers and hates mortal life purely because they're just that... mortal.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: With regards to placing the tumor in Meredith's brain, he says he did what he had to do—but that was for himself to ensure he will be able to continue the expansion without any distractions or second thoughts.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Ego states to Peter that Meredith was the first person that he genuinely loved other than himself, enough for him to consider settling down with her for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, he saw this as an obstacle rather than the answer to his search for meaning, and thus killed her to prevent himself from abandoning the Expansion.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: More specifically friends that won't die. His failure to find any is what eventually leads him to lose any affection and respect for mortal life.
  • Imagination-Based Superpower: Deconstructed. Ego's powers, as he explains briefly, stem from manipulating matter on a molecular level through sheer will. It's sort of like being a Reality Warper, except he can only change the physical environment around him. However, there seem to be shades of Semantic Superpower in play as well — it took Ego thousands of years to figure out how to manipulate matter enough to form a tough carapace to protect his exposed brain, eventually managing it by sheer force of will (with eons afterwards to perfect this method). His son Peter, on the other hand, gets a grip on his Celestial Power immediately, after Yondu chides him with a Don't Think, Feel speech. Despite Ego's extreme age and experience utilizing said power, Peter is able to stand toe-to-toe with him by using his abilities in the exact opposite manner.
  • Immortal Immaturity: For a Celestial who's is millions of years old, Ego is remarkably immature, childish, and, ironically, impatient. He acts impulsively and short-sightedly despite having all the time in the world and greater power than most other beings. This extends to his shallow relationships with Mantis, who is more or less his organic alarm clock, and his interactions with Peter and co. That said, much of said millions of years of life were focused on figuring out how his own powers worked and building a planet around himself, not on activities that would produce mental/emotional maturity.
  • Immortality Immorality: Being immortal has made him incapable of truly forming any long-lasting meaningful bonds with beings who are mortals. As such, he doesn't see any meaning or purpose in their lives and doesn't see what's wrong with killing them, since sooner or later they would just die anyway and he absolutely doesn't see why anyone would choose to be mortal, as his final exchange with Peter proves.
  • Immortality Promiscuity: Ego has lived for millions of years, and has spent much of that time seducing ladies and siring children across the universe. Unlike Peter Ego's Casanova lifestyle is part of a plan and not just him getting his rocks off.
  • Immortals Fear Death: Despite growing to disregard mortal life as irrelevant due to his millennia of existence, when it becomes very apparent that he's about to die, he's reduced to begging Peter not to let it happen.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • He vehemently claims to Peter that he legitimately fell in love with his mother and knew that if he continued to spend time with her, his love for her would eventually make him stay on Earth, eclipsing his mission of assimilating the universe. So what does Ego do to rid himself of this distraction? No, he doesn't leave her (because he'd keep coming back for her as stated above) or disintegrate her in the blink of an eye (too noticeable). Instead, he gives her a brain tumor that will ensure that the distraction he's come to love dies a slow, painful death while he doesn't have to watch. This seems to stem from his own Lack of Empathy towards mortal life; everything else dies anyways, so why should the methods matter? It also helps fuel the debates on whether or not he loved her, he thought he did but didn't, or he was just claiming to have loved her to endear himself to Peter.
    • The gist of his plan. The reason he began his plan for "The Expansion" was his loneliness and disappointment at no life being like him. He even at one point shouts in triumph that Peter's presence means he is finally not alone. So to combat this... he decides to destroy every living being in the universe and make all planets an extension of himself, ensuring he would be alone forever.
  • Interim Villain: Unlike Ronan, there is no evidence that he is affiliated with Thanos nor do their goals align with one another (they definitely would not), nor does it contribute to the major MCU storyline in any way. Still Ego was the main threat the Guardians had to face before preparing to face the Mad Titan in Avengers: Infinity War, and he's only a taste of what they're to expect.
  • It's All About Me: It is his biggest flaw, in fact (he doesn't call himself "Ego" for nothing). While Ego and Peter share many traits (they both indulge and find meaning in period Earth music and both really get around for starters), he assumes that Peter would find mortal life just as uninteresting as does. In a grander sense, finds other life disappointing compared to himself... so he seeks to replace all life with himself. He only creates offspring to have someone to keep him company, so long as they possess some of his cosmic power so he can use them to further his plans. Otherwise, he considers them disposable waste.
    • The reason he gave Peter's mother a brain tumor that killed her in a slow and agonizing manner? It would have pained him to see her die when his master plan would kill all life in the universe, and he also couldn't bear seeing her die quickly so he made her terminally ill and left. Yeah, Ego is that selfish.
  • It's Personal: He's one of the most personal villains in the MCU due to being Peter's father and having murdered his mother.
  • Jerkass: Yondu wasn't being biased when he called Ego a "jackass", although not a simple one — he's a selfish, petty jerk who views his children as disposable pawns and his ultimate plan is born out of his feeling that being a mobile planet is too limiting.
  • Karmic Death: He gave Meredith the brain tumour that killed her. He's destroyed by a bomb that's attached to his own brain.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • He raised Mantis, but, by her own admission, he treats her as more of a pet than a surrogate daughter.
    • Just like his murder of Meredith, Ego plans to kill the other Guardians so he's is the only thing Peter has left.
    • He also crushes Peter's Sony Walkman, the last thing he has to remember his mother.
    • He briefly takes on the form of David Hasselhoff to mock Peter, who would claim the Hoff was his father as a child.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: Kills Meredith since she's the only person binding him to Earth, when he's plotting to destroy it.
    • He seems quite fond of Peter too. Doesn't stop him from trying to kill his friends, crushing his beloved Walkman out of pure spite or turning on him to achieve his goals.
  • Knight Templar: He is underwhelmed by the rest of the universe that he's had a chance to interact with in all his eons of existence and believes the only real solution is to destroy and remake existence in a more adequate fashion, with himself as the template.
  • Lack of Empathy: Going hand-in-hand with his narcissistic personality, Ego's regard for lives other than his own is decidedly limited; he killed thousands of his own children when he realised they couldn't help his goal, he gave Meredith Quill a brain tumour when he realised he cared about her (considering that a weakness), and he thinks nothing at all of the countless lives that would be destroyed by his ultimate plan. That he describes the sensation of meeting life other than himself as "disappointing" speaks volumes.
  • Last of His Kind: As far as we've seen, there haven't been any living Celestials besides him in the MCU, which is why Peter was the only choice to carry out the Expansion.
  • Light 'em Up: Describes his powers as "light", and true to form they manifest as radiant blue energy.
  • Light Is Not Good: His true form is that of a shiny brain, was described by Meredith as an angel, and his powers manifest as light; doesn't stop him from being an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: He tells his son about how great it is to be immortal and thinks nothing of spending an eon or so teaching him how to use his new powers. Great father-son time, you know? There's a loneliness issue, which he plans to fix with a celestial child and a universe made of himself.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: His demise means that the planet formed around him will follow in short order, forcing the Guardians to escape before it collapses entirely.
  • Love Hurts: In a twisted way. He supposedly realized that, of all the women that he had children with, Meredith was the one he genuinely grew to start to love... and that made him also realize that if he didn't do something soon, his feelings for her could make him stop his Assimilation Plot, so he stopped visiting her and gave her the fatal brain tumor before he grew to care too much about her to the point that it would pain him if she lives out her natural lifespan. Even in the present, talking about Meredith seems to invoke more of a sincere reaction out of them than anything else.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Ego genuinely loved Meredith, or rather found himself falling in love with her, which makes his murder of her by giving her cancer all the more monstrous. He willingly ended their relationship as it conflicted with his goals.
  • Love Redeems: Defied. He had visited Meredith Quill three times and was genuinely falling in love with her. Before his love could fully manifest itself, he realized that this love for one lifeform would prevent him from being willing to devour all life in the Universe. Thus, he stopped visiting her and implanted a tumor in her brain, killing her. He went to the extreme of killing her because he knew he wouldn't be able to stay away otherwise.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: He reveals himself to be Peter's father on their first meeting.
    Peter: Who the hell are you?
    Ego: I figured my rugged good looks would give it away. My name is Ego, and I'm your dad, Peter.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He knows exactly how to win Peter over to his side, despite Peter's initial skepticism. He plays catch with him, claims that "Brandy" by Looking Glass is one of Earth's greatest musical compositions if not the greatest, and tempts him with the immortality that being a Celestial entails.
  • Meaningful Name: His Evil Plan is to take over many planets and mold them into his own image, spreading himself like a virus until every planet in the galaxy is a part of him. More obviously, he turns out to be an arrogant, self-absorbed and condescending maniac who places his own needs over those of others. When explaining his plans to Peter, Ego presents himself as the first and most important being in the universe — but really, he's just another planet among others, albeit with terrible delusions of grandeur.
  • Misaimed Fandom: An In-Universe example. Ego loves the song "Brandy" and identifies himself with the sailor who sings the song's refrain. The thing is, the song is about Brandy, and the sailor is the Jerkass who breaks Brandy's heart by putting the sea over her. This counts as foreshadowing for what kind of person he really is.
  • Mr. Exposition: Yeah, most of his dialogue is exposition.
  • Mundane Utility: He uses Mantis' empathy powers to treat his insomnia.
  • Mythology Gag: In the final act, an enormous face forms on the side of Ego's planet, a nod to the famous Wham Shot introducing the character (although it doesn't speak or emote, and only appears for a few seconds).
  • Narcissist: As if his name wasn't a big enough clue, Ego finds all life in the universe "disappointing" compared to himself so he seeks to "improve" the universe by killing everything and replacing it all with himself. He seduced hundreds of women and sired hundreds of children to further this plan, and murdered just as many when they didn't inherit his "spark" and therefore were of no use to him. Though he claims he genuinely loved Peter's mother Meredith, even his concept of "love" seems shallow since the things he liked most about her were her looks and her knowledge of 80's pop music, and he murdered her in agonising fashion with a brain tumor so he wouldn't become too attached to Earth, which rather throws doubt on the idea that he loved her at all. He keeps Mantis around to serve his needs and Drax thinks he is treating her like a pet, and his overall vibe is that he sees everyone in the universe in terms of how they can or cannot serve or amuse himself, and even his final plea to Peter is that if he — Ego — dies, Peter will be "condemned" to be just like everybody else. Peter merely asks him "what's so wrong about that?"
  • Nothing Personal: His plan has shades of this. He has no personal grudge or vendetta against the universe or it's inhabitants. But if he has to annihilate all of Them to achieve his goals, he'll do it without a second thought. It's clear he sees the destruction of all life as a minor issue.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ego believes it is his purpose to spread across the universe and "unify" everything with him, however this entails wiping out the populations of the planets he covers and ultimately just highlights how selfish he is.

    Tropes O to Y 
  • Obliviously Evil:
    • He talks about the horrific things he's both planned, namely assimilating the entire universe into himself and exterminating all life other than himself, and actually done, such as killing off all of his previous children and giving the one person he claims to have genuinely loved a fatal brain tumor, with complete nonchalance. It's quite obvious he has no comprehension of just how evil he is, as shown by his affront when his son is genuinely enraged by the things he's done. As an immortal being, he sees no purpose or meaning in mortal life, since in his view either he kills them now or they grow old and die, and if he formed a bond with them, well that would make him sad.
    • The defining example of this? He literally tries to downplay giving Meredith a brain tumor the way a teenager might try to defend themselves from responsibility, flat-out saying "I know that SOUNDS bad, but—". He could have picked literally countless means of murder that would have dealt with Meredith quickly and painlessly, but instead chose to give her one of the most psychologically and physically painful forms of death there is, all so he wouldn't have to watch her die. If this were any other character in fiction, such nonchalance would be unbelievable, but since this is Ego we're talking about...
  • Offing the Offspring: He sired other children than Peter, but he ended up killing all of them when he found out that none of them had inherited his powers and therefore were of no use to him. Apparently the were thousands of them and there's a cave filled with their skeletons.
  • Oh, Crap!: When he once again tries to forcibly get Quill to use his powers for his assimilation plan. Quill, after some inspiring words from Yondu, quickly takes control of his celestial power and in turn the planet, saving his friends in the process. Ego quickly realizes Quill now has the power to fight him and is about to come at him full force.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Ego's end game is to spread across the Universe, devouring every inhabited planet thanks to a seed he planted on each of said planets, all to ensure that the only life that will remain will be extensions of himself. Peter will be spared because he technically is an extension of himself and would keep him company for eternity, willingly or not. As for Mantis, he needs her powers to help him sleep, so he'll at least let her live out her natural lifespan or kill her last after the rest of the universe.
  • One-Man Army: Ego's first appearance consists of him single-handedly destroyed a Sovereign fleet.
  • Physical God: There's a reason he deems himself a "Celestial", which are high up in the comic-verse's list of God Tier creatures. He's an eternal entity, millions of years old, able to assimilate matter and manipulate it on a molecular level by mere will, which he has used to not only take physical form as a planet, but to create humanoid extensions of himself and send them to the furthest reaches of the galaxy. His avatars are super strong and durable, have a potent Healing Factor, and can manipulate matter that isn't part of Ego to the extent of effortlessly wiping out a fleet of drone-ships singlehandedly. Fighting him in his body is almost as bad as fighting Dormmammu. That said, he does have limits: he doesn't have the power to complete his Assimilation Plot on his own, or at least not in what he considers a reasonable timespan (and this is someone who's been alive for millions of years already), and is ultimately killed by applying a bomb to his "core". Admittedly, said bomb is a "super-bomb" built by Rocket using hyper-energy batteries stolen from the Sovereign. He also seems to have a limited level of awareness, with little ability to focus on more than one thing at a time. Hence, it is possible to hide from him on his own body/planet as it takes time for his conscious mind/avatar to locate someone.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Ego may be eons of years old, and may be wise, but he quickly devolves to this the instant he doesn't get his way, screaming and ranting. For a man with all the time in the world, he's impulsive, impatient, and desperate.
  • Red Right Hand: After the Reveal his human body is depicted as unnaturally pale and colourless to emphasise his true inhumanity.
  • Related in the Adaptation: This version of the character is the biological father of Star-Lord and adoptive father of Mantis, neither of whom he's related to in the comics.
  • Remote Body: His true form is a brain inside a living planet. His humanoid form is merely a remotely controlled avatar he uses for exploring other planets and interacting with their life forms on a more personal level.
  • Restart the World: Annoyed by the inferiority of the universe's beings after traveling the stars, he thinks that he can do better and will sire (then murder) as many children as he needs until he finds one that can power the universe-resetting event that he wants to trigger in order to make things the way he wants.
  • The Reveal: Seemed rather nice for most of the film, until he outright states his plan to destroy the universe, with Peter's help. The whole tone of his speech changes subtly when he restates his past in searching for other life, now ending it with the statement that everything he found was "disappointing." He's also killed who knows how many of Peter's half-siblings, as well as Peter's mother.
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: Ego originated as a villain for Thor in the comics before becoming a kind of Marvel-wide space villain, albeit Thor was the hero who dealt most often with him. His connection to the Guardians is entirely original to the film as is his connection to Star-Lord and Mantis. This change has also modified Ego's origin and powers, since in the comics he had full molecular control of his planet's surface mass and atmosphere which allowed him to be a threat that even Thor was tentative about tackling, and allowed him to hold his own against Galactus. In the film, these aspects are removed to make him a villain not entirely beyond the scale of the Guardians.
  • Satanic Archetype: Meredith's description of Ego as an "angel, composed out of pure light" is evocative of Lucifer (whose name literally means "light bringer"), he's charismatic, manipulative, and narcissistic, acts as a corrupter to Peter and Yondu by preying on their vulnerabilities, and, despite all appearances, is ultimately an incredibly selfish and evil being willing to destroy innumerable lives for his own gain.
  • Saying Too Much: He has Quill believing everything he says, causing his son to become Drunk on the Dark Side and all but willing to join him, even as his description of his plans become more and more sinister. Then, Ego lets it slip that he purposely infected Quill's mother with the tumor that killed her. This revelation hits Quill's Berserk Button causing him to snap out of it with Unstoppable Rage.
  • Seen It All: So he believes. The universe in its present form has nothing fresh or interesting to offer and he believes his personal experience can attest to that so it all has to go so he can make something a little less boring.
  • Self-Constructed Being: Originated as a brain floating in space but spentillions of years constructing his planet body.
  • Shadow Archetype: To Peter. Both are good-looking, arrogant, charismatic men who are also ladykillers. The difference is that Ego represents an uncaring, detached, sociopath version of Peter.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Briefly takes the form of David Hasselhoff (specifically, his Michael Knight persona) to try to guilt Peter for not accepting him as his father. It doesn't last long, nor does it seem to unnerve Quill anymore than other revelations already had at that point.
  • Shooting Superman: A Downplayed example. After Peter learns that Ego gave his mother brain cancer, Peter unloads his blasters on him, shredding his physical human form. While Peter might have suspected that using blasters against a Physical God would be ultimately pointless, he is just too pissed in that movement to think about anything but killing him.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: Has a statue of Meredith on himself.
  • Single Specimen Species: Says he was this until Peter was born, or so he believes. It's unclear whether or not he's related to the giant, humanoid Celestials seen in the first movie.
  • Smug Snake: Ego is immensely powerful but allows his selfishness and arrogance to blindside him as well as his misunderstanding of Peter and his willingness to go along with his plan. It's also clear that he never bothered to become more skilled with his powers as he never imagined he'd go up against someone who was his equal and so Peter is able wipe the floor with him in battle.
  • The Sociopath: Ego wishes to assimilate all life into himself because he was dissatisfied with his first encounters with other life. When he fell in love with Meredith Quill, he gave her brain cancer in order to keep his head clear. She was not the only mortal woman he slept with, as he needed a child for his scheme. Most of his children are dead because they were useless to him without powers, and he tries to use Star-Lord as a human battery when he defies him.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: He's pretty casual when talking about how he murdered his own girlfriend and children.
  • Straw Nihilist: He views all mortal life as disappointing and worthless save to be assimilated by him.
    Ego: Stop pretending you aren't what you are! One in billions, trillions, even more... What greater meaning can life possibly have to offer?!
  • Stupid Evil: So you're a Consummate Liar and Manipulative Bastard extraordinaire who's just charmed your son into taking the first few steps to We Can Rule Together. When he starts to have moral qualms, how do you dispel them? Why, by telling him you killed his mother, of course! As for the offspring who failed him, what does he do to get rid of them? He doesn't. He keeps their remains in accessible caverns.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Ego describes himself a Celestial which means that he is a god with a "small g".
  • Time Abyss: He's been around for millions of years.
  • Übermensch: He indulges in sub-Nietzschean spiel to Peter in his Bastardly Speech to turn Peter to his side, stating that they are beings with nothing in common with lesser mortals and have a higher purpose.
  • The Unfettered: He will not allow anything to stand in the way of his goals. Not love, not mercy, not compassion, not even his own son.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Ego is one of the most powerful beings in the universe (even Thanos would likely have trouble facing The Living Planet on his home turf) but he falters when he meets someone that is his equal, his son Peter. While he was holding back during the initial phase of the fight because he needed Peter to power his plan to destroy the known universe, once Peter figures out how to control his Celestial powers he gets thrashed. It's possible that being a Physical God for so long and never meeting a lifeform he found "worthy", he never bothered to learn how to fight as he could overwhelm any opposition with his power.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Once Ego's true nature is revealed, he's quickly established as one of the most vile villains in a Marvel film to date; he's killed thousands of his own children, murdered a woman he claimed to love by giving her cancer, and his ultimate goal is to wipe out all other life in the universe so that the only remaining life will be extensions of him. All this, in a series that has been... well, not exactly saccharine, but certainly not as serious as the DC films or other MCU films and shows.
  • Villain Ball: Ego might have been successful... if he hadn't decided to tell Peter about the fact he killed his mother just as he was on the verge of victory. It is justified as Peter was still resisting, which is why the topic of his mother even came up, and Ego didn't really have any options for how to answer that wouldn't cause problems.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He gets more desperate as Peter continues to rebel against him, after Peter defeats him in battle, he's reduced to begging Peter to not destroy everything and stay as a god. When Peter tells him off, he breaks down completely.
  • Villains Never Lie: Despite being a Manipulative Bastard, Ego never outright lies to Peter about anything (at least, nothing that he really had any reason to lie about). However, he does pick out specific things to tell him and when to tell him.
  • Villain Song: Makes "Brandy" by the Looking Glass one for him. He quotes lyrics of it to justify to Peter why he couldn't stay with Meredith even if she was a fine girl and would have been a good wife, because his true love is "the sea", i.e. the universe. He says the main refrain one final time before destroying Peter's Walkman.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Ego desperately begs Peter to save him when the bomb is about to go off next to his brain. Peter is only too happy to tell him to go fuck himself.
  • We Are as Mayflies: The main thing that discourages him from forming bonds with other lifeforms — they will eventually die and he will not.
  • We Can Rule Together: Offers this to his son Peter when he reveals his end-game. Nearly succeeded until he chooses to reveal he killed Peter's mother, attacks the other Guardians, and destroys Peter's Walkman. Then, he decides Peter has no say in the matter.
  • We Have Reserves: Continually killed off unsatisfactory offspring, since he planned to keep having children until one of them was gifted with Celestial power.
  • Wham Lines: "I'm your dad, Peter." and "It broke my heart to put that tumor in her head."
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Subverted. He admits that being an immortal is deeply lonely and depressing, having no one to relate to, and even the mortals he meets and forms bonds with will fade and die. When he reminds Peter that he's immortal as well, Peter realizes that eventually he could outlive his friends and be completely beyond human attachments, and is conflicted between choosing his current life and immortality. Ego admits the only way he can cope with his eternal life is to have a purpose. Unfortunately, his is an Assimilation Plot to wipe out the rest of the universe. Peter, after realizing that Ego killed his mother and more or less lied to him about his existence, promptly decides to destroy his father and in the end, willingly gives up immortality and godhood for a mortal life.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He nonchalantly reveals he implanted a brain tumor in Meredith, and then tries to dismiss it as no big deal.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Ego paid Yondu to bring him some of the many children he's had with various aliens and then murdered every one of them who disappointed him because they didn't have his powers. Technically he wouldn't hurt them, as he killed them painlessly.
  • You Are Grounded: Once Peter angrily blasts him for killing his mother, Ego treats him like an ungrateful child by making him a Living Battery for the next thousand years, and that's miles worse than being grounded.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Offspring that fail in his plot get Disproportionate Retribution and stuffed into the bottom of his planet.
  • You Killed My Father: He was the one who gave Peter's mother the tumor that killed her, the reveal of which turns Peter against him. He wasn't prepared for just how furious that news made Peter.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: To his own children! The many who came before Peter who didn't inherit Ego's powers were murdered with no more thought than one would give to swatting a fly.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: