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Star-Lord is a constructed identity Peter Quill invented to pick up girls
The, ah, original origin for Quill is that he was bestowed the title of Star-Lord by a mystical cosmic being called the Master of the Sun. However, later on it's revealed that Master of the Sun is an evil space lizard thing named Ragnar. But just suppose Quill made up the whole "Master of the Sun" bit to sound impressive, and what really happened is that he was simply abducted by Ragnar (pretty much his movie origin, with Ragnar replacing Yondu). After all, "chosen by cosmic forces" is more impressive-sounding than "abducted by space-lizard-Fagin".

Star-Lord is a Time-Traveller
Bendis Star-Lord appears to be younger than D'n'A Star-Lord, and this could be the reason why. It would also explain Star-Lord's Unexplained Recovery after the Thanos Imperative, and the fact that he wore his original costume in Avengers Assemble. Some time after the Thanos Imperative, Rocket and Groot ran into a younger Star-Lord, probaby very soon after his early stories ended, and reformed the Guardians. This Star-Lord went on to appear in Avengers Assemble, and later the third volume of the Guardians. At some point in the future, Star-Lord will travel back in time to a point before Annihilation, and will end-up fighting the Fallen One, landing him in the Kyln and setting up his later appearences.

Drax's body was teleported out of Cancerverse along with the surviving Guardians
And he was later resurrected once again, like many times before. This explains how he is still alive after dying in Thanos Imperative.

Star-Lord left Nova (Richard Rider) behind in order to escape the Cancerverse.
  • This is blasphemy

Star-Lord died in the Cancerverse, and the current incarnation is a Skrull
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Mantis didn’t use her powers on all of the original Guardians.
Consider that Rocket was incredibly quick to join when we first saw him, and was the only Guardian who stuck around after the reveal of Quill and Mantis’ deception. Phylla and Adam were also pretty clearly committed once the offer was extended. The only players who might have needed extra convincing were Drax and Gamora. Quill just never told them because tensions were high in the immediate aftermath of the Skrull incident and afterwards it didn’t matter.

Major Victory was a future version of Peter Quill, not Vance Astro.
At the end of vol 2, the future Guardians specifically lampshade the confusion of the Major’s identity. He never once displays Vance Astro’s powers, even though DnA make a particular note to display them in Starhawk’s flash–forward and when Star–Lord meets the original Guardians in the future. He never recovers any memories of Starhawk, or of the future Guardians. When Star–Lord meets the future Guardians, their Vance Astro seems like a very different person. This is also shown in other works by either Dan Abnett or Andy Lanning, such as Guardians 3000 or Guardians Infinity. And in the 100th Anniversary issue, Andy Lanning even shows Major Victory unmasked as Peter Quill.
  • Follow up: this was DnA’s original plan to have Star–Lord escape the Cancerverse. This Major Victory notes that the Shi’ar have been extinct for thousands of years in his time, whereas Vance Astro is from Less than 1000 years in the future. But if the Shi’ar of the Cancerverse were wiped out before Death was killed, then Star–Lord could have been stuck there for a very long time before finding a way back. It would also explain the cancerous–tentacles and the broken Avengers’ mansion from the Major’s debut.

The Prince is an alternate universe version of Thor
Between his general appearance, his use of Flowery Elizabethan English, and his status as a fallen prince, it seems likely that he would be a god of some sort. And while Ultimate Thor is ruled out due to Ewing refraining from giving him the Ultimate styled speech font (something he is very good about in his other books) he wouldn't be the first alternate version of a hero to join the team.
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