Goodbye, Chris Pratt? Marvel’s New Star-Lord Has Been Revealed

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Chris Pratt as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Credit: Marvel Studios

The Marvel Universe just gained its new Star-Lord, and they are quite a departure from the Chris Pratt iteration of the character.

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord in the MCU
Credit: Marvel Studios

Actor Chris Pratt has been part of Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. His turn as Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord, was a big career-defining role for The Office star.

He went on to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023). Where his journey will go next, though, is anyone’s guess. Maybe even Marvel Studios’, too.

The blockbuster franchise has been navigating a tumultuous sea of late, with both Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger and Marvel President Kevin Feige being increasingly vocal about the current issues and woes of the MCU.

Last year, Iger openly queried some of the choices Marvel made with its movies, namely the decision to release so many sequels. This year, the CEO lambasted the critique that superhero fatigue was an issue, saying instead that if great movies were made, the audiences would come.

Kevin Feige at D23 Expo
Credit: D23

Despite a tricky year at the box office for Marvel Studios, with bombs including Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) and The Marvels (2023), James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) was a huge success. Bringing in close to $900 million globally, the story of the Guardians of the Galaxy came to an emotional conclusion, with this current group of heroes being disbanded forever.

The mid-credits scene saw Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), and Kraglin Obfonteri (Sean Gunn) lead a new team of Guardians, including newcomers Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), Phyla-Vell (Kai Zen), and Cosmo the Spacedog (Maria Bakalova). Characters like Nebula (Karen Gillan), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and Gamora (Zoe Saldaña) all went their separate ways.

Guardians of the Galaxy from 'Vol. 2'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: ‘Ant-Man’ Star Quits MCU, Won’t Be Back for More Movies

As for Star-Lord, his journey led him back to Earth, where he reconnected with his grandfather. As the post-credits scene revealed, Star-Lord will return. Where or when is not clear. It could be in a few years’ time in Michael Waldron’s Avengers: Secret Wars (2027), or it could be before, in the potential Nova/Richard Rider project. Or, as this was filmed before the studio’s big overhaul of content, could Chris Pratt be long gone?

It’s unlikely that Marvel Studios would remove a blockbuster actor like Pratt from the franchise without a completely satisfactory end, but it wouldn’t be unusual to sacrifice something for the greater good.

While fans may be awaiting news of Star-Lord’s MCU return, a new version of the character just debuted in Marvel Comics, and it could be a sign of where Feige’s franchise is headed.

Chris Pratt in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel 2099, the future of the main Marvel continuity, has been part of the comic book legacy since 1992. Steve Orlando has brought new stories to readers over the last few years. He will return in July with “Annihilation 2099,” a five-issue series centering on five different characters in the year 2099.

The first issue will be about Nova 2099, the third about Red Hulk, the fourth about Silver Surfer, and the fifth about Dracula. The second issue will be about Starlord, except here she is nothing like the Star-Lord fans of the MCU have grown accustomed to over the last decade.

Marvel Comics describes this Starlord as a Wakandan tech goddess. “Starlord guards the solar systems of 2099! But she faces a villain like no other: Quasar, the Living Star!” the solicitation for the issue reads (via Marvel.com). “Born to a fallen star, raised on Planet Wakanda, Starlord risks her life to save a world against a sun gone mad!”

Illustration of a Marvel female superhero wearing a purple and black suit, wielding bright energy powers, set against a fiery yellow backdrop.
Credit: Marvel Comics

Some may recognize the 2099 banner from the recent appearance of Spider-Man 2099 in Sony’s Spider-Verse movies. Oscar Isaac portrayed the character in both Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023). Spider-Man hails from Earth-928, the official designation of 2099. It has been confirmed, though, that it is the future of the mainstream Earth-616 timeline, alternatively being called Earth-616 circa 2099.

While the Wakandan tech goddess may not be where the live-action MCU is headed with Star-Lord, it is interesting to see how each of the five issues reflects an upcoming project in the franchise and could be a sign that Marvel Studios may adopt some of these characters for future replacements.

Nova has been rumored to be appearing in a Disney+ series at some point in the future. In fact, Brad Winderbaum (Head of Streaming, Television, and Animation at Marvel Studios) recently confirmed to ComicBook that a Nova project was being developed. But, as he clarified, development may not necessarily lead to production.

Anthony Mackie looks at the Captain America shield in Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Scraps ‘Deadpool 3’, Reboots MCU Instead

Then, we already know Star-Lord will return. As for the Red Hulk, Harrison Ford’s General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross is heavily rumored to be transformed into the Red Hulk in 2025’s Captain America: Brave New World after clashing with Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson/Captain America.

The Silver Surfer is a huge part of the Fantastic Four mythos, and following Captain America 4, Marvel Studios will release The Fantastic Four (2025). A recent announcement confirmed that Julia Garner will play the Shalla-Bal version of Silver Surfer in the upcoming movie. As for Dracula, Marvel’s turbulent Blade (2025) production will bring the famous Vampire Hunter to the MCU, and who is the most famous vampire around?

“Annihilation 2099” begins releasing on July 3, 2024, with an issue dropping weekly.

Do you think these new comics indicate where the MCU is going? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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