Since their arrival in 2014, the Guardians of the Galaxy have taken the world by storm as the MCU's ragtag galactic band of misfits with thrilling and interesting character arcs. The team is currently set to be the stars of the new "Cosmic Rewind" ride at Epcot in Disney World while also having three major MCU projects lined up through the course of Phase 4.
The last time fans saw the Guardians came in the blockbuster duo of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, in which they teamed up with Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the fight against the Mad Titan Thanos. Rocket and Nebula contributed to the Time Heist for the six Infinity Stones before half the universe's population returned to life and the battle for humanity came to Earth.
While Vol. 1 simply showed that Yondu took him from his home planet and family, Vol. 2 explained that the Ravager leader did it as a job for Kurt Russell's Ego the Living Planet as the Celestial searched for his son. Once Yondu realized that Ego was murdering thousands of potential offspring and leaving their bones to rot, he took a risk by keeping Quill and raising him as his own with the Ravagers.
All of this, on top of learning that Ego killed Meredith Quill to keep his mission alive, threw Peter for a loop as he learned the truth about why he ended up outside of Earth's atmosphere. His encounter with Ego only seemed to heighten his disdain for Earth to new levels and his demeanor throughout Endgame solidified that sentiment further.
So will the legendary outlaw ever make his way back to Terra?
Gunn Explains Quill's Issues With Earth
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn took to Twitter to discuss Peter Quill's ties, or lack thereof, to his home planet Earth after his travels there in Avengers: Endgame.
Responding to a fan who asked if Quill will return to Earth, Gunn avoided a direct "no," instead referencing the hero's explanation for his absence in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The director confirmed that after the Endgame battle, Quill didn't waste a moment planning his return to the stars:
"As Peter Quill explains in Vol 2 he wants nothing to do with earth. He got out of there the first minute he could."
Although Quill was technically kidnaped from Earth as a child, Gunn clarified that the outlaw's primary reaction to being on Earth was "(getting) the hell off" without a second to lose:
"He did have a reaction. He wanted to get the hell off. Badly."
The director more deeply referenced Quill's chat with Gamora on Berhert, in which he explained that he saw Earth simply as the place where his mother died, regardless of the pop culture he still embraces to this day:
"I'm not sure how someone can watch the speech Quill gives Gamora in Vol 2 about earth & think he'd want anything to do with earth. He likes pop culture from the innocent time before his mother died, & music communicated to him by his Mom & Yondu."
This led to a reference of Quill's quote from Avengers: Infinity War where he told Tony Stark "I'm not from Earth, I'm from Missouri." Gunn gave some insight into Quill's psyche and how the character truly thought Missouri was located somewhere other than Earth:
"He didn't literally think Missouri wasn't on earth."
Although Quill did his best to work through his dark past, Gunn made it clear that he hadn't completely resolved his grief or the trauma that caused it. Although the Ravager "forgave himself" for his actions and took to heart how much his mother cared for him, this doesn't mean he's completely accepted everything that's happened to him:
"You misunderstand. Quill's grief wasn't resolved, nor was his trauma. He forgave himself for running away & realized his mother loved him no matter what. That is not synonymous with healing grief or trauma."
Quill Still Working Through His Traumatic Past
Chris Pratt's Star-Lord has seen quite the journey in the MCU over the past seven years, through which he's done everything in his power to learn the truth about his past and grow through the struggles.
Even after four MCU appearances to date, Quill's Earth-based trauma is arguably one of his toughest mental challenges to face. Being that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will wrap up the main Guardians story, it would make narrative sense for Quill to find reason to revisit his homeworld and, in the process, overcome his Earthly trauma and evolve as a character.
Chris Pratt's Star-Lord will make his next appearance in 2022's Thor: Love and Thunder. He will then move on to the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special in late 2022 before Vol. 3 releases in May 2023.