Kurt Russell joins Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 as Peter Quill's father, Ego, but it turns out, he's way more than just a dad. In the sequel, Ego has big plans for the galaxy his son is trying to save — specificially, a plan he calls "the Expansion." So, what is Ego's Expansion and how does it work? Well, first you need to know a little bit about this newest addition to series. Some spoilers ahead!
In an interview with Complex, the film's director James Gunn gave some insight to who Ego is in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. According to Gunn, Russell's Ego "is a living planet who is able to manifest himself in different ways." For millions of years, Ego's been alone, but he made good use of his time by learning to control the organic molecules of the galaxy, which now allows him to take human or planetary form whenever he chooses. When human, Ego just so happens to look a lot like Russell.
While Gunn describes Ego as a lonely character — he's also a Celestial, which is a godlike entity — he did go off in search of love and "perhaps found it in Quill's mother." That may all sound very sweet, but, this Guardian Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 father and son reunion isn't all hugs and kisses. Ego's expansion puts the whole galaxy at risk of destruction.
It's not exactly an easy plan to explain, but DigitalSpy managed to put it in layman's terms for all of us: Ego's expansion "involves him assimilating all planets in the universe." Since Ego can take on any form, he can mingle with any species and he does. Yes, Ego is a bit of a player who's had sex with many different kinds of creature in the universe, so that he could create offspring powerful enough to help him achieve his expansion plan. Unfortunately, none of his offspring were powerful enough so he killed them — that is, except Peter, who is actually half-god.
Ego, whose name is very fitting, reveals to his son that he's traveled the universe planting seedlings that will consume the planets and turn them into extensions of himself. (See, I told you his name was meant to be taken literally.) But, the only way he could activate these seedlings was with help from another Celestial, which is why he kept having children until the right one came along. If Ego and Peter activate all the seedlings, they will eventually consume the entire world and every person in it.
It's a a real doozy of a plan and it's all for the movie, since, as Vulture pointed out, Ego is not Peter Quill's dad in the comics. Star-Lord's dad is actually J’son of Spartax, "sovereign of a distant space empire." In the comics, Ego is also a godlike being who can take human or planetary form, most often seen as a big anthropomorphized purple planet with a beard who first appeared in a 1996 issue of Thor and has since shown up in the Fantastic Four. Just like in the comics, Ego has a dark side in this movie. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, he's an unexpected villain, who puts a damper on the theme of a loving family.
Peter's finally found his dad, but if follows through with Ego's plan, he will lose his Guardian pals — the only real family he's known since his mom passed away. No spoilers here, so you'll have to see the film when it hits theaters on May 5 to find out how this all ends. But, I will say, learning about his dad's dastardly plan has Peter looking at Yandu, the space pirate who abducted him from Earth and forced him into a life of thievery, very differently. It will also have the audience doing the same.