Feature by Penn Ketchum
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 promises more adventures on its way to “discovering Peter Quill’s true parentage.” It’s a statement that leaves readers with a few questions, not the least of which is why they would choose to question his “parentage” as opposed to “parents.” Does this suggest something else at play besides Mom and Dad? I have no idea, I haven’t seen the movie (although the first GOTG is among my all-time favorites so definitely count me in for Vol. 2 come May 5th). But it’s an interesting choice of words.
Who are your parents? Mine are Pop Pop Peter and Grandma Robin (they used to just be Mom and Dad but now they have grandchildren, so their names changed). This question of “parents vs. parentage” raises the question of “Who raised you?” Really, the underlying question is, “Okay, Mom and Dad, but who ELSE?” It takes a village, after all.
In 2016, we lost the beloved mother-daughter team of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. This was of particular interest because our generally loving Carrie Fisher—best known for her role as Leia, a princess who was clearly “raised” by a variety of parents—could also be said of Carrie herself. I think her brother turned out to be Luke, which means her Dad is Darth Vader, right? (We all should have seen that coming, since Vader is only one letter away from being “Father” in German, but I digress). Then she hooked up with Han Solo (both on-screen and off-screen) and they had a son who, apparently, turned bad and ultimately killed his pop. Right? Am I following this correctly? Quite the mix of dark side, light side. Takes Thanksgiving dinner to a whole new level.
But with all that “evil” in their lineage, Luke and Leia both turned out okay. Their parents were rotten but their “parentage” was, apparently, successful (thank you, Uncle Ben, et al). Tune in, to Episode VIII this winter for more family drama from a galaxy far far away.
Our interest in parentage is fascinating. It’s why we love a good origin story, or when one character “turns out” to be so and so’s father! (See: Gosford Park, 2002). I was lucky to be blessed with great parents, but there were times, I am sure when it took the whole block to form the full parentage necessary to do the job. (Shout out to Tom and John, the Palms, Phyllis Brody and of course Mr. Oliver.)
I’m no Peter Quill or Luke Skywalker, but still, I got good parentage, that’s for sure.