In Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Ego gives a speech wherein he talks about his origins and his search for meaning, illustrated with a cool claymation-like diorama.

I don't know where I came from exactly. First thing I remember is flickering adrift in the cosmos, utterly and entirely alone. Over millions of years I learned to control the molecules around me. I grew smarter and stronger. And I continued building from there, layer by layer, the very planet you walk on now.

But I wanted more. I desired meaning. "There must be some life out there in the universe besides just me," I thought. And so, I set myself the task of finding it. I created what I imagined biological life to be like, down to the most minute detail.

The diorama shows the creation of Ego's human avatar.

I wanted to experience what it truly meant to be human as I set out amongst the stars, until I found what I sought. Life. I was not alone in the universe after all.

How could Ego have so precisely guessed what biological life was like, much less what a human is, before he has ever encountered a single other life form?

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    Would it not seem quite evident that the diorama was created after, and since Ego could change his form at will he would've been able to make it what he thought it might look like, then change it to something more accurate later? As for how he knew the word human, is it not entirely possible that was added later into the story, that he set out what it truly meant to be biological but since he was telling peter he made it human?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 13:04
  • So he lied? I guess that is likely since his purpose is malicious, though he seems to genuinely care about Peter until Peter attacks him.
    – J Doe
    Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 16:13
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    Well he lied maliciously since he really just wanted Peter's power to become stronger.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 16:25
  • @Edlothiad Did he lie? Was his original intention toward Peter really malicious though? He wanted to work cooperatively with Peter at first, with Peter being fully aware of his plan and accepting it. He even freely admitted to Peter that he killed his mother. Everything indicates that he genuinely wanted to have a relationship with Peter, who is the only other thing in the universe like him, until Peter attacked him.
    – J Doe
    Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 22:37
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    I dont think lie is the right term. Peter obviously knows that making a human on hos try would be incredibly difficult. I would imagine that ego looked like a blob when he first emerged. The diorama is just to tell a story. Peter knows he didnt pop out of the ground that way. In order to become truly human in a biological sense, he wouldve needed a sample or an encounter.
    – user64742
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 3:53

5 Answers 5


He changed diorama for every one of his offspring he has shown it to. To change it is trivial for Ego. Why would he do that? To get better rapport with his child/ his current child he is showing it to.

"You are special. This is the first form I ever chose, that exact form of your species. Your mother is the one I loved the most of all the women I've slept with." It's a very good lie.

Edit: Starts at around 6 minutes in this interview. There is also a part around 4 minutes mark.

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    I suppose it's possible that Ego truly loved Peter's mother, maybe even more than any of the rest of his lovers. But from what we know of him - being willing to kill his children en mass and destroy all other life in the universe - I think calling him a megalomaniac who would lie about loving the women he slept with is close enough to the source material to be a very compelling headcanon, if not just a canonical reading between the lines.
    – Kevin
    Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 20:58
  • So your answer is he didn't and he lied. Makes sense, at least.
    – jpmc26
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 0:30
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    @kevin I always assumed that love is what caused Peter to actually be a celestial as well. It seemed to me like they were implying that it didnt work in the other cases because he was just mating with that species. He wasnt actually in love. Otherwise, he certainly wouldnt have given her the cancer. And he surely wouldnt be dumb enough to lie about the cancer just for the sake of hurting peter.
    – user64742
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 3:56
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    @Edlothiad: In the director's commentary, James Gunn says that the diorama showing human Kurt Russell with lots of different species of alien women is silly; he took the form of the species he was hooking up with each time. But the diorama is for Peter's benefit, and shows Ego as plastic human Kurt Russell every time. We can extrapolate from this that dioramas for the benefit of other kids were tuned to them. Or not, if weren't part celestial he might not have bothered with dioramas at all. (Do we trust that claim made by Ego that they weren't?) Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 4:20
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    I think the answer would be greatly improved if the James Gunn interview quote was included. Also, even if the video goes down, the answer will still stand as no information will be lost. Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 2:35

This is an old trope for super-intelligence. E.E. "Doc" Smith, writing in the late 1940s, attributed the ability to deduce a future event -- in great detail, from seemingly limited information -- to one such super-intelligence ("Mentor", the creator of the titular Lenses and recruiter of Kimball Kinnison in First Lensman, pub. 1950).

This sequence in GotG2 is seemingly intended to highlight the sheer mental power of Ego, in that he is able, just from knowing the physical laws of the universe, to deduce the existence of biology and closely approximate the form in which it would take on sapience (and nothing says he didn't "tweak" his biological puppet from time to time after actually encountering various biological forms, so as to walk unnoticed among them).

  • This is implying that it would logically follow from the physical laws of the universe that sentience is only possible in the form of former tree-climbers walking erect... which I would consider hubris. Especially in the GotG universe, where we have sentience in a tree and a racoon, to say nothing about Ego himself, or other not-very-human sentients.
    – DevSolar
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 16:30
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    But look at the number of sapients in the MCU who are, in fact, upgright bipeds who might be able to climb trees. I didn't create the trope; I just recognized it as a rehash of one from the days of space opera. I'm not even certain Doc Smith was the first to write it -- we've debunked the idea that you can deduce the entire universe by knowing its laws (chaos theory did that), but that hadn't happened yet when Smith wrote, and perhaps not when Marvel created Ego. Nor does the MCU have a great record for following logic...
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 16:48
  • You mean all the fluff characters which are much cheaper staffed with extras instead of something radical and CGI-created? The characters that Joe Average, when presented with "basically humans", will accept as "sapient" without any previous exposure much more readily than, say, something fish-shaped, or some amorphous blob? Yes, I see those, and I recognize them as what they are -- the author's easy way out, usually retconned by some "seeded sapience" story (ST TNG "The Chase", TOS "The Paradise Syndrom", Perry Rhodan's spore ships etc.). I, personally, consider dolphins sapient. And you?
    – DevSolar
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 20:33
  • I don't challenge the existence of the trope, or the fact that the majority of "aliens" encountered in SciFi aren't so "alien" after all. The problem for authors and directors is, audience cannot really relate to something truly alien. And you get bogged down in details like language and communication, different habitat and not wanting major protagonists hidden inside an exosuit all the time (B5 Vorlons, anyone?), alien thought processes and morals, all the stuff that gets into the way of easy, relatable storytelling. I do claim, though, that it is preposterous to set sapient == humanoid.
    – DevSolar
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 20:39
  • I'm not disagreeing, I'm just pointing out the trope that's in operation with Ego and his bio-puppet form(s).
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 20:40

He didn't guess. Ego is talking about the past, but presenting it in terms that make sense to his audience (in this case Peter). Remember that in this scene he is trying to build a feeling of familiarity with his son. When he says

I wanted to experience what it truly meant to be human as I set out amongst the stars

We can infer that he is talking about wondering what it means to be him, in non specific terms. It is only later that he discovers other life and is able to frame his previous questions in this more specific way. He uses the word human here because he is speaking to Peter, if he was speaking to another of his offspring it is safe to say he would have used a different word.


He didn't; he was lying.

In addition to being megalomaniacal, Ego is a borderline sociopath, how can he love Peter, his mother, anything but himself if he’s willing to all but destroy everything in the universe to make more of him?

He’s easily capable of lying, manipulating Peter from the very beginning. Then once Peter defies him his FIRST thought isn’t to reconcile, but to subject him to incredible pain as Uses Peter for his power.

That’s a madman, lying is easily within his skill set.


He had infinite amount of time to play with infinite no. of matter pattern possibilities.

Enter Infinite monkey theorem:

The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.

The chance of infinite no. of trial and error is key here. When given this chance, universe does wonder. If universe is infinitely large, given finite number of particle arrangements in our body as well as observable universe, we can find infinite number of exact copies of our body as well as observable universe in the whole universe. See a dumb universe can replicate us given that chance. Ego is intelligent being who can even filter out bad patterns and arrangements (infinite space and infinite time serve the same purpose here).

Note: Here, Infinite means very large which serves the purpose (Ego should have access to few million to several billion years of time). Even the finite Marvel Cinematic Universe has Nova people who are similar to humans and Asgardians look exactly like humans.

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