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S01.E02: What If...T'Challa Became a Star-Lord?


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Man, they got all the stars, and then some, like Seth Green and Carrie Coon.

How did the Collector get Captain America's shield?  Also, what universe are they in?  Not Captain Carter's, I presume.

This was a fun one, though I miss there not being a cool sound track.

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On 8/18/2021 at 10:48 AM, Kasienka said:

One thing I don't get. Peter chose the name Star Lord, cause that's how his mother called him. Why would T'Challa call himself that?

I don't think he came up with that name.  He seemed kind of uncomfortable with it.

 

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14 hours ago, RedElf said:

Man, they got all the stars, and then some, like Seth Green and Carrie Coon.

How did the Collector get Captain America's shield?  Also, what universe are they in?  Not Captain Carter's, I presume.

This was a fun one, though I miss there not being a cool sound track.

They're in the universe where T'Challa became Star-Lord.  Beyond that we really don't know.  Maybe the Collector grabbed the shield while Cap was in the ice.  Perhaps Ragnorak came early to Asgard which is why the Collector also had Hera's helmet and Thor's hammer.

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I will say, I never expected how funny these would be.  It was never in my expectations. 

It's one of many great things about this. Some of the alternate voices annoy me, but otherwise there's little to nothing I'd change. 

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On 8/18/2021 at 11:42 AM, thuganomics85 said:

Maybe it's because I felt like Korath was always a waste of Djimon Hounsou's talents in the films, but I actually quite liked T'Challa Fanboy Korath here.  

Speaking of wasted why is Carrie Coon Proxima Midnight? Talk about waste of an awesome actor when you could have easily gone the Drax route and gotten a lady wrestler for that part. If there is anyone who deserves the kind of rare two MCU roles deal it would be her.

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Writer A.C. Bradley responded to questions about this second episode (like, why T'Challa is called Star Lord, and why Gamora wasn't in this episode)...

Breaking Down T’Challa Star-Lord with ‘What If…?’ Head Writer A.C. Bradley – Exclusive Interview
written by Eric Thomas August 18, 2021 
https://discussingfilm.net/2021/08/18/breaking-down-tchalla-star-lord-with-what-if-head-writer-a-c-bradley-exclusive-interview/ 

Quote

The start of the episode features a pretty big divergence from the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. It’s a very different reaction when T’Challa says that he’s Star-Lord compared to when Peter Quill says he is Star-Lord. T’Challa actually has a good reputation that clearly Peter wishes he had. T’Challa made the galaxy a better place compared to Quill. So what was it like coming up with that difference? T’Challa is a very honourable character, and now he’s a different character altogether. So how does that compare to Quill?
A.C. Bradley:
Peter Quill and T’Challa are very different characters, in the sense that Peter Quill has a great character arc brought to life by Chris Pratt and James Gunn, where he starts off as this sort of selfish young guy, trying to escape his past as with the Ravagers, and then becoming a Guardian of the Galaxy and finding this new family with the Guardians. And it’s a great story and I love Guardians 1 and Guardians 2. T’Challa doesn’t arc so much; he changes the world around him. He is a man that is always going to be looking at the bigger picture and where you can help and how we can do better. And so the idea was that nine year old T’Challa still has all the lessons from T’Chaka and his mom, Queen Ramonda, and of Wakanda that he then takes with him when he joins the Ravagers and with the sheer power of his will and his personality, he changes the Ravagers and then the other characters he has come in contact with. So when we catch up to him as an adult, he has this reputation that almost mirrors the one he would have on Earth as Black Panther. And before someone on Twitter tells me that Star-Lord was the nickname that Peter Quill’s mom gave to him, the reason he’s called Star Lord is that we were guessing that Yondu knew that Star-Lord was also the nickname of Ego. That [Meredith Quill] called Peter Star-Lord because she knew Ego was not human. And so that’s how the word was in the ether that Yondu was aware of it and he started calling Peter almost as a fun joke. And then it kind of just kept going, and T’Challa doesn’t like the title. Because he’s just a regular guy trying to do good. He’s not royalty, as far as he knows.
*  *  *
In regards to changing the world around him, the biggest surprise that I had from the episode was seeing Thanos on the Ravagers, and the joke surrounding that. I’d like to know where that idea came from. Additionally, there’s his new relationship with Nebula, which is kind of touched upon, but more so hinted at, where did that come from?
A.C. Bradley:
It came from a few places. We were writing it with Endgame coming out in a matter of weeks, or months. We’d already seen it. And so the Thanos question was looming large. And to be honest, we don’t really play around with Thanos in the rest of the series, because we did it so well here answering the Thanos question, which is, does this universe still have the snap? So we decided that like, wouldn’t it be funny if T’Challa just had a conversation with the man and convinced him that like, you know, genocide is not the answer. And that was almost like a joke that we were tossing around. But then it gave us so many gifts, which is, without Thanos, there’s a power vacuum. And, you know, nature abhors a vacuum, so the Collector gains prominence. And then what can we do with Nebula? Gamora and T’Challa don’t seem like a match, and Gamora is so great with Peter Quill, we don’t want to split up the fan favorites. But there’s something about Nebula: if she had a somewhat normal, probably like late childhood teen years, what would she be like? And then her having this kind of fun banter with T’Challa, which is also by the way, a staple of heist movies. And in a way, she’s our Julia Roberts from Ocean’s 11. She’s the girl and Karen Gillan came in and she was an absolute delight. She brought so much more to that character and the role. “Cha Cha” was actually her idea. I’m pretty sure it was her doing an ad lib, which then we asked her to throw in a few more scenes, because it was such a fun little moment.

 

Edited by tv echo
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This is a very personal and likely unpopular opinion - I have always found Peter Quill a good plot driver, but the least interesting, engaging member of the Guardians crew.  I just don't care for him (outside of maybe the first movie), and his turn in IW didn't help that feeling for me. Thus, you can imagine that I was IN for the idea of T'Challa as Star-Lord.  It was a deeply rich episode, but I very cruelly cackled at the central idea (from my POV) that Peter was so ineffectual.  Look at what this Star-Lord accomplished! (That last scene at the DQ could blow all of this apart)

I was shocked at Thanos as a Ravager, and that it was T'Challa that got us there.  I do like the idea that there is always going to be someone with big energy who wants to take and take from the galaxies; there is always a balance in the universe.  Good to see the Collector again, as I do like Benicio Del Toro playing weird af characters, and good to see Karina f him up. Loved hearing Seth Green's Howard the Duck, and that Djimon got something more meaty and fun to play.  I appreciated this version of Gamora; I know ppl hated "Cha Cha", but I kinda didn't...this carefree T'Challa with a glint in his eye was always under the surface of the T'Challa we met in Civil War and Black Panther, but it was covered by the heaviness of losing his father and the throne. Loved the Wakandan ship and the message from T'Chaka (it got me, damn it).   At the end, having the aliens go to Wakanda and meshing together the two parts of T'Challa's life was so cool. Okoye telling Thanos it's still genocide was a great call back to the earlier convo, and feels so in line with Okoye. 

The talent on this thing is crazy!  The treat of most of the popular cast being here (notably not Pratt or Bautista) was cool.  

The reality that this is one of the last times we get Chadwick as T'Challa made this harder than it would have been otherwise.  When his raspy voice first speaks to Korath, we needed to pause it.  I just felt so overwhelmingly sad. BP 2 is going to be really hard.  IMO - Anytime we get to feel a piece of Wakanda, I just feel a high level of emotional investment.  Whether it was Ayo and the other Doras on TFATWS or T'Challa's changed life and his eventual return home here, that world still resonates at a different level for me. 

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On 8/18/2021 at 10:35 AM, paigow said:

Maybe there is a Tom Hardy Bane variant of Thanos...

No one needs that universe. Ick.

I dunno -- I thought Nebula calling T'Challa "Cha-Cha" was kind of adorable. I have more trouble imagining that Yondu could go straight than almost anything else in the episode, but I appreciate the implicit compliment to Chadwick Boseman represented by T'Challa's reality-altering eloquence. (I still haven't forgiven Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II for soft-pedalling Yondu's threats of cannibalism to try to turn him into a substitute father for Peter. That never sat right with me.)

But it was a fun heist episode.

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12 hours ago, Sandman said:

No one needs that universe. Ick.

I dunno -- I thought Nebula calling T'Challa "Cha-Cha" was kind of adorable. I have more trouble imagining that Yondu could go straight than almost anything else in the episode, but I appreciate the implicit compliment to Chadwick Boseman represented by T'Challa's reality-altering eloquence. (I still haven't forgiven Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II for soft-pedalling Yondu's threats of cannibalism to try to turn him into a substitute father for Peter. That never sat right with me.)

But it was a fun heist episode.

I don't know.  Tom Hardy-style Bane is pretty fun in Harley Quinn.

Meanwhile, Yondu didn't go straight.  It's more that due to T'Challa, the Ravagers are more like the bunch from Leverage than just asshole criminals.

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On 8/18/2021 at 10:48 AM, Kasienka said:

 One thing I don't get. Peter chose the name Star Lord, cause that's how his mother called him. Why would T'Challa call himself that?

Young T'Challa: "Back on Earth, I was a prince of Wakanda."

Yondu: "Prince, eh? Stick with us Ravagers here in space, kid, and you'll be a Lord- a Star-Lord!"

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