It’s been a good year for Malaysians in Hollywood, with Henry Golding currently filming the lead role in Crazy Rich Asians, and Pete Teo making a cameo alongside Scarlett Johansson in Ghost In The Shell. And to top it all off, we can now look forward to seeing Datuk Michelle Yeoh as a Guardian of the Galaxy!
Last week, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and Guardians of The Galaxy (GOTG) director James Gunn announced that the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 will feature cameos by Yeoh, Sylvester Stallone and Ving Rhames.
The best part is, all three will be playing past members of the Guardians of the Galaxy – Stallone will be playing Starhawk, Rhames is Charlie-27, and Yeoh will playing Aleta Ogord.
While the three will only be making cameos in the upcoming sequel to 2014’s hit Guardians Of The Galaxy, Feige has hinted that they might be playing bigger roles in GOTG Vol 3, which has been announced as one of Marvel Studios’ Phase Four movies, which will kick off a new slate of Marvel movies after Avengers: Infinity War in 2018.
So, who is this Aleta Ogord character Yeoh will be playing? We’ve rounded up five things you should know about the character:
1) No, she’s not Asian
In the comics, Aleta Ogord is actually a blonde-haired alien from the planet Arcturus IV, and is the daughter of Ogord, a member of a military group called the Reavers of Arcturus.
When Ogord found a baby boy during a raid, he decided to adopt him and named him Stakar.
During a trip to the Forbidden City on Arcturus, Aleta and Stakar discovered a statue of the Hawk God, and she accidentally awakened the statue. Her body was turned into pure energy, and merged with Stakar’s!
Though Stakar gained great power through this bonding, unfortunately, only one of them could exist at any time, while the other would be stuck in Limbo. In the end, they decided that Stakar should be the one who remains corporeal most of the time and he became the superhero named Starhawk.
This is likely to be changed in the movies though, as it seems as though Stallone and Yeoh will be playing separate characters, both members of the Reavers. (Fun coincidence: Yeoh actually played a superhero called Silver Hawk before. Though that’s a movie that we’d rather not remember.)
Starhawk and Aleta were created by Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema and Vince Colletta, and first appeared in Defenders #29 in 1975.
2) She has powers of light and flight
All Arcturans have superhuman strength and abilities, but after becoming part of Starhawk, she has the power to solidify light, and use it to create objects that can be used as weapons, shields, and even a floating disc that she uses to fly! She can also phase through solid matter by rearranging her own molecules.
As Starhawk, she can also travel through space, and use cosmic energy in a variety of ways, including healing and energy blasts.
3) She was one of the original Guardians of the Galaxy!
The current team of Peter Quill, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Drax and Groot is actually not the original Guardians Of the Galaxy. That honour goes to the team created by writer Arnold Drake and Gene Colan, which made its debut in 1969’s Marvel Super-Heroes #18.
That team consists of Major Vance Astro (Major Victory), Martinex T’Naga, Captain Charlie-27, and Yondu Udonta (who is already in the Guardians Of The Galaxy movies). The team later recruited more members, including Starhawk and Aleta.
4) She and Stakar were Star(hawk)-crossed lovers
While Aleta resented Stakar at first, the two later fell in love and got married. However, their tragic situation was not exactly very conducive to a relationship. Eventually, they returned to Arcturus to plead with the Hawk God to give them a temporary respite, and separate them so that they could have children!
Aleta later gave birth to triplets – Tara, Sita and John – and after they merged again, Aleta was the one who stayed corporeal to take care of the kids. That arrangement didn’t last long, though. Longing to return to space, Stakar forced Aleta to relinquish her control, and kept her locked in Limbo, and away from her children.
It was around this time that Starhawk joined the Guardians of the Galaxy, and during the times she was in control, Aleta also worked as part of the team.
The story of Stakar and Aleta’s kids had a tragic ending – Ogord later kidnapped them and tried to use them in a plot to kill Starhawk, and although the Guardians stopped his plan, the children aged rapidly and died.
5) She is a hero in her own right
The loss of their children was the last straw for Aleta, and when she finally became separate from Starhawk she divorced him and married Vance Astro!
That wasn’t the end of their story, though, as the two of them continued their enmity, merging and separating several times, and fighting for the right to be Starhawk, until finally, Aleta emerged the victor, turning Stakar into an infant and taking over as Starhawk once and for all.
She eventually gave up the name after yet another confrontation with Stakar, and a realisation that being the avatar for the Hawk God had made her cold and emotionless. She carried on as Aleta, and stayed with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 opens in cinemas nationwide on April 27.