After a fantastic opening earlier this month with great critical reviews as the cherry on top, Guardians of the Galaxy proved to be a win for Marvel. Of course, being the superhero nerd I am, I went and saw it opening night. Superhero-Nerd-Me loved the action, tech, and comedy while E-Learning-Nerd-Me spent the entire movie whispering loudly to my poor friend (and everyone within a 4 seat radius) that Star-Lord is a total autodidact!
Just as a quick reminder, autodidacts are fabulously awesome people who love learning and teaching themselves new things. Star-Lord probably turned to autodidactism more out of necessity than a pure love of learning, but he still dances to sweet ’80s music and refers to ‘The Legend of Kevin Bacon’ from Footloose – so he retains the awesome factor, in my opinion. Check out these instances that proved Star-Lord AKA Peter Quill caught the autodidact bug.
Musical Tech Prowess
26 years after being abducted from Earth as a child by ‘space pirates’, Peter still listens to music on the same
walkman from the same audio cassette with the same headphones. It is probably safe to assume that in all his struggles and travels from planet to planet, Peter’s beloved music system broke down from time to time. Considering that he likely didn’t have contact with too many Earthlings, he had to figure out how to fix everything himself. The key words here being: ‘figure out how’. Plus, I don’t know of any battery from the ’80s that would still have enough juice to power a tape player after 26 years – so Peter probably had to engineer a replacement power source on his own. Conclusion: Autodidact.
Bonus: Peter’s ship, The Milano, had a cassette player and speakers installed. Considering we don’t make extraterrestrial spaceships here on Earth (at least not to the knowledge of us ordinary folks), he probably installed that himself too.
The Ultimate Linguist
Here on Planet Earth, we have hundreds of different languages – sometimes dozens within the same country. Unless every being on every planet except Earth exclusively speaks English, there were probably several different languages that Peter had to learn in order to jump from world to world and continue to communicate with ease. Considering the fact that he grew up around pirates, there probably weren’t too many maternal figures or teachers around to teach Peter – which means that he largely picked that up on his own too.
When he left Earth, Peter was definitely more than 8 or 9 years old – well past the threshold where humans can pick up languages extremely rapidly. The fact that he picked them up so well at his age points to his fantastic self learning skills as well.
So You Think You Can Dance?
Well you don’t have much on Star-Lord, the Amazing Dancing Alien! Kids don’t have fully developed motor skills – that’s a well known fact that explains why kids are usually not the best dancers. That’s also why it is so extraordinary that Peter left Earth as a child, didn’t have access to Terran movies or culture, but picked up how to dance (albeit ’80s style) completely on his own based solely on 26-year-old memories. He beat his ultimate nemesis in the movie by distracting him through a dance off !
Imagine what he would have been able to do on Earth with access to a dance teacher and pop culture. Granted, becoming known as a Guardian of the Galaxy is a pretty cool title, but the Next Michael Jackson would have been pretty spectacular too.
If you think Star-Lord is an ultimate autodidact, check out Groot! He learned to dance as a baby:
Images from: Marvel Comics and Marvel Cinematic Universe