An extraterrestrial visited Earth and had a child named Peter with Meredith Quill, a woman living in Missouri who had terminal cancer. Years later, this being from an ancient and mysterious race ordered the Ravagers, a band of thieves and outlaws, to retrieve his son for him.
By age eight, Peter Quill only knew of his father from stories told to him by Meredith, who described him as an "angel". Peter, called by her her "little Star-Lord", grew close to her and loved listening to the cassette Meredith gave him; he constantly played "Awesome Mix Vol. 1" on his Walkman cassette player.
In 1988, an 8-year old Peter Quill waited at a hospital until being taken by his grandfather to see Meredith Quill's last moments. His mother handed him a wrapped gift and a letter before dying of terminal cancer. Saddened by this, Quill escaped the hospital and sobbed in the grass, before being abducted by an M-ship, which appeared above him.
The Ravagers neglected Peter Quill's Father's orders and raised him as their own, despite some mercenaries in the band wanting to devour him. Yondu Udonta raised Quill practically as his own son and taught him to become a master thief.
In 2014, taking the mantle of Star-Lord, Quill stole an Orb, which ultimately lead to a chase across the stars. After the Battle of Xandar, Peter opened Meredith's gift, which was a second cassette entitled Awesome Mix Vol. 2 for his Walkman.