- "I may be as pretty as an angel, but I sure as hell ain't one."
- ―Yondu Udonta
Yondu Udonta was a Centaurian, leader of a faction of the Ravagers and father figure to Peter Quill. When Quill betrayed the Ravagers and stole an Orb for himself, Udonta led the hunt for his former ally. Eventually Udonta caught up with Quill but was convinced to help in him the war against Ronan the Accuser, who was threatening to use the Orb's power to destroy the planet Xandar.
Becoming a Ravager
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Yondu Udonta's early years were not easy for him: his parents sold him to the Kree Empire for money, and he spent most of his youth closed in a cage. After twenty years of slavery, a legendary space-pirate, Stakar Ogord, freed Udonta and welcomed him in the Ravagers.
At some point, Udonta became the leader of one of the 100 Ravager Clans. However, after the other Ravagers discovered that Udonta and his men were involved into the forbidden trade of children, kidnapping Ego's children and bringing them to the Celestial, the clan became pariahs.
In 1988, Udonta went to Earth on a delivery mission to take Peter Quill to his father, Ego the Living Planet, but instead of doing as instructed, Udonta kept the boy and trained him to be a Ravager. During the following years, Udonta often threatened Quill repeating that he was keeping some of his crew from killing and eating him, although this was in fact a joke. Over the next 26 years, Udonta developed a close fondness of Quill, despite never showing any of his affection.
Hunting Down Star-Lord
- "We do not do that to each other; we're Ravagers, we got a code."
- ―Yondu Udonta
Udonta discovered that a mysterious item called the Orb was located on Morag; he was offered a great fee if he retrieved the item for his buyer Broker. However, when Udonta arrived on Morag with his team of Ravagers, he discovered Peter Quill had betrayed him and found and taken the Orb for himself with the intention of selling it to the Broker before Udonta could. Udonta was furious and phoned Quill, who did not deny he had taken the Orb but refused to give his location before hanging up the call.
Furious at this betrayal, Udonta issued a bounty for Quill's capture for 40,000 units; when Udonta said he wanted Quill alive, this led to an argument with Horuz, who insisted that they should have handed Quill over to Ego the Living Planet like they were originally hired to do, noting Udonta had always been soft on Quill and never punished him when he disobeyed his own orders. Udonta turned the situation around and threatened Horuz with his Yaka Arrow and assured his men that once he had Quill, he would kill him himself.
Udonta and Kraglin Obfonteri then both traveled to Xandar to meet with Broker. Before revealing why they were really there, Udonta took some time to admire the various artifacts that Broker had for sale, commenting that he wished to buy some to decorate his M-ship. When Broker questioned if this was a joke or not, Obfonteri noted that Udonta was being completely serious, knowing already that this was something Udonta often did on his ship.
However, he made his true intentions known quickly when he then demanded to know who Broker intended to sell the Orb to. Although Broker tried to insist that he would be unable to reveal the names of his buyers, Udonta ignored his many excuses and spoke over him with gibberish, mocking and annoying Broker the more he did it while Obfonteri laughed. As Broker still refused to give up the information, Udonta drew his Yaka Arrow and aimed it at Broker who, scared for his life, finally revealed that the Collector was the buyer.
Udonta and the Ravagers traveled together Knowhere to confront the Collector and reclaim the Orb, however instead they quickly found Quill, who had been trying to sell the Orb to the Collector as well. Udonta called out to Quill and demanded he stay where he was, however Quill was also being attacked by Ronan the Accuser and his army of Sakaaran soldiers so fled before Udonta and his men could catch him, finding himself chased by Ronan's army.
Quill was able to briefly get away from Udonta by piloting a mining ship; however, before long Quill was forced to give his location away to save himself and Gamora from suffocating in space, as Quill had given her his helmet to try and save her. Udonta came to Quill's aid and found him floating in space beside the already dying Gamora. Udonta abducted the pair onto the Eclector, sending Obfonteri and his men to then bring them to him for questioning.
A Questionable Partnership
- "Remember, boy. At the end of all this, I get the stone. You cross me, we kill you all."
- ―Yondu Udonta to Star-Lord
Udonta initially planned to execute Peter Quill because of his many betrayals, first beating him half to death and explaining everything Quill had done to let him down. When Udonta began ranting about how he had saved Quill from being eaten by the Ravagers the day he had been taken away by him, Quill argued that this was not a good enough reason for him to feel grateful to Udonta before insisting that they needed to find the Orb, which was one of the Infinity Stones.
Despite Quill's attempts to explain everything and insist that the Orb could destroy all of Xandar if it was not recovered, Udonta aimed his Yaka Arrow at Quill's throat and prepared to execute him, but when Quill convinced him that it was possible to steal the Orb from Ronan the Accuser with insider knowledge provided by Gamora. Thinking for a moment, Udonta withdrew his arrow and they decided to work together, celebrating with laughs and cheers all round.
Before they could complete their arrangement, Udonta and Quill's reunion was interrupted by an explosion outside the ship. When Udonta went to investigate he discovered Rocket Raccoon had taken control of Quill's ship, the Milano, and was threatening to destroy Udonta's ship with Drax the Destroyer using the Hadron Enforcer if Udonta did not free Quill and Gamora. Udonta called Rocket's bluff but Quill quickly appeared and assured Rocket that everything had been worked out and they were now fine.
Udonta allowed Quill to return to his ship to work out a plan with Rocket, Groot, Drax, and Gamora. Eventually Quill returned with his team and they discussed a plan which involved Quill and Udonta's ship boarding Ronan the Accuser's ship, the Dark Aster, and killing the Kree warrior once inside. While they prepared for battle, Udonta pulled Quill aside to remind him that once the battle was over, he would get the Orb, threatening to kill him if he failed to obey.
- "No more games with me, boy! I’ll see you at the end of this!"
- ―Yondu Udonta to Star-Lord
With their plan going into motion, Udonta and Star-Lord led their squad of ships into the Battle of Xandar; Udonta commanded his Ravagers to attack Ronan the Accuser's army of Sakaarans when Ronan sent in his soldiers as defense. While Kraglin Obfonteri and Rocket Raccoon shot a hole in the side of the Dark Aster, Udonta and Quill planned to enter the ship together. However Ronan's army soon overwhelmed them and Udonta's M-ship was quickly shot down in the chaos. As he fell, Udonta vowed to survive and promised to see Quill at the end of the battle while Quill continued to battle Ronan's army.
Udonta survived the crash and got out of his wrecked ship, picking up some of the items he had bought from Broker's shop. When he turned around Udonta discovered that he had been surrounded by several Sakaarans who aimed their Necroblasters at him and ordered that Udonta surrender himself before commanding his men to attack the various Nova Corps ships that were currently assisting Quill and the others in the aerial battle against Ronan's forces.
Instead of obeying, Udonta calmly opened his jacket without a word and whistled. As the Sakaarans stood momentarily confused at his actions, Udonta used his Yaka Arrow to single-handedly kill every Sakaaran in front of him as his arrow darted through all their bodies, even causing one of their Necrocraft to crash and explode. With all his would be captors dead, Udonta collected his arrow and made his way back towards Xandar where the battle was still raging on with his Ravagers protecting the innocent people from harm.
By the time Udonta made it back to the city, he arrived just in time to witness Ronan the Accuser's death. Udonta teased Peter Quill and Gamora as they shared an intimate moment and demanded Quill to hand over the Orb as agreed. Although Quill tried to argue, he eventually agreed, before reminding Udonta not to open the Orb for his own safety.
Youndu agreed and left Quill, unaware that he took wrong Orb. As he prepared to leave Xandar with Kraglin Obfonteri, they both discussed how Quill had turned out better than they expected, with Obfonteri noting that the result of not delivering Quill to his own father, Ego the Living Planet like they were originally hired to do worked out for the best. Udonta noted that he thought Ego was a jackass as they flew an M-ship back to the Eclector to make their escape.
As the Ravagers traveled through space, they drank and celebrated the victory in the Battle of Xandar and how they had defeated the Kree warmonger Ronan. Udonta sat alone and decided to open the Orb given to him by Quill out of curiosity only to find a Troll doll. Yondu realized Quill had used a classic Ravager move and that the Infinity Stone was left with Irani Rael of the Nova Corps for safe-keeping. Instead of being angered however, Fondu simply bursted in laughter and secretly kept the doll as a souvenir.
Chasing the Guardians
A few months after the Battle of Xandar, Udonta, along with his faction of Ravagers went to the Iron Lotus to relax. Udonta got dressed as he watched the other Ravagers outside have fun. As Udonta went outside, he approached Stakar Ogord who exiled him as he broke their code. Right as Stakar left, Ayesha arrived to hire Udonta and his faction to hunt down the Guardians of the Galaxy who had stolen from them. Udonta took the job and left to find the Guardians unaware that part of his faction was planning to start a mutiny against him.
The Ravagers tracked the Guardians of the Galaxy on Berhert. After Rocket Raccoon took down some of the Ravagers, Udonta got the upper hand on him with his Yaka Arrow. When Yondu decided to just return the batteries to the Sovereign instead of bringing in Rocket, Taserface turned on Udonta saying he has gone soft. The Ravagers then turned on each other and were about to engage in a fight when Nebula shot Udonta in the head, destroying his fin, knocking him out.
Udonta, Rocket and Groot were taken back to the Eclector were any Ravager members who sided with Udonta were released into space. Udonta, being subdued, watched as Taserface took control of the Ravagers and beat him up. Udonta was then put in a cell with Rocket where he told him that he deserves everything that is happening to him as he broke the code. Rocket told Udonta that they needed to escape right as Groot, who had just been terrorised by Wretch, walk by. Udonta told Groot to retrieve his prosthetic fin so they could escape, but after a few failed attempts to understand, Kraglin Obfonteri retrieved Udonta's fin and Rocket attached it to his head.
Escaping the Ravagers
As Kraglin played some of Peter Quill's music to aware the Ravagers that Udonta was escaping, but what they didn't know is that he was ready for them with his new fin. Udonta managed to kill every Ravager that came across them with ease. Udonta with the combined efforts of Rocket and Groot, killed all the Ravagers and blew up the Eclector with his Yaka Arrow. Udonta then met up with Kraglin and the four escaped in the Quadrant and headed for Ego's Planet.
Joining the Guardians of the Galaxy
After Udonta escaped with Rocket, Groot and Kraglin, the four headed for Ego's Planet to rescue the rest of the Guardians as Udonta knew Ego's true intentions for Quill. When they arrived, Udonta talked with Rocket about how they are similar before flying off to rescue the Guardians. Udonta saved Quill from Ego and the Guardians got in the Quadrant and flied down into the planets core to destroy it. As they were destroying the core, they suddenly came under fire by the Sovereign causing the ship to ship to blow up. Udonta used his Yaka Arrow to fly down which Quill compared him to Mary Poppins.
All the Guardians came together, but were soon separated by Ego leaving him, Quill and Rocket to fight off Ego's attacks. After a while of fighting, Udonta become trapped by some rubble and his Yaka Arrow broke. Before Udonta could be completely covered by the rubble, he inspired Quill to fight Ego freeing Udonta along with the other Guardians who were trapped by Ego. When the Guardians were evacuating due to the bomb being set off by Groot, Udonta decided to stay so Rocket gave him the last space suit and flight suit.
As Ego's Planet exploded, Udonta, wearing a flight suit rescued Quill from the destruction and flew him to safety. Unfortunately, there was only one space suit left so Udonta gave it to Quill and saved his life, sacrificing his own. Udonta's body was retrieved from space and he was given a funeral by the Guardians and Kraglin. Rocket called the rest of the Ravagers who gave Udonta a Ravagers Farewell. Udonta's actions went on to inspire Stakar Ogord to assemble his previous team which Udonta was previously a part of.
- "You don't give a damn about your Terra! You're scared because you're soft, in here. Here! Right here!"
- ―Yondu Udonta to Star-Lord
As leader of the Ravagers, Yondu Udonta appears as an unscrupulous thief. He is willing to kill, threaten and betray if his wellbeing is in danger or he desires something of value, sometimes reneging on his employers for a benefit such as turning Peter Quill into a Ravager when he was supposed to deliver him to his father. Though he claims that the Ravagers have a code of honour, as Quill states that code is virtually steal from everyone. It should be noted that Udonta may have some morality as he stopped the Ravagers from eating the young Quill - an act which he continued to throw in his face.
With Quill, Udonta has a complicated history. As numerous of his men state, he had always been soft on him and protected his wellbeing - at times costing his credibility amongst the Ravagers but he was willing to use Quill as an example to his men, if not apologetically. Despite being a thief he has a level of trust in Quill but due to being betrayed beforehand, an equal level of mistrust. For example, taking his word in defending Xandar from Ronan the Accuser for the Infinity Stone but vowed to kill Quill and the Guardians of the Galaxy if they double-crossed him. When granted the orb containing the Stone, he did not seem particularly angered to find out that Quill gave him a fake Orb. Quill does state that Udonta is the only family he has.
Udonta also has a habit in which he collects oddities and places them on the console of his chair. The most recent one being a Troll Doll which was given to him by Quill in the place of the Infinity Stone.
It is revealed in the Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 that Yondu indeed has a level of humanity and a soft spot for Peter Quill. When he found a Troll Doll instead of the Infinity Stone inside the Orb, he laughed with joy instead of lashing out in anger. It is also revealed that Yondu did not deliver Peter to Ego so as to spare the boy from the horrible fate Ego had planned form him. Yondu sacrificed his own life to save Peter Quill and even inspired him to stand up to the megalomaniacal cosmic being, Ego.
- Arrow Mastery: Udonta is able to control an arrow made of Yaka with a series of whistles. Depending on the tone and intensity of the whistle, the speed, strength and direction can be controlled. With his skill, Udonta is capable of either threatening an individual, or killing an entire squad of Sakaarans before they could have time to react.
- Master Pilot: Udonta is a highly skilled pilot; he was selected to join Peter Quill in the assault inside the Dark Aster. He was able to shoot down many enemy ships before his M-ship was damaged and he was forced to make a crash landing.
- Master Thief: Udonta is so skilled in the art of thievery and guile that he remains leader of the Ravagers. Udonta has the ability to see potential profit in any situation, choosing to keep Quill for himself instead of giving him to his father, Ego the Living Planet.
- Prosthetic Fin: Protruding out of Udonta's head is a prosthetic metal piece which allows Udonta to control and aim the Yaka Arrow, as it glows red whenever he is controlling the arrow.
- Yaka Arrow: Udonta uses this whistle-controlled arrow made from Yaka to attack his enemies. Although Udonta rarely actually used the arrow, he often threatened people with it, including Star-Lord and Broker, who both knew how deadly it could be. During the Battle of Xandar however, Udonta found himself cornered by an unit of the Sakaarans and used the arrow to kill every enemy in mere seconds, even managing to destroy a Necrocraft by ripping it apart from the inside.
- M-ship: Udonta has his own personal M-ship along with the other Ravagers, which he piloted himself during the Battle of Xandar, shooting several of Ronan the Accuser's army of Necrocraft out of the sky. However the ship was soon shot out of the sky and crash landed on Xandar, although Udonta was able to survive.
- Stakar Ogord's Team
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Broker - Associate
- Kree Empire
- Maskless Sakaaran † - Victim
- Ego † - Former Employer
- In the comics, Yondu Udonta was one of the original members of the Guardians of the Galaxy from the 31th century of Earth-691, using a bow and a quiver of arrows made of Yaka as weapons. Following his introduction in Guardians of the Galaxy, a new version of the character was introduced in the Mainstream Comic Universe, as a criminal ancestor of the original Yondu Udonta, a version more similar to his movie counterpart.
Behind the Scenes
- In the director's commentary for Guardians of the Galaxy, director James Gunn states that "Yondu is not dumb" and suggested that Yondu was aware, or at least suspected, that Star-Lord was not giving him the true Infinity Stone, but simply did not wish to kill Quill. This is supported by the fact that he does not appear particularly surprised to find it not inside the container when he opens it, but instead appears pleased by the "gift" of a troll doll.