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- "I may be as pretty as an angel, but I sure as hell ain't one."
- ―Yondu Udonta
Yondu Udonta is a Centaurian, leader 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.
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, although he had to keep some of his crew from killing and eating the boy. Over the next 26 years, Udonta developed a close fondness of Quill, despite never showing any of his affection.
The Hunt for 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 one of his men, Horuz, who insisted that they should have handed Quill over to Ego the Living Planet like they were originally hired to do, noting that Udonta had always been soft on Quill and never punished him when he disobeyed his orders. Udonta turned the situation around as he threatened Horuz's life with his Yaka Arrow and assured his men that once he had Quill, he would kill him himself.
Udonta and Kraglin Obfonteri traveled to Xandar to meet Broker. Udonta admired some of the strange artifacts that Broker had for sale, half jokingly commenting that he wished to buy some to decorate his M-ship. However, he made his true intentions known quickly when he drew his Yaka Arrow and aimed it at Broker's head while mocking him, demanding to know who Broker intended to sell the Orb to. Although Broker tried to insist that he could not reveal the names of his buyers, in the end he was scared for his life and Udonta forced him to reveal that the Collector was the person to whom he planned to sell the Orb.
Udonta and the Ravagers traveled to Knowhere to confront the Collector and quickly found Quill, who was also being attacked by Ronan the Accuser and his army of Sakaaran soldiers. 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 Gamora from suffocating in space. Udonta quickly came to Quill's aid and found him floating in space having given the dying Gamora his mask. Udonta abducted the two onto his ship, saving their lives.
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 kill Peter Quill because of his many betrayals, first beating him half to death and explaining everything Quill had done to let him down. Despite Quill's attempts to explain, 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 the insider knowledge provided by Gamora, they decided to work together.
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 Quill's team and the Ravagers prepared for battle, Udonta pulled Quill aside to remind him to ensure that once the battle was over, Udonta would get the Orb, threatening to kill him if he failed to obey this order.
- "No more games with me, boy! I’ll see you at the end of this!"
- ―Yondu Udonta to Star-Lord
Udonta and Quill led the squad of ships into the Battle of Xandar; Udonta commanded his Ravagers to attack Ronan's Sakaarans when Ronan the Accuser sent in his soldiers as defense. While Kraglin Obfonteri and Rocket Raccoon shot a hole in the side of the Dark Aster, Udonta and Peter Quill planned to enter the ship together but Udonta's M-ship was quickly shot down in the chaos.
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 several Sakaarans had surrounded him and ordered him to command his men to attack the Nova Corps ships. Instead of obeying, Udonta calmly opened his jacket without a word and whistled; as the Sakaarans stood momentarily confused, he used his arrow to single-handedly kill every Sakaaran in front of him, even causing one of their ships to crash and explode.
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 convinced Quill to hand over the Orb as agreed. Although Quill tried to argue, he eventually agreed but managed to switch the Orb for a fake without Udonta noticing, reminding Udonta not to open the Orb for his own safety.
As he left Xandar with Kraglin Obfonteri, they discussed the result of not delivering Quill to his father, Ego the Living Planet like they were originally hired to do; Udonta noted that he thought Ego was a jackass. As the Ravagers traveled through space, they drank and celebrated the victory over Ronan. Udonta sat alone and decided to open the fake Orb given to him by Quill. He was amused to discover that Quill had replaced the Infinity Stone with a Troll doll.
- "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 Peter - 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 if they double-crossed him. When granted the orb containing the Stone, he did not seem particularly angered that he was betrayed later on. 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 which was given to him by Quill in the place of the Infinity Stone.
- 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.
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Ego - Former Employer
- Broker - Associate
- 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.