What If… T’Challa Became a Star-Lord? | Transcript

The rough-and-tumble space pirates known as the Ravagers abduct T'Challa instead of Peter Quill.
What If... T'Challa Became a Star-Lord?

Season 1 Episode 2
Original release date: August 18, 2021

In 1988, the Ravagers are sent to Earth by the Celestial Ego to retrieve his son Peter Quill, but mistakenly abduct a young T’Challa from Wakanda. 20 years later, T’Challa has become the famous intergalactic mercenary “Star-Lord”, and has been convinced by Ravager leader Yondu Udonta that Wakanda was destroyed. Nebula approaches the Ravagers and proposes to steal the Embers of Genesis, a cosmic artifact capable of eradicating galactic hunger, from galactic kingpin Taneleer Tivan. At Tivan’s headquarters on Knowhere, they offer him the Power Stone as a distraction. At the same time, T’Challa looks for the Embers, but he finds a Wakandan spacecraft that was searching for him. Nebula seemingly betrays the Ravagers, who are captured, but this is another ruse to obtain the Embers. Tivan’s slave Carina rescues T’Challa and helps the Ravagers defeat Tivan. T’Challa forgives Udonta for lying about Wakanda, and they return there so T’Challa can reunite with his family. Elsewhere, Ego approaches Quill, a Dairy Queen janitor.

* * *

WATCHER: Time.

Space.

Reality.

It’s more than a linear path.

It’s a prism of endless possibility,

where a single choice can branch out into infinite realities,

creating alternate worlds from the ones you know.

I am the Watcher.

I am your guide through these vast new realities.

Follow me and ponder the question…

“What if?”

The galaxy, to your eyes, a hundred billion points of light.

But where you see light, I see worlds and the countless stories that fill them.

But in a Multiverse of infinite possibility,

is your destiny determined by your nature or by the nature of your world?

(DEVICE CLICKING)

Drop it! Drop it now!

Who are you?

Identify yourself.

STAR-LORD: Who, me? I am just an ordinary junker.

But there is one name you may know me by.

Oh, my. Star-Lord!

I’m a huge fan of your work. What are you doing here?

That was not the reaction I was expecting.

(CREATURES GROWLING)

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey. Stop! Show some respect.

This is the Star-Lord, legendary outlaw.

Steals from the powerful and gives to the powerless.

Should we be bowing? I feel like we should be bowing.

I mean, unless we should be kneeling.

Neither is necessary.

Please.

You are a lord.

It is not an official title.

Nor is it one I am comfortable with.

(LAUGHS)

Of course you would be humble. Classic Star-Lord.

I almost wish I didn’t have to take that from you.

Surely something this powerful is better off in my hands.

It’s just that my boss, Ronan, super, super intense.

But I could be convinced to make a career change.

Appreciate the interest, but we’re all staffed up.

Oh, totally. Totally get it. But at least now I get to spar with you.

I guess if that’s really what you want.

Oh, it shall be the honor of my life.

Oh. Uh, should I not use the gun?

Go ahead.

Really?

Please.

No, it’s not a problem.

I’ll get rid of it.

It’s okay.

You sure?

Go ahead, use the gun.

That is so generous of you.

Ready?

KORATH: Oh, yes.

Oh. (GROANING)

You do not disappoint, my lord. So nimble, so spry.

I’m right here. Hit me.

Oh. My Lord! I didn’t mean to…

That is what we’re here for.

Do it again. But this time, faster.

Harder.

Really?

I barely moved. Hit me.

(SCREAMS)

Classic Star-Lord.

Now I almost feel bad.

Well, I have hired worse.

SOLDIER: Freeze, Ravager. We have you outnumbered.

It would appear, but a Ravager never flies solo.

(WIND BLOWING)

I said, “A Ravager never flies solo.”

Uh, is that some kind of catchphrase?

(MAN WHISTLES)

(GROANS)

(MAN WHISTLING)

(ALL GROANING)

You had me worried for a second.

Who’s the Sleeping Beauty?

A new recruit. He was after this as well.

Mmm-hmm.

Thermal signature’s off the charts.

You know, if we wanted to have some real fun,

we’d make like the old days

and sell this bad boy to the highest bidder.

(SOLDIER 2 GROANING, GRUNTS)

If we made like the old days, you’d only have half of your teeth.

Besides, wouldn’t you rather use it to jump-start

the Krylorians’ dying star, save their system from extinction?

You know as well as I, no treasure is worth as much

as the good that can be done with it.

YONDU: Ah. That’s my boy.

WATCHER: Though our hero’s destiny might lie in the stars above,

the beginning of his journey was much more down-to-earth.

T’CHALLA: I am tired of living in a bubble.

There’s an entire world out there, Baba.

Yes, one of war, violence, hatred.

That world has nothing to offer Wakanda.

There must be more. But we must be brave enough to search for it.

T’CHAKA: I do understand, my son.

Though the blood of a king runs through your veins,

it is pumped by the heart of an explorer.

But as someone who has ventured out into the greater world,

let me assure you,

all you will find there is destruction and pain.

Those people do not understand our way of life.

WATCHER: What you call destiny is just an equation,

a product of variables.

(GRUNTS)

WATCHER: Right place, right time, or in some instances,

the wrong place at the wrong time.

As fate would have it, at that very moment,

a Ravager spacecraft was arriving on Earth to abduct the spawn of the Celestial, Ego.

Cool.

WATCHER: But in this universe,

Yondu outsourced the assignment to his subordinates.

You morons grabbed the wrong kid.

Uh-uh. Not so fast, Captain.

Two see holes, two hear holes, one eat hole.

Everything checks out.

Does this really look like Peter Quill to y’all?

Sure. I don’t know. All humans look alike to me.

The cosmic readings where he was took nearly broke our dial.

If there was anything not from that planet on that planet, it’s there.

Well, my home is built on an ancient Vibranium meteorite.

You sure don’t seem too freaked out about all this, kid.

What you doing out there all by yourself anyway?

Exploring the world.

Sounds fun.

But why stop at one world, huh?

When we can show you all of them?

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

Ravagers!

ALL: Ravagers!

Star-Lord, if you had to pick a favorite…

Really, I could not say.

I know, I know, so many heists, so many planets saved.

Still, you must have one.

How could you choose just one?

Oh! What about the Central Bank heist of Tarnax IV?

Never hurts to hurt a Skrull, right?

(ALL LAUGHING)

That job paid for Kraglin’s teeth.

How about when you armed the Ankaran resistance?

Oh, man. Barely made it out of that one.

How exactly did you stop Thanos, the Mad Titan,

from decimating half of the universe? Oh, no.

I’m a big enough man to admit when I’m wrong.

T’Challa here showed me there was more than one way

to reallocate the universe’s resources.

Sometimes the best weapon in your arsenal is just a good argument.

Aye, aye, Commander.

Although I still assert my plan was not without its merits.

(ALL GROANING)

Here we go.

Please.

Pretty sure it’s still just genocide, big guy.

And I’m pretty sure it’s efficient.

(ALL LAUGHING)

Your money is no good here.

Please.

No, seriously. We only take cash.

Oh, I’m sorry. I, uh… I have cash.

Wait. You are the Star-Lord.

You saved my home world from a Kree invasion.

All in a day’s work.

No, it took several days.

Six, in fact. Let us take a picture to send to my wife and daughter.

I would prefer… (GROANS)

(CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKS)

Oh, we should take another one. You look terrible. I look great.

I’m sure it’s fine.

No, I insist.

It is a truly awful picture of you.

WOMAN: I don’t know.

He looks pretty good from where I’m standing.

Nebula.

Hey, Cha-Cha.

(YELPS)

(CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKS)

NEBULA: Pretty valuable loot you got here.

The big guy know you have this?

You mean your father?

He’s lucky I call him the big guy.

You know, he gardens now.

You should talk to him. He really has changed.

The past doesn’t.

You still wear your past around your neck.

You ever think of going back?

Not much to go back to.

When I was young, Yondu attempted to return me to Wakanda…

but it had been destroyed.

I’m sorry.

Just another senseless war.

Baba warned that was all humans know. Turns out he was right.

You lost your home, and now you save everyone else’s.

That’s the name of this tune, huh?

(CHUCKLES) Something like that.

Well, then, do I have a job for you.

They’re called the Embers of Genesis.

Nutrient-rich cosmic dust from an ancient supernova

with the power to terraform entire ecosystems.

With one ounce, you can heal a dying planet in minutes.

And with a payload the size we’re talking…

We could feed billions of people on millions of worlds,

and eradicate hunger across the galaxy.

Don’t tell Captain Genocide over here. You might spoil his fun.

(CHUCKLES) New guy’s pretty funny.

I thought you work alone, daughter.

Wait, wait, wait.

You mean she’s your offspring?

BOTH: Adopted.

T’CHALLA: It’s a long story.

I’ve been trying to get them into counseling.

So who’s the mark?

Taneleer Tivan, also known as…

KRAGLIN: The Collector?

As in the most ruthless kingpin in the intergalactic underworld?

Wait, I thought that was you.

THANOS: It was.

But when I went straight,

Tivan saw an opening and filled the power vacuum.

We can all agree the Collector is dangerous.

FYI, the Collector does not offer dental.

This is suicide, T’Challa. Not even I can get through his defenses.

You dig? This maniac won’t do you the kindness of killing you.

He’ll dissect you for a science project,

frame whatever’s left and hang you up on the wall.

So should I mark you down as undecided?

So long as the Collector’s involved, we are not.

You may be the soul of this ship, but I am still the captain.

We are Ravagers. We do not back down from a fight.

No, no. We steal from the rich and give to the poor,

just like that earthling folk hero of yours, right?

Robin Leach.

Robin Hood.

Whatever. That’s our racket.

We’ve been picking pockets for loose coins.

If we truly want to change the galaxy, accomplish all we set out to do,

then it’s time we robbed the bank.

Oh, jeez. Never have been any good at saying no to you, kid.

The Collector’s got a famous kink for exotic flora and fauna.

The Embers will be housed with the rest of his conquests, here.

A museum that doubles as his base of operations.

A mining colony in a severed head of an ancient celestial being.

THANOS: He’s got the Black Order doing security.

Take it from me, they’re bad news. How do you plan on sneaking past them?

I don’t. I’m gonna knock on their front door like a lady.

My Lady Nebula. Captain Udonta.

I’m here to fetch you for my master.

NEBULA: Yondu and I will pose as sellers

looking to unload that orb you recovered on Morag.

But really, it’ll be T’Challa inside.

Our head of security, Proxima Midnight.

Looks like they got an exhibit running the museum.

Hold it. Security scan.

And that is when you cause the distraction.

(EXCLAIMS)

(GROANS)

Stop. I thought we were faking it.

Yeah, well, try calling me Captain Genocide again, new guy.

Captain Genocide…(SCREAMS)

T’CHALLA: The Ravagers will start a riot, drawing the attention of the Black Order.

We have a situation.

All units report to our position.

T’CHALLA: Now, Yondu and Nebula are free to distract the Collector,

so that I can search for the Embers.

Amazing.

I have no notes. A perfect plan.

What could possibly go wrong?

I present to you, Taneleer Tivan, the Collector.

Oh, my dearest Nebula.

Aren’t you a sight for sore…

Eye. Forgive me, I couldn’t help myself. (LAUGHS)

Hey, you, creep-show. If it’s all the same to you,

I’d just as soon get on with it.

All business?

And to think I’m old enough to remember when the Ravagers used to be fun.

What can I say? We went straight and I got square.

Hey, if you boys are done gossiping, I brought what you asked.

(DOG WHIMPERS)

Ugh.

The collection is much bigger than I anticipated.

All this suffering, and for what?

My guess, he’s compensating for something big.

Or small, if you catch my drift.

You are quite articulate for a duck.

That, sir, is very close-minded.

You know, I, um… I’m looking for something.

The Embers of Genesis. Do you know where I can find them?

Cosmic flora, down the hall.

Take a Louie at the Frost Giants, a hard Ralph at the Kronans.

You’ll see a sign for Elvish literature. Ignore that, total snooze.

Screw it.

(QUACKS)

Give me the tour.

You know what they say, “When you’re out of luck,

“always go duck.”

I’m pretty sure no one says that.

HOWARD: Oh, they say it.

T’CHALLA: Really?

HOWARD: Totally.

(ALL GRUNTING AND SCREAMING)

(SCREAMING)

(ALL GROANING)

The Ravagers?

It’s a diversion. Sound the alarms, lock down the building.

(ALARM BLARING)

(LAUGHS) The flashy flash.

You always know how to bring the fun.

Hold on, I need to hydrate.

We have to go.

Where are you going? Come back.

Are you crazy? Happy hour just started.

It… It cannot be.

My son, T’Challa, Crown Prince of Wakanda,

was abducted from Earth by an alien spacecraft.

If you have any information regarding his whereabouts,

we ask that you respond to this homing beacon.

And T’Challa…

Baba.

…if you are out there,

you’re one bright burning light in the night sky of billions,

and we will search every last one of them until we find you

on this plane or the next.

(DOOR OPENS)

Oh, Cha-Cha, I hope you can understand,

I had a debt with the Collector and you were the payment.

(GROANS)

Oh, T’Challa, now it’s time for one of your great escapes.

You okay, kid?

You lied to me!

I was protecting you.

Are we talking about the mission? Or is this “family stuff”?

You told me my homeland had been destroyed.

My family killed.

How is that protecting me?

Whoa. Guess it’s family stuff.

Sometimes you need to hear a lie to see the truth.

You’re just like me, T’Challa.

I am nothing like you.

You’re an explorer, Star-Lord.

And for people like you, like us, the past ain’t nothing but a prison.

You don’t belong down there with them.

You belong up here with us, with your family.

You are not my family.

You never were.

Damn, that hurts.

(DOOR BEEPS)

The Collector is ready for you.

I must apologize for all that awkwardness back there with Nebula.

I simply abhor drama.

(CHUCKLES) Your outfit would suggest otherwise.

What is it you want with me, Tivan?

There is a blank wall in the commissary

that I just haven’t been able to find the right piece for.

I am just an ordinary human, hardly a work of art.

Ah. I must admit now that I see you in the flesh, you are.

(SIGHS)

Are you sure you can’t fly or shoot lasers out of your eyes or something?

Let’s go a few rounds and you can find out.

Pass. I prefer you in the cage.

Where I come from,

history has never looked kindly on those who lock men in cages.

Maw, make a note.

It appears he does have a super power after all.

He can bore someone to death using only his sanctimony.

Let’s not waste the wall space.

Dissect him and strip his remains for parts.

(DOOR BEEPS)

Daughter of mine.

How could you do this to us?

To my best friend, T’Challa. You are the worst.

(GASPS)

But then again, there are two sides to every story.

Relax, new guy. I’m here to rescue you.

Not like you to change your mind.

Oh, I didn’t. This was always the plan.

I told T’Challa that the Collector was after him right from the jump.

What is this job?

More of a ruse.

You see, I have this debt with the Collector

and, well, he’s come to collect.

And what does he want?

In a word, you, Cha-Cha.

I had no idea about that Wakandan ship.

All I knew was that we had an opening to settle my debt with the Collector,

and steal the Embers right out from under him.

(GASPS) So, all of this has been a triple-cross?

What? Classic Star-Lord.

Hey, it was T’Challa’s idea to keep you in the dark.

‘Cause he knew I would never let him walk into a trap.

Look where we ended up.

All a distraction,

providing me the necessary cover to obtain this, the Embers of Genesis.

Hot damn. You guys are good.

What about T’Challa?

NEBULA: Not to worry.

He’s keeping his escape plan close to his chest.

THE COLLECTOR: No, not like that, Carina.

Even by a slave standard, you are foolish.

(GRUNTING)

(GROANS)

I liked that thing you said about not locking people in cages.

Thank you. I am forever in your debt.

(ALARM BLARING)

PROXIMA MIDNIGHT: The prisoners have escaped. All units to sector seven.

(GROANS)

What kind of being leaves a party without saying goodbye?

Something tells me this happens to you a lot.

(GRUNTING)

(GROANS)

(THE COLLECTOR LAUGHS)

Packs quite a wallop, does it not?

I hacked it off the carcass of a terribly chatty Kronan.

Of course, if that’s not your style,

there’s plenty more we can play with. Observe.

A dagger forged in dark matter taken from the ruler of the Dark Elves.

Or perhaps you prefer something a touch more elegant?

Oh. That woman had taste!

A necrosword, courtesy of the Asgardian Goddess of Death.

(T’CHALLA GRUNTING)

Whoa.

(LAUGHS)

(GRUNTING)

(GROANS)

(ALARM BLARING)

NEBULA: Run!

We were running.

Okay, we’ll run faster.

(ROARING)

(PROXIMA MIDNIGHT GRUNTS)

(GROANS)

Get to the ship.

Are you crazy?

You’ll never take them yourself.

Not crazy…

Mad.

(GRUNTS)

(BLACK DWARF GROWLS)

(GRUNTS)

(GROANS)

(BOTH GRUNTING)

(SCREAMS)

A pity.

You abandoned your home and family,

and now, your new family has abandoned you. Karma.

Maybe you haven’t heard, a Ravager never flies solo.

(YONDU WHISTLES)

(WHISTLES)

Yondu, sweet! Now it’s a party.

Ain’t no way in hell I was going to leave here without my kid.

(WHISTLES)

(WHISTLES)

(GROANING)

(GRUNTS)

(GRUNTS)

(GROANS)

(THANOS GROANING)

(GROANS)

(ROARS)

Eat this.

(ROARS)

(SCREAMS)

(SCREAMS)

(THANOS GRUNTS)

(NEBULA SCREAMS)

(BOTH SCREAMING)

Let’s go. Punch it!

What about Yondu and T’Challa?

I’m sure they’re doing fine.

(GRUNTS, GROANS)

(YONDU YELLS)

(GRUNTS)

Okay, any ideas?

Sticky fingers.

Could work.

Who’s the glue?

You are.

Because you lied to me.

Fair point.

(GRUNTS)

(GROANING)

YONDU: Is that all you got?

(GRUNTS)

You think this can contain me?

Cute. No matter where you go or how far you hide,

there is not a corner in this galaxy beyond my grasp.

Sure, sure. Whatever. Cool story.

I trust you’ll know what to do with this.

Oh, I have some ideas.

Carina, can I have my bracelet now?

No touching, Carina. No!

No, no, no, no. Stay. Stop!

Stop and think. I took care of all of you. I put a roof over your heads.

Oh. Karma.

(ALL GROWLING)

YONDU: We’re never getting out on foot.

Then we’ll take to the skies.

All crew members present and accounted for by some miracle.

Then I will see you at the rendezvous point.

Copy that, Cha-Cha.

Looks like we’ve got a stowaway.

You always did have a soft spot for runaways.

Look, T’Challa, I just wanted to say…

There’s no need.

I was the one who told you I wanted to see the world.

All you did was show me the universe.

Oh, yeah. She really is a beaut, isn’t she?

T’CHALLA: I’ve always felt at home up here.

But now, knowing everything, I’m not quite sure where I belong.

Seen a lot of space travelers in my day, kid.

And if I’ve learned anything from watching you,

on any planet, among any people,

there ain’t no place in this galaxy where you don’t belong.

Where you want to be, that’s the question, isn’t it?

You’re just gonna have to follow your heart on that one, Mr. Star-Lord.

Baba.

(VOICE SHAKING) My son, my son.

I knew you would find your way home to us.

I’m sorry it took me so long.

Let me introduce you to the family I made along the way.

Uh, you must be T’Challa’s father.

Uh, pleased to meet you, sir. Your son is a galactic hero.

My friend, that sounds an awful lot like genocide.

No, no, no. Because it’s random.

Uh-huh.

And I might add, efficient.

(GROANS) Dad!

I mean, if you really wanted to put a label on it,

T’Challa and I are best friends.

Oh, yeah, jump points are the best.

They make your face all scrambly, but they’re a lot of fun.

I am still wondering how exactly my son came to be in your spaceship.

Funny story, Your Highness. You see, I took this job…

I was lost, Baba. Yondu found me.

WATCHER: And from one family reunion to another…

(’80s POP SONG PLAYING)

I saw your eyes

And you made me smile

Uh, sorry. We’re closed.

What, Peter? Can’t spare a little time for dear old Dad?

WATCHER: Too bad this might spell the end of the world.

But that’s a story for another day.

I was falling in love

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