In 1980, a Celestial named Ego visited Earth and conceived a child with Meredith Quill, who later named her newborn son Peter. Eight years later, Ego hired Yondu Udonta and his faction of outlaws to retrieve Peter for him.
By that time, Peter knew very little about his birth father except for the stories Meredith told him, in which she described him as an "angel". Peter grew close to Meredith, who called him her "little Star-Lord" and gave him a cassette that he constantly played on his Walkman.
Their peaceful life was soon shattered when Meredith was diagnosed with brain cancer, which was caused by a tumor Ego had inserted into her head, and hospitalized. After learning about Meredith's terminal condition, Peter's grandfather and other family members came to be with Meredith in her final days.
While visiting his mother in her last hours, Peter Quill was presented with a gift and a letter before watching as she passed away. He was then escorted out by his grandfather, who went back into the room to be with her. A saddened Peter ran outside and wept openly as Yondu Udonta's M-ship descended from the sky and prepared to abduct him.
- "Guess I should be glad I was a skinny kid. Otherwise, you’d have delivered me to this maniac."
"You still reckon that’s the reason I kept you around, you idiot?"
"That’s what you told me, you old doofus."
"Once I figured out what happened to them other kids… I wasn’t just gonna hand you over."
- ―Star-Lord and Yondu Udonta
Yondu Udonta neglected Ego's orders and raised Peter Quill as his own son, teaching him to become a master thief. By 2014, Peter had adopted his mother's nickname and was known throughout the galaxy as Star-Lord.