Jonathan Frakes, best known for his role as Commander William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, will guest star on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy animated series voicing the role of J’Son, the emperor of the Spartax galactic empire and estranged father of Peter Quill, better known as Star-Lord.
Frakes is excited about the opportunity to be heading into space once again.
“I’m thrilled to be part of another great sci-fi franchise. And I’m also lucky that the character of J’Son just happens to sound like me,” Frakes said with a laugh to USA Today.
According to the Star Trek website, Frakes will make his first appearance as a guest star in an episode of the Disney XD series to air Sunday, March 13, in which Star-Lord (voiced by Will Friedle) goes missing on Spartax and the other Guardians set off on a quest to save him. Frakes’ will be voicing J’son of Spartax for several episodes, and J’son’s roles both as Star-Lord’s father and as ruler of Spartax will be the focus of several episode storylines this season.
Jonathan Frakes Iis Star Lord's Animated Dad https://t.co/LSzhd2PYTG— Billy Flynn (@BillyFlynn) March 2, 2016
The TV series in which Frakes will soon guest star, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, follows the adventures of the main characters (consisting of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot) after the events of the 2014 feature film Guardians of the Galaxy, which was released to critical and commercial success, grossing $773.3 million worldwide and becoming the highest-grossing superhero film and second highest-grossing film of 2014 overall in North America.
This move is likely to put the animated series at odds with the much anticipated sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which is widely rumored to have Kurt Russell playing the father of Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord. Russell was recently officially reported as having joined the cast of GotG Vol. 2, though the specific part he will play has not been announced.
Frakes’ character follows with Star-Lord’s parentage in the comics, though James Gunn, writer and director of the first Guardians film, has already said to The Mary Sue that the movies’ portrayal will not follow the original comics. Nerdist noted that the animated TV series may be sticking to the canon of the comic book series more so than Marvel’s commercial and critically-acclaimed film series.
“J’Son of Spartax has been established as Star-Lord’s father in the Marvel universe since 1977, when he was created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. Recent appearances of J’Son in the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series have depicted him in a more villainous light.”
In addition to his famous role as William T. Riker, second in command to Patrick Stewart’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard on seven seasons of Star Trek: TNG (1987-94), Jonathan Frakes has also directed many episodes of Star Trek as well as the films Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and Star Trek: Insurrection (1998). He was also part of the main vocal cast on the 1990s Disney cartoon Gargoyles, voicing primary antagonist David Xanatos. He has previously done other voice work for Family Guy, The Super Hero Squad Show, and Futurama, and voiced an adult version of the character Finn for Adventure Time.
The sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy is now filming in Atlanta and will be opening on May 5, 2017. It has been stated that the Guardians animated TV series will not be directly connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the series of feature films. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been in production since 2007, with its films collectively grossing over $9 billion and becoming the most successful move franchise of all time.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy animated series has been renewed for a second season, which is currently in production and is slated to air on Disney XD in 2017.
[Photo by Getty Images/Handout]