What If…? episode 2 starts at the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy. The scene where Star-Lord goes treasure hunting for the Power Stone and runs afoul of bounty hunters is presented in animated form. There’s a twist though: Star-Lord is T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman).
T’Challa has crafted a much different reputation for Star-Lord in What If…? episode 2. Korath the Pursuer (Djimon Hounsou) doesn’t ask who Star-Lord is as he is a rather big fan of this galactic thief. As T’Challa engages his enemies, he agrees to hire an eager Korath to his team.
With the Power Stone acquired, Star-Lord attempts to shoot his way out of a situation where soldiers corner him. He receives help from his mentor of Yondu (Michael Rooker), using his fantastic arrow to slaughter the opposition. Star-Lord and Yondu then leave with Korath to catch up with their gang of Ravagers.
The backstory behind T’Challa becoming Star-Lord is revealed in a flashback. 20 years ago, T’Challa was a mere boy who wanted more than what Wakanda could offer. He ran away from home and would find himself being abducted by the Ravagers.
Though Yondu was looking specifically for Peter Quill, he settles for T’Challa. Yondu spins the tale that Wakanda was destroyed and that the only life for T’Challa is among the stars. Thus, T’Challa becomes the mercenary of Star-Lord.
Star-Lord meets up with his gang of Ravagers at a bar. Among his crew is Thanos (Josh Brolin), a reformed warlord who now merely jokes about his potential plan for genocide. Also present at the bar is Thano’s daughter Nebula, appearing more like a femme fatale with blonde hair and silky dresses.
Nebula comes to T’Challa with a proposition for a heist. A cosmic artifact known as the Embers of Genesis is said to have the power to wipe out hunger in the universe. The treasured item is currently in possession of one Taneleer Tivan, better known as The Collector.
A heist plan is formed among the Ravagers to swipe this item from Tivan’s headquarters located in the satellite of Knowhere. The plan involves distracting Tivan with the recently acquired Power Stone. While the stone is examined, T’Challa goes searching amid The Collector’s collection for the Embers of Genesis.
At the same time, Thanos is staging a fight just outside the walls of Tivan’s place as a distraction for the powerful muscle of the Black Order. However, once Thanos is discovered to be a ravager, Tivan is alerted as to what is going on.
T’Challa goes searching through collections of other entities and runs into Howard The Duck. While Howard does offer to help T’Challa, the security alarm goes off and T’Challa finds himself trying to find a way out of the situation.
While T’Challa was searching, however, he becomes distracted by a certain spaceship. He notices his Wakandan necklaces light up when he comes close to the vehicle. He soon realizes the ship is Wakandan and Yondu has lied to him about the fate of his home.
Nebula reveals herself to have double-crossed the team as she imprisons the scheming Ravagers, including T’Challa. She soon reveals, however, that this was a triple-cross. She immobilizes the guards and unleashes the imprisoned Ravagers. She also manages to swipe the Embers of Genesis.
Meanwhile, T’Challa is saved from his imprisonment by Tavin’s concerned slave, Carina. Tavin, however, discovers what T’Challa is up to and opts to fight the Wakandan to the death. Tavin, however, is not only beefed up to be strong but wields a number of familiar Marvel weapons in his arsenal.
While T’Challa engages in combat with Tavin, Thanos takes on the remaining members of the Black Order. Though Thanos is badly injured during the fight, Nebula comes to his rescue and the remaining guards are defeated with the aid of the Embers of Genesis. The embers, however, cause Tavin’s place to become infected with growing plants, forcing a quick escape.
After an intense battle, T’Challa eventually gets the upper hand on Tavin and traps him in one of his own cages. Before T’Challa leaves, however, all of the cages are opened and Tavin finds himself staring down the vengeful eyes of those who had imprisoned him.
T’Challa meets up with the Ravagers and they make their escape from Knowhere with the artifact they came for. Though T’Challa was bitter about Yondu lying to him, he soon forgives him. Yondu makes it up to T’Challa by agreeing to return the Wakandan to his home and be reunited with his true family.
At that same moment, another family reunion is taking place. Peter Quill, having grown up never knowing the Ravagers, works at a Dairy Queen. As he’s closing up, he is visited by his god-like father Ego, eager to showcase what powers his son possesses.
The episode ends with a heart-felt dedication to the late Chadwick Boseman, though What If…? episode 2 is apparently not the only episode he will appear in for the series.