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James Gunn hints we’ll see Rocket’s devastating origin in Guardians 3

You ruined a perfectly good raccoon. Look at it. It’s got anxiety.

Drax pets a grieving Rockett Raccoon on the head in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. Image: Marvel Studios
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

James Gunn is the latest director to take to Twitter for a coordinated rewatch of one of his biggest films, and his commentary offers good news for fans of the team’s furriest member. According to Gunn, Rocket Raccoon will be a major focus of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Rocket, a walking, talking raccoon from space who loves mechanics and explosions, could have been a wholly comedic figure, but Gunn, who has written or co-written both Guardians movies, has managed to inject a significant amount of pathos into the lonely little furball. And, as he told one fan on Twitter last night, that’s not by mistake.

Rocket’s origin story hasn’t been explored in the movies yet, but in the comics he and a whole slew of other talking, walking animals were created to be servants and caretakers, through painful experimentation and cybernetic augmentation. Gunn’s Rocket has had very little experience with kindness, as he explained in another tweet:

Rocket has so far appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, as well as having a pretty significant role in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, in which he became a good buddy of Thor. And Gunn indicated that he intends to keep that streak going in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, saying “Rocket is a big part of what’s happening in the future.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is still in pre-production stages, as Gunn completes work on Warner Bros.’ The Suicide Squad, due to hit theaters on Aug. 6, 2021. It does not yet have a release date, and with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe scheduled more than two years ahead of time, it’s a safe bet we won’t see the next Guardians until at least Fall 2022.

In the meantime, you can check out Gunn’s Twitter account for more tidbits about the making of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, including how it gave the Infinity Stones an origin story even though no one working on it knew Infinity War was going to happen.

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