Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, one of the most highly-anticipated films of 2023, is finally showing in cinemas. The film serves as a fitting end to the franchise which began in 2014 for several reasons. Among the most important as far as story goes, it also reveals key details about Rocket's backstory.
Among the other reasons, it features the longest runtime of any Guardians of the Galaxy film. Also, despite disappointing critic reviews, the film scored the third highest audience rating ever in the MCU on Rotten Tomatoes at 98%.
Keep in mind that there are major spoilers ahead.
Over the years, Guardians of the Galaxy series has provided a backstory for most of its members. However, there has been little to no detail provided about Rocket’s background. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, fans learn that Rocket the Raccoon is, in fact, from planet Earth. The film also wraps up several other threads that began in earlier films.
During the movie, Rocket comes across a cage filled with baby raccoons much like himself during a mission on the ship of his cruel creator the High Evolutionary. While attempting to free the baby raccoons, he discovers a label on the inside of a cage door that reveals the raccoons, and by extension, himself, are from the Earth continent of North America.
With this revelation, James Gunn and the production team distinguished the Rocket in the film series from the version which appeared in the comics. There, the gun-toting raccoon comes from a planet known as Halfworld, a planetwide mental facility for alien humanoids. On that planet, Rocket and other animals like him were originally ordinary with the sole purpose of providing emotional support to the patients.
Unfortunately, the alien doctors in charge of the patients were forced to abandon the planet when they lost their funding. To ensure the patients left behind were catered to, the robot servants experimented on the support animals and imbued them with advanced intelligence, speech abilities, and cybernetic enhancements.
Given the plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, fans will agree that changing Rocket’s origins was a necessity. While the character was basically the creation of robots in the comics, he is a very human creation in the film series.
Without this distinction, there wouldn’t be a villain for Rocket and the members of his ragtag team of adventurers to fight. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 also changes the name of the planet where Rocket grew up to Counter-Earth as opposed to Halfworld in the comics.
In January, James Gunn expressed his wishes to work with his Guardians of the Galaxy cast members at DC, where he is the new co-CEO. Whether the filmmaker’s desire will be fulfilled remains to be seen. Following Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s debut, Gunn will now turn his attention to his DCU projects, including Superman: Legacy, which he is directing.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is currently showing in theaters worldwide.