When a James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy film was announced back in 2012, there was a collective “who?” The ragtag group of heroes consisting of a talking raccoon and sentient tree was a pretty unknown property at the time. However, audiences worldwide fell in love with the team when they finally made their debut on-screen, making characters like Starlord and Drax household names in popular culture. Their subsequent appearances in the fight against Thanos further strengthened their popularity with many wondering what comes next for these space adventurers.
However, though we have spent time with the characters for six years, we do not actually know that much about where they came from aside from Starlord and Gamora. What does Groot’s planet look like? How did Rocket get “torn apart and put back together”? Luckily, director James Gunn has provided some answers for that.
Gunn recently attended an online watch party for the 2014 movie on Comicbook.com and as the narrative progressed, fans took to Twitter to barrage him with questions about his work. When questioned on whether the next instalment in the franchise would feature Rocket’s origin, he plainly replied (via Screenrant):
“I’ll just say Rocket is a big part of what’s happening in the future – and a lot of this stuff (like the scars we’re about to see on his back) sets up what I’ve been planning for Rocket all along.”
Responding to another fan’s question on the cybernetic components that were infused into the trash panda, Gunn said that it was one of his personal highlights of the film, further commenting that “Rocket’s loneliness and disaffection is at the centre of the franchise”. He then elaborated on the themes he established for the franchise, saying that the characters all have a common negative experience during their juvenile years. James Gunn also said:
“The trilogy, more than anything else, is about a group of outsiders who have all experienced childhood trauma – with the exception of Drax, who is the only one with a completely positive relationship to those who raised him.”
Now, in the comics, Rocket hails from Halfworld, a planet that was used to house and treat the insane. He, along with several other cybernetic animals which included a female otter named Lylla and a walrus named… Wal Rus…, were created by a bunch of sentient robots and were tasked with caring for these patients. Simple eh?
If we are indeed going to hear Rocket exclaim “You wanna know how I got these scars?” in Vol. 3, I believe James Gunn will try to shake things up from the source material like what he did for Peter Quill. By revealing that Ego was his biological father, Gunn incorporated a famous comic villain into the narrative whilst developing the main character. He could probably introduce some other dastardly cosmic character from the comics – some have speculated on the High Evolutionary – to do the dirty deeds to the poor animal. Besides, introducing Lylla and Wal Rus would be fun. Who would say no to a cute talking otter?
While not necessarily being the best MCU film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s ending is definitely one of my favourites. Aside from the splendour of the coloured tributes for the fallen Ravager, Yondu, and the sense of tenderness in the family, that final shot of a raccoon shedding a tear is what honed it in for me. The battle-hardened heart is otherwise shattered, letting go of all the pain, reluctance, and resentment for the moment and exposing his warm acceptance of his newfound family. So, yes, if Gunn declares that the “triangle-faced-monkey” will be featured more prominently in the upcoming sequel, I’m all for it as this critter definitely deserves a highlight!