Understanding the Past: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” Glimpses into Rocket’s Past


Marvel Studios/TNS

A scene from “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”

Matthew Jacobi, Editor-in-Chief

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” made its debut in theatres on Friday, May 5. It is the second film in phase five of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, grossing a total of $118 million at the domestic box office opening weekend, ​​landing the second-biggest debut of the year.
The movie revolves around Rocket’s origin story, starting with Rocket, Quill, Drax, Groot, Nebula, and Mantis in their new homeland on Knowhere. Out of nowhere, the city gets attacked by Sovereign warrior Adam Warlock. Rocket gets seriously injured before Nebula stabs Adam and forces him to flee from the planet. The team tries to save Rocket, but cannot heal him due to a kill switch attached to his heart. The kill switch was produced by Orgocorp, so the team leaves Knowhere and heads to find Orgocrop on the search to find the override code to save Rocket.
Throughout the movie, Rocket sees flashbacks from his past as he is fighting for his life, giving the audience the opportunity to understand where Rocket comes from.
As a baby raccoon, Rocket was tested on by the High Evolutionary, a scientist who wanted to enhance animals so that they could talk and build a “Counter-Earth.” Rocket made friends along the way, including Lylla, an otter, Teefs, a walrus, and Floor, a rabbit. After discovering Rocket’s intelligence, the High Evolutionary orders Rocket’s brain to be extracted and his friends incinerated. Rocket tries to help his friends escape, but Lylla, Teefs, and Floor get shot by guards. After grieving, Rocket manages to kill the guards and steals a spaceship.
Returning to present time, the Guardians make it to Orgocrop headquarters and steal Rocket’s file, but the kill switch code has been recently removed. The group thinks that Theel, one of the High Evolutionary’s advisors, was the one that removed it, so they set off to Counter-Earth to find him.
After arriving at Counter-Earth, they are helped by local residents to the High Evolutionary’s ship. Quill, Groot, and Nebula travel to the High Evolutionary, while Drax and Mantis remain with Gamora and Rocket on their ship. However, Nebula is forced to stay outside, so only Quill and Groot board the ship. At the same time, Adam also flies to Counter-Earth to retrieve Rocket.
After meeting with the High Evolutionary, and seeing the imperfections of his current world, the High Evolutionary initiates his destruction and planned recreation of Counter-Earth, which kills all life on the planet. As his ship enters orbit, Quill and Groot leap off with Theel, retrieving the code from him. Gamora arrives with their ship to rescue them, while Nebula, Mantis, and Drax board the High Evolutionary’s ship to rescue the now-absent Quill and Groot.
As Quill’s group attempts to access the code, Rocket flatlines and has a near-death experience, where he sees Lylla, Teefs, and Floor. In a heartwarming moment, Lylla tells him that his time has not yet come as Quill uses the code to disable the kill switch and save Rocket’s life.
While on the High Evolutionary’s ship, Nebula, Mantis, and Drax come across hundreds of imprisoned children. Shortly after, the three get captured. Quill’s group sets out to rescue the three, who are placed in a chamber with huge monstrous Abilisks.
Mantis becomes friends with the Abilisks, allowing the group to escape and reunite with Quill’s group, together overpowering the High Evolutionary’s army.
Kraglin and Cosmo arrive on Knowhere and help to free the captured children.
In another emotional scene, Rocket discovers imprisoned animals on the ship before being attacked by the High Evolutionary, but the rest of the Guardians help subdue him, leaving him to perish on his ship. The Guardians rescue the animals and lead them aboard Knowhere. Quill nearly dies trying to cross over but is saved by Adam, who had a change of heart after being saved by Groot.
Following the events, Quill leaves the Guardians, crowning the new leader of the Guardians to Rocket before leaving for Earth to reunite with his grandfather. Mantis embarks on a journey of self-discovery with the Abilisks, and Gamora reunites with the Ravagers, so a new Guardians of the Galaxy team is built with Rocket, Groot, Adam, Kraglin, Cosmo, and one of the super-enhanced children rescued from the High Evolutionary’s ship.
Overall, the movie was entertaining. There were some expectations that fell short, like the premise behind the main antagonist, the High Evolutionary. The whole reason he was mad was because he made Rocket too smart, and he couldn’t recreate that with his new animal subjects for Counter-Earth. But, there were some scenes that did make up for the plot. Watching Rocket pick up and save all of the baby raccoons while on the High Evolutionary’s ship was worth it.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will likely be in theaters until mid-summer.