Rocket Raccoon's Past Will Be A "Big Part" Of 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3,' James Gunn Teases

When James Gunn introduced his lovable band of misfits to the world in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, each character proved rich and interesting enough to warrant a whole origin movie. But while the past two movies have mostly focused on Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 may finally give Bradley Cooper's scene-stealing Rocket Raccoon the spotlight.

During an online "watch party" of Guardians of the Galaxy, director James Gunn — who returns to helm Vol. 3 after directing the first and second films — hinted that Rocket Raccoon's past will play a "big part" in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

"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," Gunn said in response to a fan's question about Rocket Raccoon's origin, which was hinted at in Guardians of the Galaxy, but never elaborated on.

In the comics, Rocket comes from the planet Halfworld in the Keystone Quadrant, an abandoned colony for the mentally ill where animal companions were genetically manipulated, giving them human-level intelligence and bipedal body construction, to act as caretakers of the inmates. Rocket acted as Halfworld's chief law officer before he left to go on his own adventures, and eventually, join the Guardians.

In the films, it's hinted that Rocket was a product of animal experimentation, but it's a sore spot for the character, who shirks any questions about his past. While Rocket has frequently been the hot-headed wild card of the group, he's undergone a more soulful arc in the Avengers films, striking up a connection with the similarly-damaged Nebula (Karen Gillan), also a product of experimentation and torture. It's unclear where the Guardians will go after the events of Avengers: Endgame, which saw a jovial Thor joining the crew, through the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 teased the arrival of major comic book character Adam Warlock. But perhaps with Gunn's hint about Rocket's origin, the film could take the gang to Halfworld or meet the Stranger, whose "laboratory world" also has ties to Rocket Raccoon.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 does not yet have a release date. Gunn is currently in post-production for The Suicide Squad, scheduled for a August 6, 2021 release, and will likely dive straight into Vol. 3 following that film.