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‘Guardians 3’ May Have Explained the Heartbreaking Reason Rocket Always Wanted Prosthetics

Hello darkness my old friend ...

Bradley Cooper as Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 brought an end to the story of the team we have all grown to love. Knowing it was the last time we would see them together made the movie a little bittersweet. The Guardians movies have always been fun, full of amazing music, and hit an emotional note with their found family stories. I was ready to see our heroes close a chapter of their lives and move on to other things.

What I wasn’t ready for was the traumatic origin story journey that writer/director James Gunn took us on. Throughout the movies, we learned about the sad backstories of Gamora, Nebula, Drax, and Peter Quill. Now, we know firsthand exactly how terrible Rocket‘s (officially Rocket Raccoon) origin really was. What he went through shaped him dramatically. Meeting Rocket’s friends Lylla, Teefs, and Floor revealed a lot about how he serves his role in the world and within the Guardians. It also may have shown exactly why Rocket is obsessed with prosthetic body parts.

Legs, arms, and eyes—oh my!

From the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Rocket has shown a penchant for prosthetic body parts. He told the crew he needed another prisoner’s robotic leg to pull off their escape from prison. When presented with the leg, Rocket laughed, saying he was kidding. But his need to procure these mechanical body parts didn’t end there. In Avengers: Infinity War, Rocket had a cybernetic eye that he gave to Thor, since Thor had lost his own. Rocket took the eye after someone lost a bet to him on Contraxia.

Infinity War also started Rocket’s obsession with Bucky/Winter Soldier’s mechanical arm (same, though). During The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Nebula did Rocket a solid by actually getting him Bucky’s arm as a Christmas gift. The ongoing “joke” of Rocket loving prosthetics carried on through the entire Guardians storyline, but after learning Rocket’s past, the joke doesn’t seem as funny.

“It’s really good to have friends.”

As an adorable baby raccoon, Rocket underwent horrific procedures at the whim of the High Evolutionary. Rocket may have had cybernetic components, but he still basically looked like a bipedal raccoon. His best friends Lylla, Teef, and Floor, however, had major physical changes made to them. All of them had very obvious prosthetics and looked like they were a mix of animals and machines. Floor had almost spider-looking legs to move around on, with a metal piece covering her mouth. The High Evolutionary also altered Lylla and Teef with prosthetic limbs.

Rocket’s early life was full of pain and abuse from the High Evolutionary and his followers. His only reprieve was his friends. They formed a family and accepted each other, cybernetic bits and all. After losing them, Rocket went on to create another found family with the Guardians, but he still missed his first friends. His obsession with prosthetics most likely came from his connection to his friends who had enhancements.

If Rocket actually got his little paws on one of the coveted pieces, he used it to help people he cared about. Thor might still be missing an eye if it weren’t for Rocket’s obsession. As funny as it is that Rocket just finds prosthetics cool, it adds a hidden depth that he actually wants them as touchstones for his loved ones. It’s okay! I’m crying, too.

(featured image: Disney)

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D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a freelance pop culture writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.