Skip to main content

James Gunn Confirms That This ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Character Survived

The Guardians of the Galaxy walking in Vol. 3

Although it was a relief to see all the Guardians still standing at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, one character’s fate remained unclear: the High Evolutionary. By the end of the film, the High Evolutionary has destroyed Counter-Earth, killed his bridge crew, and been unmasked by Gamora before Rocket decides to spare his life—but we lose track of his whereabouts when his ship explodes. It seems very unlikely that he survives.

However, Marvel VFX artist Miguel Ángel Acevedo Montserrat has revealed a detail in the final act that changes everything. In an interview with the Youtube channel Strip Marvel, Montserrat points out that during the stampede of children and animals escaping the High Evolutionary’s ship, you can see Drax carrying the incapacitated High Evolutionary over his shoulder.

Taken on its own, the twist could still be pretty ambiguous. Does the High Evolutionary actually survive? How much say does one VFX artist have in Marvel Cinematic Universe canon? However, after the interview came out, director James Gunn himself confirmed that the High Evolutionary is still alive at the end of the film.

After a fan asked Gunn on Twitter if the High Evolutionary is alive, linking to an article on The Direct, Gunn confirmed that it’s “very much in the movie.”

Does this mean the High Evolutionary will return?

As someone who cares very deeply about the well-being of fictional raccoons, I have to say: Christ, I hope not. That guy is awful!

But as someone who loves drama, resurrections, and dramatic resurrections, I say bring him back! Let’s see what sadistic antics he’ll get up to next! In fact, in light of the alarming revelations about Jonathan Majors, some fans have even called for Marvel to reveal that the High Evolutionary is a Kang variant, and have him take over as the Multiverse Saga’s Big Bad. Imagine infinite Chukwudi Iwujis running around the multiverse!

Of course, the High Evolutionary surviving doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll return. After all, Rocket choosing not to kill him makes for a poignant character beat on its own, without needing to pave the way for more story arcs with the High Evolutionary.

In any case, if you were sad about the death of such a great villain, take solace in knowing that he’s still out there, perhaps plotting his next move.

(featured image: Walt Disney Motion Pictures Animation Studios)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Julia Glassman (she/they) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at