Rocket and Nebula sitting together

Rocket and Nebula Remain the Cutest of Unlikely Friends

I love Rocket Raccoon most in this world. He is in my top three Marvel characters and is someone that I just want to protect, which is why I am so worried about his fate in The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Heading into The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, though, I was surprised by the small moments we got with Rocket, and even though he wasn’t a focal point, I left the special satisfied with what content I did get out of my favorite weapon. Why? Because Nebula knows him most of all.

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The two became friends when they were the only Guardians left during the Blip, and they would work with the remaining Avengers when they could. We really saw their love and respect for each other when Tony and Nebula were brought to Earth by Captain Marvel and Rocket seemed relieved to at least have Nebula and know he wasn’t not alone.

From that moment on, we got brief moments between the two, but it is clear that they cared for each other and stayed with one another because that’s all they had, and their friendship grew into a respect for one another that probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise. So, when Nebula gives Rocket Bucky’s arm in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, it’s clear that these two know each other and what makes them happy, but let’s talk a bit about this arm and why it is so important to Rocket.

The history of Rocket and Bucky’s arm

Rocket Raccoon asking how much for Bucky's arm
(Marvel Entertainment)

Rocket loves collecting things like eyes and limbs. He’s done it since the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and it has come in handy for him time and time again—like when he had an eye for Thor to use in Infinity War. Point is, this is just something that Rocket likes.

So when he’s brought to Earth by Thor in Avengers: Infinity War, he ends up fighting alongside Bucky—a moment that truly did have my screaming in a theater because my two favorite weapons who hate what they’ve been made into were working together and using each other as weapons. It was made for me!

But at the end of their interaction, Rocket asks Bucky how much to have his arm. Bucky tells him that it’s not for sale, and at the end of their moment, Rocket says that he’s going to get that arm, and if we know anything about Rocket, it’s that he’s determined. With the Blip and the loss of his family, it seemed to leave his radar, and it wasn’t something that he was focused on, so when Nebula gifts him Bucky’s arm in the special, it’s clear that she listens to Rocket and cares about him. Even if it is … gifting him Bucky Barnes’ arm.

Rocket and Nebula’s friendship in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Rocket with Bucky's arm
(Marvel Entertainment)

Chances are that Bucky just didn’t use that one anymore or care, because I don’t think Nebula is going to go and beat up James Buchanan Barnes for her friends (even if James Gunn joked that it was ripped off of Bucky because Nebula was feeling Christmassy). So my own personal headcanon is that Nebula went to him to ask about what arm he has that he doesn’t use, and Bucky gave her this one and gave her the blessing for Rocket to finally have his one wish.

And maybe that’s just because that feels more in the Christmas spirit to me, but whatever actually happened, this gift showed me just how much Nebula actually cares about Rocket Raccoon. It does make me even more worried about my sweet boy’s fate in Vol. 3, but until I have to sit and cry in a theater, I get to know that Rocket finally got that arm he’d been waiting for.

So yes, Nebula and Rocket are a cute friendship, but it is because they obviously care about each other despite that they act like they don’t. They are listening and there for each other even when they think they are being sneaky about their “tough” exteriors. They care about one another, and that’s why I love them so much.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)


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Author
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.