With Avengers: Endgame currently in the middle of its box office run, Marvel fans are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to dissecting the film. Thanks to a new Reddit thread, a pretty specific - and slightly heartbreaking - discussion may have now entered the fray. As Reddit user Vin13ish initially pointed out, there's quite a visual difference between how Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) looked in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, as opposed to in the 2023-set scenes of Endgame.
Some have suggested that, quite simply, this could be due to the fact that Rocket's hygiene habits have improved since getting closer to the Avengers. But there's also the notion of Rocket aging almost a decade before our eyes, and what that could mean for his overall Marvel Cinematic Universe arc. In one line in Guardians, Rocket remarks that he "ain't got that long of a life span anyway" -- which certainly sounds ominous when you consider his post-Endgame future (and the fact that non-wild raccoons can live for up to 20 years).
As Guardians writer/director James Gunn has revealed, the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to "complete" Rocket's arc in one way or another.
"When you asked me what was saddest for me when I thought it was gone—and anybody at Marvel can tell you—it’s this very strange and attached relationship to Rocket," Gunn recently explained. "Rocket is me, he really is, even if that sounds narcissistic. Groot is like my dog. I love Groot in a completely different way. I relate to Rocket and I feel compassion for Rocket, but I also feel like his story has not been completed. He has an arc that started in the first movie, continued into the second and goes through Infinity War and Endgame, and then I was set to really finish that arc in Guardians 3. That was a big loss to me—not being able to finish that story—though I was comforted by the fact that they were still planning to use my script."
It's safe to say that audiences would get emotional if the conclusion of Rocket's arc ends with him dying, especially considering the amount of time viewers have spent with him throughout the MCU. But then again, Rocket does have a fair share of cybernetic enhancements, which would theoretically prolong his lifespan in one way or another. Either way, with rumors suggesting that the film might include appearances from High Evolutionary and Lylla the Otter, there's a good chance that a Rocket-centric story might be in store.
Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame are in theaters now. Spider-Man: Far From Home will land in theaters on July 2nd.