Here's Why Rocket Might Die in Guardians of the Galaxy 3

Eventually, fans will be treated to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 — likely sometime in 2022 or 2023. The film's long been touted as the end of this iteration of the titular team, even by filmmaker James Gunn himself. As evidenced by Avengers: Endgame, Marvel isn't afraid to kill off headlining characters if it makes sense for the narrative and will aid in further storytelling.

That's a major reason why Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) already has a target on his back leading into the Guardians of the Galaxy threequel. Not unlike the story arc of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Rocket's has already come full circle — with what started off as a selfish, self-absorbed character has evolved into an understanding leader empathetic of others.

Time and again, Gunn himself has said Rocket is the character he identifies most with. There's no bigger statement the writer/director could make than by killing off his favorite character in a production that's been a bit tumultuous, to say the least. In a way, it'd be a reincarnation of sorts for Gunn — after being fired and subsequently rehired — the moment that'd end up being tough for all would symbolize a second chance at a new beginning for the filmmaker

Then you can take into consideration Rocket is the lone member of the Guardians of the Galaxy to not die in some shape, way, or form. Both versions of Groot have kicked the bucket, Gamora was killed by Thanos, and the remaining members were all dusted during Avengers: Infinity War. If you consider Nebula a main member of the team, we've seen an on-screen death of her to boot.

During his time as a writer and director in the MCU, Gunn's been known for inserting some tremendously shocking moments — see "We Are Groot" or the Ego tumor reveal — and there wouldn't be a more shocking move to pull at this stage in the franchise.

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Do you think Rocket will make it through Guardians 3 alive? Why or why not? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or by tweeting me at @AdamBarnhardt! Guardians of the Galaxy 3 has yet to set a release date.

Other upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in spring 2021, Loki in spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If? in summer 2021, Hawkeye in fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021.