James Gunn Reveals the Only Way He'd Bring Yondu Back for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Despite calls to "bring back Yondu," the blue-skinned Ravager played by Michael Rooker, Guardians of the Galaxy writer-director James Gunn maintains the adopted father of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is permanently dead: the character could only return in a flashback or prequel set before the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. There the roughneck Centaurian met his noble end when he sacrificed himself to save his boy when Quill's biological father, Ego (Kurt Russell), was exploded by a bomb set off by Groot (voice of Vin Diesel). Gunn again reaffirms Yondu will not be resurrected, arguing it would undo his heroic final act:

"Unless we’re talking about some sort of prequel or flashback, I believe this would nullify Yondu’s sacrifice," Gunn wrote on Twitter when responding to a fan urging the filmmaker to "please find some way to bring back Yondu." When replying to a similar tweet in January 2018, Gunn wrote, "[Yondu] will never be brought back to life as long as I'm around. His passing needs to mean something."

Rooker hinted Yondu's "essence" will live on in his Yaka Arrow, inherited by Kraglin (Sean Gunn).

"You know you have this strange idea of dying," Rooker said during a 2017 convention appearance. "I don't understand why people think dying is like, gone. No! I'm just saying! I'm not giving any hints right now! I'm just saying that Yondu has moved on."

Continuing, Rooker added, "I mean, there was this whole arrow of my essence, right? There's this arrow and it flew off into space. It's going somewhere right? I mean, right? Don't you think? If it's going it could, maybe, perhaps one day come back. Hint! That's a hint, Marvel!"

A longtime friend of Rooker's — the actor next appears over in the DC film universe in the Gunn-directed The Suicide Squad — Gunn once admitted he couldn't see himself making Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 knowing Rooker's character was dead.

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"Michael Rooker, for all the crap I give him, is one of my closest friends in the world and the last thing I wanted to do was to make a movie without Michael Rooker in the future," Gunn said in a live Q&A in 2017. "I almost didn’t do Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 because there was no Michael Rooker in it and I couldn’t see making the movie without him. He means that much to me and I love him that much."

Gunn next returns to the franchise with Vol. 3. Marvel Studios has not yet announced a release date.

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