A new theory has suggested that the final Easter egg in Guardians of the Galaxy is Rocket Raccoon's entire character arc. The last weekend's events have seen James Gunn fired by Disney after a number of old tweets resurfaced. It's caused Gunn's fans to revisit his Marvel films, reassessing their plots and arcs.
2014's Guardians of the Galaxy was filled with countless Easter eggs, with the most recent discovery being that the Skrull language appears in the film. Gunn has consistently insisted that one final Easter egg remains to be found in the first Guardians film. He's even suggested that, unless it is someday discovered, he intends to take it with him to his grave. Gunn's firing from Marvel, as well as his understandable decision to retire from social media as a result, means it's likely this Easter egg will either never be discovered - or never be confirmed.
Over on Reddit, though, we have a new theory; that Rocket Raccoon's entire character arc is an Easter egg, one that's very personal indeed to James Gunn.
- This Page: The Character Arc James Gunn Gave Rocket
- Page 2: Rocket's Arc Mirrors James Gunn's Personal Development
Rocket Raccoon's Character Arc
When viewers are introduced to Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy, he's a scrappy, troubled individual who keeps others at arm's length. He was created over the course of years of experimentation and abuse, and as a result, Rocket learned to use sarcastic humor to push others away. It was a defense mechanism, a desperate attempt to prevent himself from being hurt again. Rocket only has one friend, Groot, and that's largely on account of Groot's nobility and purity of heart - he's the only one who's managed to reach Rocket.
One of the most powerful scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy is Rocket's drunken rant at Knowhere. There, Rocket reveals the depths of self-loathing that beat within his heart. "I didn't ask to get made," Rocket snarled. "I didn't ask to be torn apart and put back together over and over again and turned into some little monster!" Although the film moves on, this is a crucial moment in his character arc. It's the first time he's admitted his deepest thoughts to anyone. The rest of the Guardians have, in Rocket's view, seen him at his worst; and yet they don't turn away from him. Rocket's defenses begin to crack.
The second film picks up six months later and reveals that Rocket is struggling to work out how to deal emotionally with his newfound family. He doesn't know how to deal with people and has grown increasingly harsh and acerbic, pushing the rest of the Guardians away. Rocket is experiencing what Gunn described as a "crisis of faith" as to whether or not he actually deserves to be part of this family at all. Yondu's example helps him gain a level of self-awareness as to what he's been doing all this time, and the Ravager's redemptive sacrifice allows Rocket to realize that there is indeed good in the universe - and that even a being like him can earn redemption.
As Gunn himself explained, Rocket's tears at the funeral are a crucial part of his character arc. "It's actually a very happy ending," Gunn insisted in one interview last year.
"Yes it's Yondu's death that brings them together, but they're all there, and Rocket in particular has to learn that he's not alone. I think that even though he finds the friends in the first movie, it's pretty clear that Rocket still feels alone for most of the second movie, and that's why end on his face, is that I think that he's learned to be more of a family member to everyone. So from that point of view, I think there's an uplifting element of it, even though it's sad because of the death."
When we next see Rocket in Avengers: Infinity War, he's openly committed to his family. "Me personally," Rocket observed, "I can lose a lot."
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