Rocket Raccoon is the only Guardian of the Galaxy left alive after the Thanos Snap - and we're considering that nothing but karma, since Marvel's entire Infinity War was set into motion by his stupidest, most senseless decision. Will he finally take the blame in Avengers 4?
Rocket will have plenty of time to think about his role in triggering the rise of Thanos, even if he'll probably be doing all that thinking alone, now that his adopted family has been completely turned to dust (or been personally killed by Thanos beforehand). Since Rocket is absent from the first trailer for Avengers: Endgame, we're taking it as a sign that the MCU heroes have also held him responsible. And when you look at the evidence, there is absolutely no doubt.
Every hero could have done better in their fight against Thanos, and yes, Star-Lord did ruin the best plan to defeat him. But at least he had a reason for putting lives at risk. Fans didn't know it at the time, but one mindless crime laughed off by Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 set the death toll of Avengers: Infinity War in motion.
- This Page: How Rocket's Dumbest Robbery Helped Thanos
- Page 2: Rocket's Mistake Starts The Whole Infinity War
Rocket's Robbery Ruined Everything
Rocket Raccoon's path to destroying half of the entire universe began innocently enough, with Guardians of the Galaxy 2 dropping fans straight into the action, showing how successful a team of hired guns the heroes had become since the first movie. Standing atop a massive structure on one of the worlds ruled by the Sovereign, their job was simple: kill the Abilisk who was expected to arrive at any second. It would arrive, they knew, because it was attracted to the Anulax Batteries used by the Sovereign: power sources far too valuable to lose to a cosmic monster… a detail that didn't escape Rocket’s notice (he has a knack for spotting valuable, unguarded goods).
As viewers know, the battle turned out to be more exciting than the Guardians intended, but they still got the job done. And in exchange for their success in getting rid of the Sovereign’s gigantic pest problem, they got something more valuable to them than cash (at least in an emotional sense). They pulled off the job on behalf of Gamora, to take custody of her fellow 'daughter of Thanos' Nebula, and see her brought to justice by the Nova Corps.
But that wasn't enough for Rocket. Instead of honoring their deal, he decided to steal right out from under a highly-advanced and proud empire, pocketing all the Anulax Batteries he could carry. Obviously a crime that would be instantly noticed... but c'mon, a GREAT joke he and Drax had a hearty chuckle over.
The Sovereign Attack The Guardians (Obviously)
Once the normally-thinking members of the Guardians (Peter and Gamora) discover that Rocket robbed their wealthy, proud, advanced, and honorable employers, they're as outraged and panicked as any non-cartoon would be. They know, as any normal person would, that the Sovereign will be instantly in pursuit, rightfully looking to kill these two-faced outlaws after they honored the deal. Rocket had made them all enemies of an empire over one unwise score, and the impact of his treachery soon drives the entire movie. And as it turns out, gets half of the universe blinked out of existence.
Once Ego shows up to rescue the Guardians before dividing them by offering help, and the Sovereign hire Yondu and the Ravagers to kill them all as retribution, it becomes clear that Rocket’s mindless theft was simply a plot device. These twists needed to happen to create conflict, and start Rocket on his arc to accept and embrace family. It's a shame that the inciting incident doesn't really stand up to scrutiny on its own - but hey, it's no worse than the average superhero movie. And these are the Guardians of the Galaxy we're talking about, meaning audiences would care too much about the dangers the heroes face to question the believability of the plot device that made it all happen.
Isolated to one movie, we could let it go. But now the real way in which Thanos gathered the Infinity Stones to launch his Infinity War, the entire state of the MCU has Rocket's ridiculous thieving to thank. Well, more specifically, how the crime made it possible for Thanos to form the Infinity Gauntlet.