Rocket Raccoon Is Getting A Fleshed-Out Backstory, What Will We Learn?

Rocket Racoon Guardians of the Galaxy

In the last few years, fans have learned dribs and drabs about the backstory behind the beloved Rocket Raccoon. From both conversation and visible scars, we've learned that he had a rather rough "upbringing," and that it's turned him into the callous individual that he is. That being said, the big details have been kept a mystery - and now writer/director James Gunn has promised that we will learn more about Rocket in upcoming Marvel Studios projects:

As you know, the MCU is one way of processing these characters. 616 is a different one. We are going to learn more about where Rocket comes from in the coming sagas. It's going to be a little different from the comics. We already know a lot about from where he came from. It's a little bit more horrible than what it is in the comics when you come down to it. We will learn more about that.

James Gunn was at Hasbro's HasCon in Providence, Rhode Island this past weekend, and it was during a panel (via MCU Exchange) that the filmmaker discussed the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Rocket Raccoon. Gunn made it very clear that what fans know from the comics (a.k.a. Earth-616) doesn't specifically influence what he's been doing with the Guardians of the Galaxy member on the big screen - and promised that the coming Marvel Cosmic features will explore exactly where Rocket has been and where he's been through. But what can we expect?

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket self-identifies as an individual who has been "torn apart and put back together over and over and turned into some little monster" - and surely that's a significant part of what James Gunn is referring to when he notes that the backstory is a bit more "horrible" than the comics. It seems that the diminutive Guardian began his life as an ordinary raccoon (a species that Peter Quill, Drax and Nebula could all identify), was abducted by scientists, and was transformed into the anthropomorphized being we know and love. While he goes by Rocket, he's officially identified as Subject: 89P13, and is described as a "cybernetic/genetic experiment on a lower life form" on his rap sheet. This is all we know, however, and there surely is a lot more that can be revealed as part of an attempt to flesh out the character's history.

What's particularly great about this news is the fact that we know Rocket is in extremely good hands. James Gunn is the true mastermind of the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and has spent years developing the bible that details everything about it. It's guaranteed that a part of that bible is the detailed history of Rocket - an adaptation of which seems to be on the way in the next few years. At this stage we can't say when Gunn or another filmmaker will get the chance to tell this story, be it in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, a Rocket & Groot spin-off, or something else entirely, but we can patiently wait for something this exciting.

It may be a few years before he start learning big, concrete details about Rocket's history, but the nice thing thing is that we don't have to wait that long for the character's return to a theater near you. Once again voiced by Bradley Cooper and brought to life on set by Sean Gunn, Rocket will be in theaters next May in The Avengers: Infinity War, and again in May 2019 with The Avengers 4. And for those who can't even wait that long, both Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 are available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.