Since fans met him nine years ago, Rocket Raccoon has had a fascination with prosthetic limbs. During a prison break in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket requests materials for the escape mission, including one prisoner’s prosthetic leg. He revealed shortly after that he did not actually need the leg but rather wanted it simply for himself. The trend continued in Avengers: Infinity War when Rocket gifted Thor a prosthetic eye that he had swiped in the past. Later in that crossover event, Rocket asked Bucky Barnes if he could purchase his vibranium arm, and while the former Winter Soldier insisted it wasn’t for sale, Rocket eventually got his hands on the artificial limb at the end of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.
Warning – The rest of this article contains spoilers from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
While the general consensus was that Rocket’s love prosthetic limb was nothing more than a long-running joke, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hinted at a darker meaning behind it. Flashbacks to Rocket’s origins showcased friends Lylla, Floor, and Teefs, a trio of animals experimented on by the High Evolutionary. Unlike Rocket, these creatures were equipped with various metallic limbs to give them extra support. Considering all three are killed in flashbacks, fans speculated that Rocket’s prosthetic limb collection over his MCU tenure has been done in tribute to his late friends.
Speaking to ComicBook.com, Rocket motion-capture actor Sean Gunn admitted that while the theory is news to him, he can get behind the logic.
“You’re springing that one on me. I have not heard that yet. I like the theory,” Sean said. “It is not something that I can say was consciously discussed or talked about in the creation of the movies, but it does add up. It makes some sense, right?”
Sean noted that his head canon was always that Rocket’s prosthetic limb collection was simply due to his gravitation towards tech.
“I’ve always thought of Rocket’s fascination with those things more just an overall fascination with technology,” Sean continued. “If there’s a gadget that can do something that he doesn’t quite understand, he needs to understand it and consume it and see what it is, how it all works, which is always kind of how I thought of it.”
Even though this is just a theory for now, it is always possible that Marvel Studios retroactively makes it official canon. This was done before with Iron Man 2, as Marvel President Kevin Feige and Spider-Man actor Tom Holland confirmed that the little kid that Tony Stark hits a repulsor blast with in that 2010 movie was actually a young Peter Parker.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is currently in theaters.