Even though the movie doesn’t even have an official release date yet, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is still one of the most highly-anticipated films in the works at Marvel Studios. The threequel would no doubt have been much further along by now if Disney hadn’t fired James Gunn before swiftly rehiring him following huge backlash, during which the director signed on to make The Suicide Squad for the rival DCEU in the interim.
Gunn has always had a reputation for engaging with his fans on social media, and he’s made it clear that while Vol. 3 might not be the Guardian’s final stand in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’ll definitely be the last one he’s involved in. A change in director has never exactly stopped the studio from carrying on their franchises before, although it seems likely that the team’s lineup will drastically change if and when Vol. 4 ever happens.
The director has already teased that Vol. 3 will feature the death of a major character as well and now a new theory doing the rounds points to Rocket Raccoon as the most likely candidate. As per the theory, after having been introduced as a selfish and self-serving mercenary, Rocket is now the heart and soul of the Guardians and even played a similar role in Avengers: Endgame, and the ultimate sacrifice would bring that arc full circle.
With the writer and director of the franchise admitting that the character who’ll die is the one closest to his heart, Gunn also probably doesn’t want anyone else getting their hands on Rocket, and killing him off would both take him out of the equation for sequels while also providing one of Vol. 3’s most powerful story moments.
Besides, it isn’t like Marvel would be keen on the idea of getting rid of Chris Pratt given his status as one of the MCU’s biggest names, while Groot and Gamora have both sacrificed themselves already. Drax is great as the comic relief of the team, but he doesn’t have the same kind of emotional connection with the audience that Rocket does following his evolution from bitter hardened criminal to the unlikely father figure of a sentient tree.
There’s been rumors that the plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could see Rocket on a quest to discover his origins, and if this latest theory turns out to be true, then it doesn’t look like it will turn out too well for the gun-toting trash panda in the end.