The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 trailer offered a first glimpse of Rocket’s homeworld, an alien planet that looks strangely similar to Earth. James Gunn has always admitted Rocket Raccoon is one of his favorite characters. In one interview with Deadline, he explained this is the reason he couldn’t possibly step away from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. “ I love the character of Rocket more than any character I’ve ever dealt with before,” he observed, “and I needed to finish his story and that is what Volume 3 is about.“
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 reveals Rocket’s origin, with the trailer showing the Guardians traveling to a mysterious planet filled with anthropomorphized animals. This was expected – but what nobody predicted was that Rocket’s homeworld would look so very Earth-like. The opening scenes of the trailer showed the Guardians’ latest ship, the Bowie, flying over what initially seemed to be a very familiar landscape, with human buildings and boats. It was only when the Bowie landed in suburbia that the inhabitants were seen – human-bat hybrids, panda people, and the like. Many viewers are understandably confused at these shots – but there’s a simple explanation for this world. It’s a combination of two places from the comics, Halfworld and Counter-Earth, and it’s tied to the film’s villain.
Guardians Of The Galaxy’s High Evolutionary & Counter-Earth Explained
Chukwudi Iwuji is playing the High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. In the comics, the High Evolutionary is a human biologist who became fascinated with the idea of controlling evolution. He became an expert in genetic research, with some retcons revealing he was responsible for giving Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch their powers. He even experimented on himself, enhancing his own intellect to the point where he outclasses any ordinary human being. This led the High Evolutionary to one of his grandest experiments, the creation of Counter-Earth, a world that he populated with his so-called “New Men” – artificially-created human-animal hybrids. The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 trailer is clearly showing the MCU’s version of Counter-Earth.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 trailer strongly hints it has combined two different Marvel Comics locations. In the comics, Rocket Raccoon and his soulmate Lylla (also seen in the trailer) have nothing to do with Counter-Earth; rather, they originate from a planet in the Keystone Quadrant named Halfworld, where robot stewards used genetic engineering to give intelligence and awareness to Terrestrial animals that had been left as companions for patients in a massive psychiatric facility. It’s currently unclear whether the MCU will call this combined location “Counter-Earth” or “Halfworld,” but the human structures on the planet’s surface lend credence to the idea it is more like Counter-Earth.
What MCU Characters Could Originate From Its Version Of Counter-Earth?
Rocket is presumably an escapee from Counter-Earth/Halfworld, but he may not be the only one. Cosmo the space dog – a psychic canine – was introduced in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, and the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special gave him an increased role; Gunn indicated this was important as setup for Vol. 3, which seems to imply he too will be connected to the High Evolutionary’s world. It’s also possible Howard the Duck, an anthropomorphic duck who also became part of the MCU in Guardians of the Galaxy and who even participated in the final battle of Avengers: Endgame, is another of the High Evolutionary’s experiments. In the comics, Howard the Duck comes from an alternate dimension – but the MCU could easily rework that idea.
Counter-Earth is an important Marvel location, with strong ties to the cosmic hero Adam Warlock; fittingly, Will Poulter will be introduced as the MCU’s Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The High Evolutionary eventually established a despotic regime on Counter-Earth, routinely culling any New Men who did not meet his unspecified requirements. If the same is true in the MCU, then the Guardians’ swan song could well be the story of how they free Rocket’s homeworld from his tyrannical reign.
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