While The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special brought Phase 4 of the MCU to an official close, the focus has shifted to the crew's third (and final?) chapter of Phase 5, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Throughout filming, both director James Gunn and the Guardians cast promised an emotional threequel and one centered on Rocket.
But now, Marvel fans just got an idea of how truly emotional this third film will be thanks to a new trailer featuring glimpses at Rocket's past and Vol. 3's villain.
The High Evolutionary's Guardians History
The latest Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 trailer revealed at CCXP 2022 offered another look at the villainous High Evolutionary and his role in the threequel.
Played by Chukwudi Iwuji, the High Evolutionary is a Marvel comic book villain with a history of abuse and experimentation.
While Vol. 3 footage has teased Rocket's own history with the High Evolutionary, as evidenced by the images of a Baby Rocket before he had been experimented on, the film may explore more of the villain's past acts.
In fact, the new trailer appeared to show Half-World, Rocket's comic book planet of origin, which is populated by animal-human enhanced hybrids.
But that's not all. The footage may have also offered a first look at Lylla, an associate of Rocket's mentioned in the first Guardians of the Galaxy and who appears to have been another of the High Evolutionary's experiments.
Rocket's Relationship with Lylla & the High Evolutionary
In the comics, Lylla is a sapient otter and Rocket's soulmate.
In 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, her name appeared on Rocket's profile when he was apprehended by the Nova Corps.
There was also speculation that she would've appeared in the Guardians of the Galaxy video game which originally intended to explore Rocket's backstory, much like how Vol. 3 now intends to do.
Lylla's presence confirms that Rocket's history with the High Evolutionary isn't just limited to what happened to himself, but perhaps the friends and family he had prior to meeting the Guardians.
Whether Lylla's role is limited to that of flashbacks, or if Vol. 3 will involve a rescue mission, remains to be seen.
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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 arrives in theaters on May 5, 2023.