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How Rocket's Gift From The Holiday Special Could Factor Into Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

With the release of "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" on Disney+, James Gunn put to rest a seemingly small joke from "Avengers: Infinity War." The end of the special sees our heroes soak in the holiday atmosphere and exchange gifts to the sweet sounds of a Christmas-caroling Kevin Bacon, and one especially poignant moment during this sequence sees Nebula (Karen Gillan) gift Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) the powerful metallic arm of Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). That closes the loop on a moment from the final battle in "Infinity War" where Rocket playfully proclaims, "I'm gonna get that arm," upon first seeing the Winter Soldier. The moment acts as both a fun resolution to the joke, as well as a wholesome moment that sees Rocket receiving some love during the holidays. And what better way to show Rocket love than giving him what he admires the most — dislocated limbs.

However, losing one of the most important appendages within the Marvel Cinematic Universe is nothing to be taken lightly. The Vibranium-created arm is amongst Bucky's most powerful weapons, serving him in conflicts ranging from scrappier, one-on-one tussles to grand-scale battles. So, what is to become of Bucky without it and, probably even more perplexing, what could Rocket want with it? With the new trailer for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" raising plenty of questions about Rocket's fate, this addition might shed light on what we can expect from everyone's favorite trash panda. 

Is it the real deal?

It's clear that the Bucky Barnes arm Rocket is gifted in "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" is not the same as the one we last saw Bucky wear on the Disney+ series "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," as it sports a far more colorful and vibrant design. Did Nebula actually steal it? When posed with the question, director James Gunn took to Twitter, where he stated, "She took a trip to earth and tore it off his body because she was feeling so Christmasy." So, Nebula could have taken the arm and decorated it? It's possible, given that the Wakandan-developed metallic arm was given a fail-safe option. Combine this with Nebula's renowned fighting abilities, and it's not too hard picturing how it all went down.

But what does this mean for Rocket, especially moving forward with "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3"? While he could use it in battle as his comic book counterpart has created suits of armor before (via ScreenRant), others believe it could indicate something deeper. Redditor u/steve-laughter believes that Rocket's overall hyper-fixation on obtaining body parts stems from his own traumatic background, which "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" seems set to explore in more in-depth. Just as getting the arm might have brought him joy, it's also possible that having it makes Rocket face his fears. Only time will tell, but here's hoping the powerful tool will help Rocket with whatever battle he has to fight.