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GOTG: Rocket's Tragic Story Was 'The Seed' For The Entire Trilogy

With the release of "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3," the story of the titular team — at least the iteration helmed by writer-director James Gunn — is finally complete. The trilogy first concentrated on the backstory of the leader of the group, Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord (Chris Pratt). But as the movies unfolded, the pasts of other principal characters in the Guardians were revealed.

In "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3," Gunn largely focuses on the origin story of Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a genetically modified raccoon who can walk, talk and shoot as well as any of his bounty-hunting brethren. Speaking with Gizmodo, Gunn said his Rocket plotline is something he's been kicking around in his mind since before the release of the original "Guardians" film in 2014. In fact, he used Rocket's sadness about his past as a common theme for all of the members of the eclectic group.

"I started thinking about how this was the saddest creature in the universe, and that was actually the seed to me for the entire Guardians trilogy," Gunn told Gizmodo. "That was my way into it, this underpinning of just isolation and sadness, and all of these characters are isolated and sad."

Gunn found out, however, that having Rocket's story in his mind and figuring out when to actually tell it were two different things.

Gunn says he considered a Rocket and Groot movie to tell Rocket's story

"Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3" wastes no time diving into Rocket's tragic past. Audiences see how the raccoon was selected by a sadistic scientist, the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), as one of his main test subjects while he was just a baby.

The goal of the High Evolutionary is perfection, or so he says. He wishes to ultimately populate a planet akin to Earth with his genetically altered species. Getting there means subjecting Rocket and many other animals to abusive and brutal experiments. Some of the tests are so merciless that their subjects are turned into mutated beasts, leaving them no hope of getting out of their situations alive.

With such a heavy-duty storyline to tell, Gunn told Gizmodo that he had to figure out which film he could plug the plotline into. Telling the raccoon's back story was such a huge priority, in fact, that the filmmaker even considered making it a tale that only concentrated on Rocket and his tree-like cohort, Groot (Vin Diesel).

"I always thought it was a third movie thing because I thought we had to tell Peter Quill's story first and then get into Rocket's story," Gunn told Gizmodo. "I think the only question was, was it going to be a Rocket and Groot movie or was it going to be 'Guardians 2' — because initially, I was going to do it as Rocket and Groot."