Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s villain, the High Evolutionary, already has connections to every Guardian. In the final part of James Gunn’s trilogy, peacekeeper actor Chukwudi Iwuji joins the cast alongside Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff and Sean Gunn. Not much is known about Iwuji’s performance as the High Evolutionary, but the actor has teased pre-established ties with the guards. While there is speculation about the High Evolutionary’s involvement in the origins of Rocket Raccoon, in an interview with screen frenzy at SDCC 2022, Iwuji shared that he is also connected to the rest of the team.
Formerly known as Herbert Wyndham, the High Evolutionary is a brilliant biologist who became absorbed in the study of evolution and genetic change. Wyndham eventually moves to Mount Wundagore, where he puts his studies into practice by experimenting with local animals, turning some into talking humanoids known as the New Men. Eventually the High Evolutionary becomes so powerful that it evolves into a higher being whose intellect follows every other human being. His obsession with genetics and extraordinary strength means he could have played a part in much of the guards’ past.
The Origin Story of Rocket Raccoon
In particular, Rocket Raccoon’s origin has never been explained, so he could be one of the High Evolutionary’s experiments. In the first guardsRocket’s background is briefly discussed as “the result of illegal genetic and cybernetic experiments on a lower life formWhile there is no connection between Rocket and the High Evolutionary in the comics, it seems plausible that Rocket was one of the High Evolutionary’s new men. With the High Evolutionary as Guardians 3As the main villain, it may offer Rocket the chance to face his past, which he admits makes him feel like a monster.
In the teaser trailer released at SDCC 2022, a flashback shows a hand reaching for baby Rocket. In addition to hints from the trailer, Gunn noted at Comic-Con that Rocket had a “driving force” in Guardians 3. If Rocket’s origins are finally explored, that would be a good way to close its arc, especially since this movie is the last in the trilogy. Rocket’s background matches the High Evolutionary’s attempts to play God, but he may have played a part in the history of other Guardians.
The connection of Groot and Mantis
Grand home planet X is made up of Flora Colossus, plant-like organisms, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the High Evolutionary wasn’t involved in the origin of its species. The High Evolutionary’s brain is so advanced that he can create his own planet. At one point in the comics, he creates a replica of Earth called Counter-Earth and fills it with his own human societies. This means he may also play a part in the creation of Planet X with Groot and the tree-like creatures there. This could also explain Rocket and Groot’s bond as they are both experiments of the High Evolutionary whether they are aware of this dynamic or not.
Mantis is also unaware of her true origin, as she was found as a larva by Ego. As an empathetic insect-like creature, Mantis suits the kind of creature the High Evolutionary would experiment on. It’s possible that Mantis was one of the High Evolutionary’s failed projects, as were Rocket and Groot as creation misfits.
Gamora and Nebula’s Connection
As children, Gamora and Nebula were in constant competition with each other. Every time Nebula lost to Gamora, Thanos would upgrade her to be Gamora’s equal. While Nebula’s improvements are visible, Gamora’s criminal record states that she has improvements that are not visible. Thanos could have used augments from Gardians 3‘s villain to improve his daughters’ abilities. The High Evolutionary’s obsession with genetic modification could lend itself to using augments to enhance natural genetics. While the High Evolutionary is powerful, Thanos is a Titan, a divine being who could probably overwhelm him.
In addition, the High Evolutionary’s ethic clashes with those of Thanos, who believes that the galaxy will run out of finite resources to support all life forms in the universe. The High Evolutionary continues to experiment and create life forms despite the havoc they can wreak in the universe. Nevertheless, Thanos and the High Evolutionary could have struck some sort of deal to continue Thanos’ use of his technology. Perhaps Thanos would leave the High Evolutionary’s planets alone if he agreed to help him. He may also be willing to turn a blind eye to the High Evolutionary’s experiments to continue collecting augments for his daughters.
The remaining Guardians of the Galaxy may not have had their genetics affected by the High Evolutionary, but they may be related to him in some other way. Drax’s quest to avenge his wife and daughter could have sent him hunting to steal augments to make himself stronger. Drax finally survives after Ronan beats him to death. While this can be attributed to the celestial bone marrow he’s thrown into, it’s possible he also gained healing powers from something he got from the High Evolutionary’s experiments. The High Evolutionary could have valuable items that not only Drax would be interested in, but other criminals as well.
Star-Lord and Kraglin’s Connection
As a bounty hunter, Star-Lord/Peter Quill bows for the highest prize, and with the High Evolutionary’s long history of genetic modification, he must have created something of great value. Whether it was a very dangerous creature or an intelligent member of the New Men, someone would pay well for it. This is where Star-Lord’s connection could arise. Maybe he once robbed the High Evolutionary.
Kraglin, one of the newest members of the Guardians, could also have accepted a bounty for a creature the High Evolutionary created. It is possible that both Star-Lord and Kraglin teamed up to rob the High Evolutionary while in the Yondu Ravager Clan. While all of these connections are purely theoretical at this point, with Rocket’s most likely being, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has the ability to expand the Guardians’ past and provide a satisfying ending to Gunn’s trilogy.
Next: Why Gamora is with the Ravagers in Guardians of The Galaxy 3