‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3’ Ending Explained: Rocket’s Fate & The Post-Credits Scenes Revealed

The epic 'Guardians' trilogy has come to a close. So, what exactly happened? What do the post-credits scenes mean for the future? Let's break down all the major moments.

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The Guardians came together to save one of their own in the action-packed, hilarious, heartfelt, and satisfying Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The trilogy has come to an end with a worthy final chapter helmed by director James Gunn. So, what exactly happened in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 finale? What does it mean for the future?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is driven by everyone’s desire to save Rocket. In the opening moments of the film, he’s severely injured. The Guardians travel all across the galaxy to find a way to save him and learn more about his devastating backstory in the process.

Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper voices Rocket. (Marvel)

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Ending

Rocket was created by the High Evolutionary. He was part of an experiment to help create the perfect society. Rocket’s first friends — Lila, Teefs, and Floor — were also created by the High Evolutionary. They believed they were going to be able to live freely in the perfect society, but the High Evolutionary was never planning on that. Rocket discovered this and created a key to help them escape. Tragically, Rocket’s friends were killed by the High Evolutionary as they were trying to escape. In a rage, Rocket destroyed the High Evolutionary’s face and nearly killed him.

There comes a point where Rocket is about to crossover into the afterlife. He sees Lila, Teefs, and Floor. But Lila reminds Rocket that he still has a purpose. “The story has been yours all along, and you just didn’t know it,” she says. Rocket is revived just in time to take down the High Evolutionary, who is destroying Counter-Earth, the seemingly perfect society that’s not so perfect after all because there can never be a perfect society.

Peter, Rocket, Gamora, and Groot come together to go and save Nebula, Drax, and Mantis. The latter trio hopped aboard the High Evolutionary’s ship because they thought they were saving Peter. They discover dozens of kids, who are part of the High Evolutionary’s latest experiment, locked in cages and vow to save them.

Chukwudi Iwuji
Chukwudi Iwuji is the High Evolutionary. (Marvel)

Meanwhile, the High Evolutionary is becoming more unhinged. He is dead-set on getting his hands on Rocket. When Vim, his right-hand woman, realizes the High Evolutionary’s true intentions, she tries to take command. The High Evolutionary kills Vim and the rest of their team instead.

The High Evolutionary’s ship is being destroyed, thanks to some of Kraglin’s work, but the kids are still on the ship. Rocket is done running from the High Evolutionary. He heads back onto the ship, and the rest of the Guardians follow. They manage to get all of the kids on the Knowhere station, and Groot carries Adam Warlock to safety. Groot tells Adam that everyone deserves a second chance.

Rocket is doing a final sweep when he sees cages of animals locked up, specifically a nursery of baby raccoons. Rocket refuses to leave the animals there to die. The key he made all those years for his own escape still works.

The High Evolutionary shows up to try and ruin Rocket’s plan again. The Guardians arrive to aid Rocket in taking down the High Evolutionary once and for all, with Gamora dealing the final blow. The High Evolutionary’s real face is revealed, and it’s a gnarly mess. Rocket truly did some work on the High Evolutionary, all of it very much deserved.

Rocket has the opportunity to kill the High Evolutionary, but he doesn’t. “Because I’m a freaking Guardian of the Galaxy,” he says as to the reason why he doesn’t. The Guardians get the animals off the ship, and it seems like everything is going to be okay. However, Peter drops his Zune and refuses to leave it behind. Peter finds a way out before the High Evolutionary’s ship explodes, but he’s launched into space. Peter quickly freezes, with his body becoming more and more distorted. This looks to be the end for Peter Quill/Star-Lord, but Adam Warlock comes in for the last-minute save.

Chris Pratt
Mantis, Groot, Peter, Drax, and Nebula in ‘Guardians 3.’ (Marvel)

Everyone rallies around Peter once he’s safely on the Knowhere station. Gamora even warms up a little to Peter. “I bet we were fun,” she says to him. Peter replies, “Like you wouldn’t believe.”

After this latest adventure, Peter tells the Guardians that he needs a break. He needs to take some time. Mantis wants this as well. She wants to discover who she really is. Nebula asks Drax to help her create a new society with the children. She gives him the compliment of a lifetime when she says he was “born to be a dad.”

Peter leaves Rocket to be the new leader of the Guardians. He believes Rocket will be a better leader than he ever was. Groot chimes in, “I love you guys.” Peter leaves his Zune to Rocket. When he plays it, “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine is blasted over the speakers and everyone dances. A new dawn is ahead.

Gamora is welcomed back to the Ravages, while Peter returns to Earth for the first time since he was 8 years old. He reunites with his grandfather after all these years.

What Happened In The Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 Post-Credits Scenes?

In the first Guardians of the Galaxy 3 post-credits scene, Rocket has formed a new group of Guardians. The team includes Rocket, Adam Warlock, Kraglin, Cosmo, Groot, and Phylla, one of the children who was rescued. Rocket has some rookies on his hands, but they’ve got potential. They’re fighting new battles across the galaxy.

Chris Pratt
Chris Pratt as Peter Quill. (Marvel)

The second post-credits scene features Peter having breakfast with his grandfather on Earth. Peter’s grandfather is reading the newspaper, which has the headline: “Alien Abduction: Kevin Bacon Tells All.” This is a nod to The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special when Mantis and Drax abduct the Footloose actor from Earth to surprise Peter for Christmas. In the final moments, these words come across the screen: “The legendary Star-Lord will return.”

Peter’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains unclear, but we now know for sure that he’ll be back at some point. As for the others, even if we don’t see them again, at least we know they’re out there keeping the galaxy safe. Let the theories begin!