Guardians of the Galaxy 3's High Evolutionary Is the Team's Biggest Threat — For One Counterintuitive Reason

“He didn’t want to make things perfect. He just hated things the way they are.”

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Chukwudi Iwuji as the High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will mark the end of an era for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The highly anticipated, James Gunn-directed superhero film is expected to not only be a zany, colorful space adventure, but also a melancholic send-off for Marvel’s first live-action iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Several comments from those involved in the film have hinted that viewers may be saying some heartbreaking goodbyes when Vol. 3 hits theaters this May, and the early trailers for the long-awaited sequel have similarly sold it as an emotionally sweeping final outing for the MCU’s cosmic protectors.

In addition to further emphasizing the film’s bittersweet notes, the newest trailer for Vol. 3 also focuses heavily on its villain, the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji). While there’s still plenty that’s yet to be revealed about the film’s take on the comic book villain, he’s already shaping up to be the perfect final antagonist for Gunn’s Guardians trilogy.

Based on the few glimpses we’ve seen, the High Evolutionary seems like a truly deranged villain.

Marvel Studios

A Bit of a Perfectionist — The latest trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 reveals that — as many fans had already predicted — it was the High Evolutionary who was responsible for the horrible genetic tests that turned Rocket Raccoon into the prickly, anthropomorphic warrior that he is. In a few horrifying shots, viewers are given glimpses into the physical and mental torture that Rocket endured at his hands.

In the same trailer, Iwuji’s genetic scientist insists that it’s his purpose to create a “perfect society.” Rocket Raccoon disagrees, remarking that he never wanted to “make things perfect.” Instead, Rocket says Iwuji’s new antagonist has always just “hated things the way they are.”

That brief description not only establishes Rocket’s hatred of the High Evolutionary, but also reveals why he’s the perfect villain to pit against a team like the Guardians.

In Vol. 3, Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) will come face-to-face with a terrifying figure from his past.

Marvel Studios

The Guardians have always been, perhaps more than any other MCU team, a bit of a found family. Their first two adventures pointedly follow the cosmic superheroes as they learn to accept each other for who they are, rather than who they’re supposed to be. Their acceptance of each other’s faults is, in many ways, what makes them such a formidable team.

Taking that into account, it’s hard to think of a villain more antithetical to their beliefs than the High Evolutionary. As the recent Vol. 3 trailer confirms, the new villain isn’t exactly accepting of other peoples’ faults and quirks. Instead, he considers it his life’s mission to erase perceived faults.

That makes him a villain uniquely opposed to everything the Guardians believe, which should make his conflict with the MCU team all the more thematically and emotionally engaging.

The MCU’s most unconventional team will suit up for their final adventure this May in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Marvel Studios

The Inverse Analysis — James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy films have long ranked as some of the kookiest and most open-hearted movies that Marvel Studios has produced, and it doesn’t look like Vol. 3 will change that. Instead, thanks to the film’s inclusion of the High Evolutionary, it seems it will force the Guardians to reinforce the bonds that bind them together even more than they have before.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters on May 5, 2023.

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