Loki is the gift that keeps on giving.
As is customary the week after a Disney+ Marvel series finale, a Loki making-of special was released on Wednesday. Among the interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, the special showed off new concept art that seems to suggest the premiere’s funniest scene was initially very different.
The concept art depicts the scene in Episode 1 where Loki takes a ticket to be seen by a judge and watches Miss Minutes’ informational video on the (false) history of the Time Variance Authority. The art notably featured a creature who certainly looked a lot like Rocket Raccoon, leading many to believe Loki was originally supposed to include a cameo from the furry Guardian.
Along with Rocket Raccoon, the art also shows what looks like a Skrull and possibly other Ravagers from Guardians of the Galaxy in line.
It’s unclear why Rocket’s cameo didn’t make it into the final version of the scene. Instead, we only see the rich kid who gets pruned as a way to establish the stakes Loki is facing. One possible reason could be the pandemic-related delays, which may have forced the showrunner to reconceptualize the scene altogether.
Director Kate Herron told Collider Episodes 1 and 2 didn’t complete filming before production shut down. When production resumed, she said even the actors playing TVA employees had to self-isolate. However, a close look at the making of the ticket line scene shows crew members wearing masks, so it’s likely that scene, in particular, was filmed once production restarted.
There’s little doubt that Rocket Raccoon’s appearance would have made a splash, and it’s interesting to see what could have been through this intriguing piece of concept art.
But ultimately, the final version of this scene serves Loki well, both visually and tonally. The emptiness adds an off-kilter quality to the scene while not distracting you away from the action. It allows the growing stakes and humor to come through effectively.
While we could have enjoyed seeing a colorful group of fellow variants, we would miss out on the visual appeal of Tom Hiddleston striding through a maze of bureaucratic lines.
Loki is now streaming on Disney+.