Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Storyline
Rocket is used as a test subject by the High Evolutionary to build an animal-populated Counter-Earth as a young raccoon. Three additional High Evolutionary test subjects Lylla, Teefs, and Floor become friends with him. Rocket outperforms the other animals in intelligence and aptitude and recognizes the anthropomorphization process’s defect, which infuriates the High Evolutionary. Later on, after the High Evolutionary perfects the anthropomorphization formula, they discover they won’t be a part of the new Earth. The High Evolutionary kills Lylla, Teefs, and Floor when he thinks there is an effort to escape, which enrages Rocket, who mauls him and flees.
After some time has passed, the Guardians of the Galaxy have made Knowhere their base of operations. The next evening after they have settled in, Adam Warlock attacks them. Adam Warlock is a superhuman entity that his “mother,” the empress of the Sovereign, Ayesha, created as retaliation for earlier stealing from her people. They are instructed to deliver Rocket to the High Evolutionary, who has grown fixated on getting back his subject so he may isolate and duplicate Rocket’s intelligence. Because Rocket has a killswitch embedded in him, the Guardians are unable to treat his wounds when he sustains critical injuries during the battle. To locate an override code, the team decides to visit the Orgoscope, the corporate headquarters of the High Evolutionary’s business Orgocorp.
The Guardians sneak into Orgosphere and take Rocket’s file with the help of the Ravagers and a hesitant 2014-Gamora. Unfortunately, the guardians of the Orgosphere attack them, and they only just manage to flee after Peter Quill remotely activates their jet-pack suits. They decide to find Theel after deducing that he might have the override code stored in his memory since he is one of the High Evolutionary’s scientists. Ayesha and Adam arrive after the crew, who defies Gamora’s counsel and travels to Counter-Earth. While Drax and Mantis stay with Gamora and Rocket, Quill, Nebula, and Groot track Theel to the High Evolutionary’s ship with assistance from a family of bat-like humanoids. Nebula is left behind as Quill and Groot join the High Evolutionary ship. Mantis reluctantly follows Drax to the High Evolutionary’s ship, which launches as soon as Quill and Groot are caught on board and decimates Counter-Earth in the process.
Gamora stays with Rocket, but when a pig warrior sent by the High Evolutionary attacks her, she is slain by Warlock who has come hunting for Rocket. The pig fighter had been sent by the High Evolutionary. Adam is subdued by Gamora, who then launches the Guardians’ ship. Before Gamora encounters them, Quill and Groot murder Theel by overcoming the High Evolutionary forces, jumping off with him, and regaining his memories. A weak Adam realizes his mother is in danger but it’s too late to save her because Nebula, Mantis, and Drax board the High Evolutionary’s ship assuming Quill and Groot are still on board. Rocket flat-lines and experiences a near-death experience while aboard the Guardians’ ship. Lylla, Teefs, and Floor appear to him and inform him that his time hasn’t come yet before Quill uses the override code to successfully revive him.
On the High Evolutionary’s ship, Mantis, Nebula, and Drax discover swarms of kidnapped prisoners before being abducted and held captive in a room with Abilisks. The three can leave the chamber when Mantis convinces the Abilisks to join them, rejoin the Guardians, and defeat the High Evolutionary’s army. With the aid of Nebula and Kraglin, Cosmo connects to the High Evolutionary’s ship in Knowhere, where Kraglin and Cosmo arrive. Using Cosmo’s telekinesis, they can release the kidnapped children.
Before the Guardians can save him, Rocket is ambushed by a psychotic High Evolutionary while attempting to free a litter of baby raccoons and other test subject animals. The creatures are saved and brought aboard Knowhere along with the majority of the Guardians, but the High Evolutionary is allowed to perish on his ship. Quill just makes it out of the ships when Cosmo is unable to keep them together for long enough for him to board, and before Adam can save him, he is starting to freeze in space.
The Guardians choose to split apart. Rocket receives the title of Captain of the Guardians from Quill before he departs for Earth. Together with the Abilisks, Mantis sets off on a voyage of self-discovery. While Nebula and Drax stay on Knowhere to care for the rescued children, Gamora rejoins the Ravagers.
A fully-grown Groot, Adam, Cosmo, Phyla-Vell, Kraglin, and Blurp make up the new Guardians of the Galaxy, who are led by Captain Rocket in the middle of the credits scene as they prepare for a new mission.