Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Dir. James Gunn. Marvel Studios. 2023
The relationship between humans and animals has evolved throughout history. There are countless cases of humans exhibiting a persistent desire to influence the course of evolution in the animal kingdom. This desire to revolutionize animals is often driven by a complex interplay of scientific curiosity, environmental concerns, and the pursuit of benefits for human society. However, juxtaposed against the innate urge to establish superiority above all living beings, this scene of the film demonstrates the contrasting dynamics of the human desire to revolutionize animals and the simultaneous pursuit of dominance and power.
Throughout the film, the language and behaviours of human-animal relationships are indistict. Rocket is named P13, without a proper name but a numeric code easy to identify as mere beings made in the process of reaching a higher goal, yet still called “him” instead of “it”. Furthermore, Rocket seems to be caressed on the High Evolutionary’s lap while he calculates a mathematical equation. However, this warming touch quickly transitions to The High Evolutionary grabbing Rocket by the face and almost choking him while using an anthropocentric tone to almost threaten him. Uncovering his belief to fulfil a duty to take an “imperfect clump of biological matter” and transform it into his understanding of a perfect being. The camera angles in this scene demonstrate the power dynamic of humans and animals whereby the angle is zoomed into the High Evolutionary’s face at a high-angle asserting dominance to the blurred effect of Rocket who is positioned at a lower angle. When the camera zooms in and focuses on Rocket the High Evolutionary is still luring over showing the hierarchy of humans and animals.
The scene continues this human-animal relationship of evolution and dominance, referring to Rocket as P13 and openly telling him that he is from Batch 89. This moment shows that animals who are only used as testers, such as Rocket who has irremovable scars from animal testing, are treated as emotionless creatures only intended to be sacrificed for the bigger goal. The constant animal testing is justified with the aim of creating the “perfect species”.
The unending desire to create and evolve is shown not only within humans but also the technological development. Using a machine, the turtle is transformed within seconds into a two-legged human-like turtle. The turtle which at first was unharmful, shows pain as his body changes in a rapid time. However, due to an over-producing of chemicals in the machine, the turtle turns violent and so the High Evolutionary just kills him heartlessly.
The High Evolutionary comments on this saying that the species of Utopia cannot be killing one another. This raises an irony as humans are categorized as “animals” and humans too kill animals for our purpose. The High Evolutionary tortures animals for his desire to create a perfect species yet he too is imperfect if his definition of the perfect species is unharmful.
The question then is how the imperfect ruler is destined to rule his perfect species without perfection himself. When Rocket, an imperfect being labeled by the High Evolutionary, solves the problem of the machine and outsmarts humans, the urge to evolutionize animals with contrasts with the pursuit of superiority clashes.
Word count: 525
Gunn, James, dir., The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Marvel Studios, 2023)
Film details: Title: Guardians of the galaxy 3 , Director: James Gunn, Year of Release: 2023, Studio: Marvel Studios
Kind of animal: Raccoon, Turtle
Types of Human-animal relation: Animal testing, Humans desire to evolutionize animals,
Relevant major genres: Action · Adventure · Comedy · Sci-Fi
Relevant subgenres: cosmic, supernatural/horror, magical/mystical