Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been long awaited and anticipated – and my folks, it was absolutely worth the wait. The movie’s villain, High Evolutionary, has been called the MCU’s most hated villain by many already, but his tenure was short, as he died in the film. Or did he? News broke that Drax actually saved High Evolutionary in the end, but how did he do it?
As the animal stampede is marching from High Evolutionary’s exploding ship near the end of the movie, you can briefly see Drax carrying something – or someone – outside. It’s now confirmed that Drax actually picked up High Evolutionary’s body – seemingly dead – and carried it out, not to explode into nothing.
While that doesn’t really confirm that Chukwudi Iwuji’s character is still alive, there are several reasons on top of that, making us believe we haven’t seen the last of the phenomenal actor in the MCU. Here’s everything we know about High Evolutionary’s MCU future, how Drax inadvertently saved him – and is this all just a story blown out of proportion.
How did High Evolutionary supposedly die in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?
Throughout the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Rocket Raccoon and his backstory take a front seat as we learn how he came to be and who created him. That someone was High Evolutionary – a cruel, vile villain that genetically modified and ‘evolved’ himself and then sought to create what he believed was the ‘perfect world’ and the ‘perfect society.’
High Evolutionary viewed himself as God – which he actually said in the movie: “There is no God! That is why I stepped in!”
Rocket was one of his experiments, labeled only as 89P13, but High Evolutionary couldn’t comprehend how Rocket’s brain evolved to such a spectacular level. He tortured Rocket and his friends for a long time before planning to kill them in cold blood. Rocket was the only one who managed to escape (in one of the most heartbreaking scenes I’ve ever seen in my life).
Long story short, the final confrontation happened between Rocket and his maker, where our favorite furry Guardian of the Galaxy had the upper hand and defeated High Evolutionary – with a little help from his friends.
It seemed as if High Evolutionary was dead and gone – especially after his face was literally peeled off (yup, that happened). However, after a couple of rewatches, a bit of checking out the rumor mills, and a dash of reading interviews, and that death doesn’t seem so definitive anymore. In fact, there’s evidence that Iwuji’s character is still alive and kicking.
Okay, maybe not kicking, but alive, still.
Did High Evolutionary survive in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?
So much evidence points to High Evolutionary actually not dying in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and I’m here to lay them out for you.
First of all, we never actually saw him die on-screen. We just assumed he perished from the devastating injuries he endured, and we also assumed the team wouldn’t take chances with leaving him alive.
But, then again, we never saw him die, and when the MCU chooses not to show a character’s death directly on-screen, it usually means they wanted to leave the window open to have the character return in the future, should the fans and the story demand it.
And, oh, the fans are demanding it. High Evolutionary was just a guy you loved to hate. I hated his guts so much more than any other MCU villain so far – yet, he is my favorite MCU villain ever seen.
He’s just so spiteful, delusional, full of himself, and so cruel you just can’t help yourself from hating him. Give James Gunn his flowers for the script, but full credit has to go to Chukwudi Iwuji. His performance was nothing short of brilliant, and he hooked me-I’ll keep a closer eye on his work in the future, as this role blew me away.
And then, there’s more. The Direct laid out an article about a potential twist in the movie’s ending that we all missed – suggesting that Drax actually saved High Evolutionary in the end – and the film’s director, James Gunn, confirmed it’s true on Twitter:
“For people who want the spoiler, what’s pointed out in the article is very much in the movie.”
The most hated MCU villain of all time – is still alive, folks. Here’s how.
How did Drax save High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?
As it turns out, Drax the Destroyer (portrayed by Dave Bautista) was the one who inadvertently saved High Evolutionary at the end of the movie by carrying him out of the exploding ship, as you can see in the photo below.
And that fact was actually confirmed a bit earlier by the movie’s VFX artist, Miguel Ángel Acevedo Montserrat, in an interview with Strip Marvel.
At about the 20-minute mark of the interview, Montserrat confirmed that he was working on the scene where the animal stampede is escaping Arete Laboratories, aka High Evolutionary’s ship, and you can see silhouettes of the Guardians in the background.
The body that Drax is clearly carrying outside is confirmed to be the body of High Evolutionary. Drax picked him up and carried him outside of the exploding ship.
It’s unclear if Drax knew that High Evolutionary was still alive or if he just carried his body out not to leave it in the explosion; it remains a question.
Many other questions arise from that particular scene – what’s the future carrying for Iwuji’s character in the MCU? Let’s try to guess.
What’s next for High Evolutionary in the MCU?
High Evolutionary’s MCU future is unclear – I mean, we all thought he was dead and gone until just recently, right? So, where could we see him next if he did stay alive?
I, personally, would love to see him join a group of supervillains – potentially even Kang – in an epic Avengers movie. We also learned that Star-Lord will return in the MCU from one of the GotG 3 post-credit scenes, so perhaps the two will cross paths again, and Peter will ‘finish the job?’
I could also see him making a smaller appearance in some of the upcoming Disney+ shows, like Loki Season 2. It can be a cameo role or even a post-credit scene showing us where he is and how he’s recovering, setting up his big return later in Phase 5 or 6.
It’s all speculation, so take it with a grain of salt, but if High Evolutionary comes back, I’ll be the first to love and hate the news at the same time.