Despite featuring gods and demons, the MCU is actually a pretty secular place. There are barely any overt references to any specific religion, but that doesn't mean the filmmakers who create individual movies in the franchise cannot insert some of their personal beliefs into the characters. Director James Gunn recently revealed one such arc for the character of Rocket Raccoon during the watch party for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
The scene in question takes place near the end of the film. After a dramatic battle, the leader of the ravagers and erstwhile bad guy Yondu gave up his life in order to save Starlord. His sacrifice was honored not just by the Guardians, but legions of other Ravagers, who lit up the sky with fireworks in memory of their fallen comrade.
In the middle of the brilliant lights, an incandescent streak resembling an arrow can be seen tearing across the cosmos, similar to Yondu's weapon of choice when he was alive. Rocket, who had spent the movie getting to know Yondu on an intimate level, is moved to tears at the sight of the arrow.
According to Gunn, seeing the arrow made of light was a sign for Rocket that there was something mysterious and powerful in the universe beyond the world of science and equations that he was so well-versed in. That moment was a religious epiphany of sorts for the character and opened his heart to the possibility of a deeper meaning to his existence.
Fans are loving this interpretation of that moment by Gunn, and the new layers it adds to the character of Rocket. The raccoon started out the series as something of a comic relief, alongside Groot, to the other characters. But over time, we have seen him go through genuine emotional moments and exhibit a vulnerability that makes him one of the most humane characters in the MCU.
So popular has Rocket become that he was the most prominent Guardian to be featured in Avengers: Endgame. Moving forward, he will be next seen in the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie, where Gunn has promised the badass raccoon will continue to be an important part of the storyline.
The next Guardians flick will also be James Gunn's last movie in the MCU, at least according to the plans he has revealed thus far. There are rumors that the filmmaker has been asked to take on a more expansive role in the DCEU, once his work on The Suicide Squad is finished. As long as Gunn continues to make entertaining movies with memorable characters, fans won't really care which comics industry giant he is currently working for.