Who Is the Otter in the Guardians of the Galaxy 3? Rocket’s Soulmate Explained

The first trailer for James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 dropped just recently, and I’m absolutely not ready for this. Everything indicates we’re saying goodbye to the crew – and some of them, probably, put to rest for good. That being said, we saw some new characters in the trailer. So, who’s the cute Otter described as Rocket’s soulmate in GotG Vol. 3?

In the comics, the anthropomorphic otter is named Lylla, and she was also experimented on, just like Rocket. The difference is, Lylla is an heiress to the largest toy company on the planet Halfworld but chose her love for Rocket instead of her wealth – at least, at first.

The pair separated but then reunited years later, only for Rocket to bless Lylla’s new relationship and dart off into space with Groot and the Guardians. It all seems super simple when you put it like that, but it’s a more complex story that deserves a deeper conversation. Let’s break down and explain Lylla, the cute otter in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and Rocket’s one true love.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 trailer: A brief breakdown

On December 2, the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 dropped. And, if the movie is half as emotion-packed as the trailer, we’re in for an absolute treat that I don’t think we’re ready for. There’s the classic awesome Guardians humor, but with it comes the fact that this is the last movie where we’ll see the team together.

And judging by some reports, fan speculations, and the trailer itself, it seems some members of the Guardians won’t make it to the end of the movie. 

The trailer begins with the Guardians exiting their ship, saying that the galaxy still needs its Guardians, despite them being gone for a while. Then Drax smacks a little alien goat girl with a ball to her face, prompting the people to start throwing rocks at the Guardians.

It seems we’ll get a full character arc for Rocket, including his origins and his love story, and hopefully, he doesn’t die in the end (everything points to the fact that he will, but we’ll get to that a bit later). Then we see Gamora back with the team, helping Mantis carry Drax, who seems to be shot or stabbed in the chest.

Then, in a particularly emotional sequence, we hear Rocket say the Guardians will fly together ‘one last time, into the forever, and beautiful sky’ to Star-Lord’s face crying his eyes out. We get a first solid look at Adam Warlock, capping it off with Groot yelling, ‘We are Groot’ in the midst of battle. The last scene has Drax being Drax, and I just can’t wait for the movie!

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Who is the otter in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

In the trailer, there’s also this one brief shot of Rocket hugging an adorable, anthropomorphic otter, as if they have been reunited after a while. The otter is Rocket’s ‘one true love,’ but if you haven’t read the comics, you’re probably wondering who she is.

The otter in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is called Lylla, and she first appeared in Incredibly Hulk Vol. 1 #271 in 1982, along with Rocket. We don’t know how much of her comic book storyline will translate to the MCU, though. There will probably be some tweaks in the backstory for both Rocket and Lylla, but the premise stays the same.

Lylla is an anthropomorphic otter that was experimented on, just like Rocket. She’s also the heiress of the biggest toy company on Halfworld, a planet similar to Earth in some ways, but totally different in terms of its history.

First, a humanoid alien species settled on the largest planet in the Keystone Quadrant star system. There, they built a complex to treat the mentally ill, but after their project was cut from funds, they created robotic servants to look after the mental patients. 

After a nearby supernova, the robots gained consciousness and wanted to break free of their “job,” so they started genetically engineering animals that were there to provide comfort for the patients and made them sentient so that the animals could take over patient care.

That’s where Rocket and Lylla met and fell in love. She was an heiress to the largest toy company on Halfworld. However, she never got to inherit the empire, as a villain named Judson Jakes killed her parents and stole the family business. He wants to marry Lylla, but she rejects him.

After a while, the two separate, and Rocket meets Groot. When Lylla and Rocket reunited in Annihilators #4, she was already married to another guy – a rabbit named Blackjack O’Hare. Rocket never truly gets over Lylla, nor does she get over Rocket, but he gives Lylla his blessing and continues his voyage with Groot, ultimately becoming a part of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

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Why will portray the otter in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

Take this with a grain of salt because nothing’s been confirmed yet, but it seems that Marvel Studios will reunite Rocket and Lylla – along with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. That’s right; Gaga will likely give Lylla her voice after winning an Oscar with Bradley Cooper for A Star is Born.

Rumors about Lady Gaga reuniting with Bradley Cooper in the MCU have been around since 2019, but nothing has been confirmed by Marvel Studios, even to this day. I think it would be an amazing choice because – for one, Lady Gaga is absolutely better with her voice than with her acting, and two, she had great chemistry with Cooper.

Other rumors are surrounding Daniela Melchior (Suicide Squad), who was already confirmed to have a small part in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Now, how small of a part it remains to be seen. 

It could be a cameo appearance that sets her up for future MCU installments. For instance, Drax’s daughter, Moondragon, was mentioned a few times as a possibility for Melchior’s character. It could also be Avril Kincaid, aka Qasar, first appearing in the comics in 2010, in Captain America: Sam Wilson comics. 

That would make sense, considering Sam took over as Cap in the MCU and is set for his own Captain America movie. However, a ‘small role’ could actually mean that she’ll appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as Lylla, and then never appear again in future MCU installments. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Will Rocket Raccoon die in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

Now, for the burning question after the new trailer for GotG 3 dropped – will Rocket Raccoon die in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? Well, there are numerous hints that point to it being the case.

First, the trailer’s undertone is quite emotional and is said to be the Guardians’ last MCU ride. Also, we know that a lot of focus will be dedicated to Rocket and his origin story, so having his character arc finish so emotionally is a reasonable assumption. That being said, perhaps he won’t die – maybe he’ll just dart off to start a new life with Lylla, as he once did in the comics.

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Still, there’s more to suggest he will likely face a worse fate. Like, for instance, the scene in the trailer where an angry Groot says ‘we are Groot’ and then does the back-to-back-shooting signature move he usually does with Rocket. Only this time, it’s Star-Lord behind Groot, not Rocket, suggesting that, perhaps, Rocket is no longer there.

Let’s not forget the scene in the trailer of Quill crying his eyes out and screaming in agony. We don’t know why he’s crying, but it’s almost certain that someone from the team will perish. Will it be Rocket? I believe so.

Last but not least, when Rocket says, ‘Pete, I’m done running in the trailer, it seems that he’s ready to face his fears and his past and finally decides to grab hold of his own destiny. Now, in the MCU, it’s been hinted that Rocket’s ‘maker’ is the High Evolutionary, who experimented on him, Lylla, and other animals – a deviation from the comics.

Perhaps he decides to face the High Evolutionary, who’ll be portrayed by Chukwudi Iwuji, and go into battle against him with Lylla, which is where he’ll ultimately die.

Again, basically, everything I’ve just said is rumors and assumptions, and facts could go in a totally different way, so take it with a grain of salt. All we know for sure is what’s been confirmed and what we saw in the trailer. We won’t know the details until May 5, 2023, when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will hit theaters.

  • Luka loves psychological thrillers, horrors, and mysteries. However, high fantasy and fiction are his primary interest, especially Tolkien's Middle-earth universe, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Marvel universe. Amateur filmmaker, screenwriter, cinematography, and trivia enthusiast.