The Guardians of the Galaxy, especially Rocket and Nebula, have had an unexpected relationship with Bucky Barnes in the MCU. No, the three characters, who all have many backstory commonalities and hardships, haven’t connected over their shared pains. Instead, in the MCU, Rocket and Nebula tie into Bucky Barnes via his metal arm. This connection led fans to speculate that Nebula’s new arm (also metallic) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was actually related to Bucky’s. But this turned out not to be the case.
The saga of the Guardians and the arm began in Avengers: Infinity War. The movie had some interesting franchise mashup scenes, including between Rocket and Bucky. And Rocket expressed great interest in “getting that arm” off Bucky, for sale or not.
In The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, the story of Bucky and Rocket continued. Nebula gifted Rocket Bucky’s arm to make his holiday dreams come true. Director James Gunn confirmed that Nebula “took a trip to earth and tore it off his [Bucky’s] body because she was feeling so Christmasy.” Although we have no doubt Nebula can beat Bucky in a fight, we much prefer a vision where Bucky lends her a spare arm for Rocket. Bucky’s arm is, after all, his arm.
With all this armstory between them, when fans saw Nebula had a new arm in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, they suspected it might be related to Bucky’s stolen/borrowed limb. But James Gunn has confirmed that is not the case. Nebula’s arm is not Bucky’s; instead, it is its own creation.
However, Gunn also confirmed that Rocket built Nebula her new arm. And given that Rocket is now the proud owner of Bucky Barnes’ arm, it’s possible he may have taken some inspiration.
Perhaps one day, Black Panther Shuri and Rocket can have a meeting of the minds over the best arm designs. We’d love to see how that conversation plays out.
Featured Image: Marvel Studios