37

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Yondu is seen using a floating arrow as a weapon which he controls by whistling.

enter image description here

This arrow is shown to be extremely powerful as it kills a whole squad of soldiers, including their air support, before they can get a shot off.

What is this weapon and where did he get it?

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    I believe he actually controls it telepathically, and the whistling is more for the audience's benefit/psychological warfare. Note that the thing in the top of his head glows when he's using the arrow – Jason Baker Nov 23 '14 at 22:01
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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yondu#Weapons – Valorum Nov 23 '14 at 22:03
  • marvel.wikia.com/Yaka_Arrow – Valorum Nov 23 '14 at 22:04
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    @JasonBaker - In both the film and the comic, the whistling appears to be completely integral to its operation. – Valorum Nov 23 '14 at 22:30
  • @JasonBaker Actually the thing on his head is a mohawk. – mg30rg Nov 24 '14 at 15:09
32

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Earth-19999, Yondu Udonta uses a sidearm called the Yaka Arrow. Partially cybernetically controlled, partially guided by a series of whistles. A formidable weapon, it's able to alter its speed and direction, and capable of dispatching a dozen foes in a matter of seconds.

  • While the weapon bears the same name as the Earth-691 weapon, it does not appear to need a bow to use it. Its mode of propulsion appears completely technological.

  • The weapon is also able to alter its speed, direction and is capable of penetrating advanced alien armors.

  • It is not made clear if the yaka arrow uses the same sound-sensitive mineral trillite, (called "yaka" by the local Centaurians) in the Earth-691 Universe.

The director, James Gunn, said in an interview called Secrets of the Guardians of the Galaxy in Empire:

  • "Yondu wasn’t in the original script so I put him in the script. Some people say, ‘Oh, you changed him a lot from the comics, so why did you use him?’ And it’s because that’s he has coolest super power ever, and it’s very different from other super powers that exist.

  • He controls [his arrow] mostly through whistling. There’s a hook-up there between the implant in his brain and his whistling, and that’s how he controls the arrows, through sound. That is what he does in the comics."

enter image description here

In the pictures of Yondu, you can see his trademark fin (from the canon comic universe) has been replaced with a cybernetic implant which is used to control the Yaka Arrow.

In the canon Marvel Universe from Earth-691

In Yondu Udonta's original comic appearances, he was a member of a low tech civilization that was eventually colonized by the brutal reptilian conquerors, the Badoon. He joins forces with a human astronaut with mental powers named Vance Astro and teaming up with other genetically engineered humans who were slaves of the Badoon, become the Guardians of the Galaxy (the 1969 team) and eventually lead a successful rebellion against the Badoon.

Yondu Udonta is a member of the Zatoan tribe, primitive beings native to Centauri IV. He functions as a hunter. His homeworld was the first planet to be colonized by humans that was outside Earth's solar system. Yondu is born in the late thirtieth century.

  • Yondu uses a 5-foot (1.5 m) single curve bow and a quiver of arrows composed of yaka, a special sound-sensitive metal found only on Centauri IV. A yaka arrow can actually change its direction (but not speed) in response to certain high-octave whistle-sounds some Centaurians can produce.

enter image description here

  • It is not yet known precisely what pitch causes a yaka arrow to move in what way. Yondu is so skillful at controlling his arrows, he can cause an arrow to return to his hand or weave its way through a crowd of people without touching them. Yondu's arrows are 15 inches (380 mm) in length and are very flexible. REF: Wikipedia, Yondu Udonta
  • Note: in STARLORD (2016; the immediately-post SECRET WARS run) #1-5, we're given a "Peter Quill Year One" sort of a story (except it seems likely that it runs more than a single year). Therein, the 20th Century Yondu Udonta (the direct analog to the MCU Yondu, as opposed to the Yondu from the 31st century) notes that the "Mohawk" is an artificial replacement for his headfin, which was removed against his will at some point in the past. I read it as being the equivalent of an eyepatch. – RDFozz Oct 3 '17 at 19:02
20

The weapon is known as a Yaka Arrow.

You can see it here in the original serial Marvel Superheroes #18 (1968) along with an explanation of its workings.

enter image description here

and the Marvel Wikia offers the following overview:

The Yaka Arrow was created on planet Centauri-IV by the native race the Centaurians. The Yaka element is a rare element only found on their homeworld. Yondu uses a 5-foot single curve. A yaka arrow can actually change its direction (but not speed) in response to certain high-octave whistle-sounds some Centaurians can produce. It is not yet known precisely what pitch causes a yaka arrow to move in what way. Yondu is so skilful at controlling his arrows, he can cause an arrow to return to his hand or weave its way through a crowd of people without touching them. Yondu's arrow are 15 inches in length and are very flexible. He carries about 20 of them at one time

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    "A yaka arrow can actually change its direction (but not speed)" -- this would be one difference with the movie. – Paul Draper Nov 24 '14 at 5:26
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    Anyone else find it hilarious how the enemies are providing detailed exposition narrative on the weapon that's killing them? – Michael Borgwardt Nov 24 '14 at 9:55
  • @michaelborgwardt - It's better than just shooting oof! or Zam! – Valorum Nov 24 '14 at 11:10
  • @MichaelBorgwardt You mean that's not normal? Man, I've been waiting all my life to exposit "This mugger's cosh flexes in his hand - there's some sort of weight within the loose end!" – user867 Nov 4 '15 at 5:26
6

According to the Marvel Wiki, the weapon is a Yaka Arrow:

A yaka arrow can actually change its direction (but not speed) in response to certain high-octave whistle-sounds some Centaurians1 can produce. It is not yet known precisely what pitch causes a yaka arrow to move in what way. Yondu is so skilful at controlling his arrows, he can cause an arrow to return to his hand or weave its way through a crowd of people without touching them.

There are some differences between the comics version and the MCU version, most notably that in the comics Yondu fires them from a bow (In the movie the arrow is self-propelled) and in the movie the arrow appears to be controlled telepathically rather than (Or in addition to) the whistling.


1 Yondu's race

0

The Yaka Arrow is a weapon forged from Yaka metal by the Centaurians. Yaka Arrows respond to a specific range of sonic frequencies which change the material's reactive behavior. With self-propelling and extremely modulated anti-gravitational technology, the arrows themselves are able to defy gravity and move freely through the air at great speeds as well as being highly durable and sharp, allowing them to pierce through most targets, including the hull of a spacecraft

  • 1
    Do you have a source for this? – amflare Oct 3 '17 at 15:28

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