Aw, what the hell, I don't got that long a lifespan anyway.

Typically, a terran raccoon in the wild has an average lifespan of up to three years, or 20 if living in captivity.

Rocket, however, has been genetically modified via implants and experimentation. What is Rocket's life expectancy after having gone through the modifications?

*Note that Marvel Universe's page mentions that Rocket is still alive 10-15,000 in the future, but that no information has been revealed as to how he's alive in that era, having possibly gone through a time warp.

  • 3
    This line never made sense to me either - Rocket has never heard of raccoons before, so how would he know how long one is supposed to live? Maybe he means "I routinely get into fights while shooting guns that weigh as much as I do; there's no way I'm living very long" Jan 11, 2015 at 18:22
  • 5
    I think I'll die at arround 75 :P
    – Rocket
    Jan 11, 2015 at 19:08
  • “a terran raccoon” — what’s a raccoon? Jan 11, 2015 at 21:43

3 Answers 3


How long Rocket would live if he were not serving as a heavy-weapons specialist in a trouble-seeking band of "Space Avengers" living in a hostile universe is unknown but likely to be shorter than it would be if he were "Rocket Raccoon, Scholarly Librarian."

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  • Despite his appearance and resemblance to a Terran raccoon, Rocket is a distinctly different and alien lifeform whose lifespan is unknown since there are, at the moment, no other survivors of his parent species to compare him to.

  • In addition, he was uplifted by an unknown alien race whose technological experimentation on him and dozens of other animals by adding genetic manipulations and cybernetic implants was likely to change that lifespan depending on their level of sophistication in these sciences. Depending on their capabilities, his lifespan may have actually been enhanced.

  • Rocket's uplifting was engineered on Halfworld, an asylum for the criminally insane in that section of the galaxy. Animals such as Rocket were genetically modified to be wardens/caretakers for the Asylum's patients. It was thought their appearances would assist with the patients' recovery. Rocket was the Chief of Security, hence his love of and facility with firearms. (Retold in Annihilators #1-4, Mar-Jun 2011) **

Additional Wikipedia Reference: Mantlo, Bill (w), Buscema, Sal (p), Buscema, Sal (i). "Rocket Raccoon!" The Incredible Hulk 271 (May 1982), Marvel Comics**


  • Considering Rocket and the other Uplifts were meant to be caretakers for long-lived aliens species and there weren't going to be any replacements (since the aliens who ran the place left it in the care of the uplifted animals) one could presume their lifespans might have been substantially extended exactly for that purpose.

  • What he may have actually meant by his statement was considering his arduous and dangerous lifestyle and given the nature of the people they were fighting against, he didn't expect to have a long lifespan and he might as well expend the rest of his time fighting rather than hiding.

Also See: Why is Rocket Raccoon a Raccoon?

  • This is a good answer, but the title is a little... Odd. It compares "not being a heavy weapons specialist" to "being a scholarly librarian." I suspect the first "not" isn't supposed to be there.
    – user867
    Jul 1, 2015 at 7:47
  • Not with you on your last point. If someone wants to say that their lifestyle is likely to them to an early death, they don't say "I don't have a long lifespan." It's just a really awkward way to phrase it. And outside of beaing a really awkward talker - which Rocket decidedly isn't - you would use that phrase to talk about the average natural lifespan of a species.
    – Misha R
    Sep 19, 2017 at 5:18

Rocket knows that he is an uplift from a non-sapient species, and he's intelligent enough to realize that non-sapient animals of his size typically don't live long lives.

He isn't aware of what a racoon is earlier in the movie, but may have taken time to research it later (perhaps during flight time?)

Further, he's got many compelling reasons to go with the group at that point - literally every living person he knows and likes is doing it, his best friend is pushing him towards it, and he knows it's the right thing to do. He's just not happy about it, so he expresses himself in a way that says, "Yeah, it's suicide, but I'm going to do it."

Thus, he most likely doesn't know his exact lifespan, but that actually doesn't matter for the quote.

As to his actual lifespan...well, Clark Kent has been in his mid-20s since 1937, so it's probably best to say Rocket will naturally live as long as writers can tell interesting stories about him, or at least milk money from him. So...forever?

  • 2
    I think "non-sapient" is a better word for what you're thinking of. Read: Sapience vs. Sentience.
    – phantom42
    Jan 11, 2015 at 21:40
  • @phantom42: You're likely right
    – Jeff
    Jan 12, 2015 at 15:54

Rocket could be basing his own projected lifespan on that of other small animals he may have had contact with. Animals such as foxes, dogs, cats, etc. (or analogues of such species), were probably not unknown to him, considering he was called a fox by Nebula (not to mention, those lizard things).

So ultimately, Rocket wouldn't actually know his own true lifespan, he has nothing to compare it to, and may be driven by the fear of a lifespan shorter than a typical sentient species. This is despite the alterations to his physiology, genetics, along with a much higher developed medical technology than earth, which might result in an indefinite lifespan.

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