The villain of “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3” is a mad scientist called the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), a man obsessed with eugenics. For an unspecified amount of time, he has been building an exact replica of Earth out in the cosmos that he calls Counter-Earth. His plan is to use surgery and a high-tech evolution chamber to create a race of anthropomorphic animal people that will live on Counter-Earth in complete peace and prosperity. By the time the Guardians catch up with the High Evolutionary, Counter-Earth is already living through the 21st-century phase of its development.
At first, the animal people seem placid and friendly, and the Guardians are housed by a gentle bat woman who serves them drinks and lends them her family car. Immediately after, however, the Guardians drive into town and find that crime and drugs are rampant among the animal people and that society appears to be afflicted with as much violence and strife as many modern cities on Earth. When the High Evolutionary learns from the Guardians that his model society is failing, he resolves to incinerate the planet and start again.
The High Evolutionary flees in his creepy, medical spacecraft, just as Counter-Earth begins exploding from within. There is no talk of evacuating the planet, so it seems that the animal people who live on it — presumably billions of them — are all going to die.
One might think that, at the very least, Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), himself a result of the High Evolutionary’s genetic tinkering, would pause to reflect on the mass death in front of him. Instead, the Guardians focus on apprehending the villain instead. Did I mention that billions of intelligent beings just died?