The Guardians of the Galaxy‘s hard-living Ravager Yondu Udonta is known for his Yaka arrow – a surprisingly effective weapon controlled by high-frequency whistles – but how did he get this weapon? The answer lies in a surprising piece of comic lore – there are actually two Yondu Udontas associated with the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise; the Ravager in the present day, and the heroic warrior in the year 3006.
Originally, only the future Yondu existed – a member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy alongside Major Victory, Starhawk, and Charlie-27. However, with the popularity of Michael Rooker’s take on the character in the MCU, Marvel made the decision to introduce a modern-day version of the character who movie fans would recognize. The Ravager leader Yondu Udonta was subsequently introduced into Marvel canon – a modern-day ancestor of the future hero, and someone with very different priorities.
Yondu Got His Arrow from His Time-Traveling Descendant
2019’s Yondu miniseries from Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson, and John Mccrea introduced the modern Yondu by teaming his up with his future descendant. The Yondu of 3006 travels back in time following a prophecy that his ancestor is about to break time by pursuing the cosmic artifact known as the Herald’s Urn. The future Yondu is disgusted by his ancestor, not least because he has seemingly rejected Centaurian culture in favor of becoming a vicious outlaw. But as the two quest for the Urn, each rubs off on the other, and when the future Yondu dies, he passes his Yaka arrow on to his descendant, having instructed him in its use. The future Yondu also reveals he was named after the modern-day Yondu, who is remembered as a legendary hero in the future.
Yondu’s Yakka Arrow Is a Call to Redemption
The providence of the arrow gives it major symbolic meaning, as a weapon which speaks to the modern Yondu’s heroic potential and the ways he will potentially influence Centaurian culture. Comic fans often feel cheated when comic lore turns on a dime to imitate other media, but the Yondu series marks a satisfying passing of the torch, as the modern-day Yondu is challenged to live up to his heroic descendant’s example. While Yondu isn’t wholly redeemed by the experience, he does take on a more heroic mindset and begin engaging with Centaurian interests, showing how even the far future can shape Marvel’s present.
Yondu’s Yaka arrow origin was the perfect introduction to the lovable rogue incarnation of the character, and a fitting send-off for the Yondu fans had known since 1969. It’s a full circle moment that not only ties together two eras of Guardians of the Galaxy but two incarnations of Yondu Udonta.
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