MCU Explained: What Happened in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special?

MCU Explained: What Happened in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special?
MCU Explained: What Happened in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special?

This year’s Black Friday brought the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special to Disney+.

The holiday season is finally here, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe released its first special to wish its fans season’s greetings. The 44-minute television show brought back fan-favorite characters like Star-Lord, Rocket, and the remaining Guardians of the Galaxy team members (safe for one). Let’s see what went down in the James Gunn-directed television special (sign-up for Disney+ here).

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What Happened in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special?

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special followed Mantis and Drax in their attempt to kidnap Kevin Bacon and bring him as a present to Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord. The show delivered what it teased ahead of its release, nothing more, nothing less. The story took place after the Guardians’ latest appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder, which occurs roughly in MCU’s 2024. Given that the skinny Groot fans saw in the latest Thor installment appeared like the distant cousin of the bulked Groot version from the Holiday Special, it might imply that some more time has passed since Love and Thunder (unless Groot has extraordinary growth abilities).

At the same time, the holiday special also set what will follow in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. First, audiences learned the Guardians bought Knowhere from the Collector and were rebuilding it. Apparently, the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 villain is still alive and has survived Thanos’ attack in the clash for the Power Stone. Second, Cosmo the Spacedog got a new voice (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm‘s Maria Bakalova) and showcased his telekinesis powers. It seemed there was a special connection between him and Rocket. In the comics, Cosmo took part in the Soviet Space Program and got unnatural abilities due to cosmic rays. Vol. 3 will likely follow up on his relationship with Rocket.

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The Holiday Special also revealed Mantis is one of Ego’s children, thus Star-Lord’s sister. Initially, the Celestial hybrid was reluctant to tell Quill because Ego attempted to kill him in Vol. 2, but ultimately plucked up her courage and revealed the truth, much to Star-Lord’s joy. The story also unveiled how the Guardians’ leader got his iconic guns, a Christmas present from his father-like figure, Yondu, when Peter was still a child.

It’s also worth mentioning that Rocket received Bucky Barnes’ cyborg arm in vibranium as a Christmas present from Nebula. The surprising scene had quite an impact since it appeared it was Barnes’ real arm and not some sort of replica. Lastly, there were no signs of Gamora, as expected. The Guardians member was sacrificed by Thanos to obtain the Soul Stone in Avengers: Infinity War. Even though some time has already passed since her death, Star-Lord still misses her.

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