October’s about to come to an end and with Halloween right around the corner, fall is about to make its impact. However, with the times changing, crowds are beginning to come around the winter festivities with Christmas (sorry Thanksgiving!) and you know what that means: lots of presents, food, and relatives for the holiday cheer! For one such (ragtag) family, the Guardians of the Galaxy are planning to share their special Christmas story for MCU fans around the world and with James Gunn helming this special presentation, fans may enjoy one last experience before Marvel Studios says goodbye to 2022 and hello to Phase Five!
The Guardians of the Galaxy have seen their fair share within the MCU from their original two movies Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. More recently, the group of intergalactic mercenaries were helping Thor (Chris Hemsworth) get back to his true self, physically and mentally, in Thor: Love and Thunder. However, with the Guardians back in their own solo-outing, fans get a nice icebreaker before they see the beloved team fully return in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, which releases May 2023.
Catching up on what the team has been up to (if you’ve skipped out on Love and Thunder), Groot (Vin Diesel) has finally grown out of his adolescence and is slowly coming back to the Groot we all loved back in the first movie with the help of Rocket (Bradley Cooper). Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Kraglin’s (Sean Gunn) enrollment into the Guardians has been further solidified and Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) are still enjoying each other’s company. Meanwhile, Peter Quill (Christ Pratt) is still holding on to his grief after losing Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to Thanos (Josh Brolin) back in Infinity War.
For other returning characters, we’re finally meeting Quill’s adored idol, Kevin Bacon, as well as a special character who’s getting more time, Cosmo the Spacedog (Maria Bakalova)! While both of these characters have made their cameos in the original Guardians films, the holiday special brings these two characters fully into the MCU, though Cosmo moreso than Bacon. In fact, Cosmo is confirmed to also be returning to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 following the Holiday Special and with Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) and the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) making their debut in that movie, Cosmo may be one of the more integral characters within the special that will influence the Guardians lore in the future.
As you might have guessed from the trailer, the story focuses on the Guardians trying to put on a great Christmas celebration for Quill in this light-hearted, family fun holiday special. Surprisingly, this special takes the Guardians back down to Earth after their short time in Avengers: Endgame and following their appearance in Love and Thunder. However, the trailer seems to relegate this part of the story to Drax and Mantis after they invade Kevin Bacon’s Beverly Hills home, which is suspected to be apart of this sequence courtesy of The Direct. With the Guardians out and about on Earth, hopefully we’ll get to spend some time with Peter’s moving-on after dealing with the many heartbreaks he’s had since the original 2014 film (maybe even a final goodbye to Meredith?)
Along with his built-up grief, Quill also seems to have grown a Scrooge-like grumpiness towards the holiday thanks to Yondu’s presentation of Christmas to Quill as revealed in this Reddit post. With Michael Rooker officially confirmed to be returning for one last ride with the Guardians, fans could be expecting a flashback between Yondu and Quill about the precarious incident that led Quill down this path of hating Christmas.
Besides all this, the holiday special may play a more integral role into what the story of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could potentially hold. As fans already know, Vol. 3 is the last time we’ll be seeing this iteration of the Guardians and with the additional debuts of Adam Warlock and High Evolutionary, this special is important in knowing the story. From what we’ve heard from this year’s San Diego Comic Con, the story seems to be more Rocket-oriented as fans saw the loud-mouthed raccoon in his baby years. From the trailer, the special seems to have a focus between Rocket and Cosmo, which could possibly include hints of Rocket’s origins with the High Evolutionary and his first encounters with Groot, possibly indicated by this Instagram post by Diesel during I Am Groot‘s marketing.
However, the special seems to be more focused around Quill and the Guardians as a team in general. With their focus on getting the best Christmas present for Quill, the Guardians may be too occupied for any big Vol. 3 details, but we’ll just have to wait and see! For now, the team may just have to face their holiday escapades before they deal with the likes of the High Evolutionary in May 2023!
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special comes to Disney+ on November 25.