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6 Most Important Moments In The 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special'

Did you catch them?

By Kristy AndersonPublished 2 months ago 6 min read
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Credit: Disney

Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has officially come to an end with the release of The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney Plus. For the most part, the special was just a fun, festive epilogue to cap off the first Phase of the Multiverse Saga. However, Director James Gunn has revealed that, while as fun to write as it was to watch, the Holiday Special also served a practical purpose, as he was able to use it to set up certain plot points and characters that will be important in the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, thereby saving time in that film.

Here are all the most important moments in The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special.

1. The Guardians now own and work out of Knowhere

Knowhere is a location briefly seen in the post-credits sequence of Thor: The Dark World, before being introduced fully in the first Guardians Of The Galaxy. It is the decapitated head of a Celestial, and was once owned by Taneleer Tivan, aka the collector, who ran a mining operation collecting the Celestial's remaining bodily fluids to fund his collection of rare items and creatures. Knowhere was last seen in Avengers: Infinity War, when the Guardians travelled there in a failed attempt to stop Thanos from obtaining the Reality stone.

The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special reveals that sometime after we last saw them in Thor: Love and Thunder, the Guardians purchased Knowhere from The Collector, and are fixing it up to serve as their home base. It will likely be fully open and operating in this capacity by Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3.

2. Cosmo The Space Dog is now a member of the team

In Marvel Comics, Cosmo The Space Dog is a dog launched into space by the Soviet Union. The dog is accidentally mutated by cosmic rays, developing the abilities of telepathy and telekinesis. He ends up on the space station Knowhere, eventually becoming Security Chief, and an ally and sometime member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Cosmo appears in a cameo in the first Guardians Of The Galaxy film as a part of Taneleer Tivan's collection, followed by a brief appearance in the second film's credits.

Maria Bakalova has been cast as Cosmo's voice in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3, but the character made her first major appearance in the Holiday Special, apparently inherited by the Guardians with their purchase of Knowhere. She is first seen using her telekinetic abilities to assist Rocket with repairs. While Cosmo is male in the comics, James Gunn chose to have the dog portrayed as female in the films, in honor of Laika, the first dog launched into orbit by the Soviet Union, and the original inspiration for the character.

3. Mantis's abilities

The core plot of The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special involves Mantis and Drax travelling to Earth to obtain the actor Kevin Bacon, whom they believe to be a legendary hero, as a Christmas gift for Quill to cheer him up. The plan almost goes awry when Bacon calls the Police on the pair, but Mantis, with her unique fighting style and ability to influence emotions, subdues the responding Officers by putting them all to sleep.

Gunn made the choice to focus on Mantis and Drax in the Holiday Special as he felt they had been sidelined in their Avengers appearances, and deserved a chance to shine. The above sequence gives audiences a look at the full extent of Mantis's abilities, and establishing her as a potential powerhouse in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3.

4. The Guardians have a brand new ship

Prior to this point, the Guardians have owned two ships. The Milano, originally owned by Peter Quill and named after his childhood crush, actress Alyssa Milano, is used by the team in the first film, and becomes their official main transport when it is repaired by the Nova Corps as thanks for their help battling Ronan.

Sadly, the Milano is damaged early in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2 when the team pass through an asteroid field and crash land on Berhert while fleeing an attack from The Sovereign. Rocket Raccoon attempts to repair the ship, but is forced to abandon it when he and Groot are captured by the Ravagers. By Avengers: Infinity War, the team have obtained a new ship, the Benatar, which remains their main vehicle until Thor: Love and Thunder.

In the Holiday Special, the Guardians now own another ship, the Bowie. Mantis and Drax take the ship to Earth to look for Kevin Bacon, and it is used again by Kraglin to return the actor home at the end of the Special. The Bowie will likely be seen in action again in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3.

5. Nebula's gift to Rocket

A scene late in the Special depicts the Guardians exchanging Christmas gifts for the first time. In a moment that surprised and delighted many fans, Nebula presents Rocket with the Vibranium arm of Bucky Barnes, an item he has coveted since Avengers: Infinity War.

At surface value this scene appears to be a simple continuation of a running joke involving Rocket stealing or wanting to steal people's prosthetic body parts. However, it can actually be seen as much deeper than that, portraying a change in the relationship between Rocket and Nebula. The two are enemies in the first GotG film, and have little interaction in the second, with Nebula referring to Rocket as a 'Stupid fox' in one scene. But, following Gamora's death and the rest of the Guardians being lost to the Blip, Nebula and Rocket spent five years together on the Benatar carrying out missions for Natasha Romanoff. It is likely that the pair got to know each other very well in this time, enough that Nebula knew exactly what Rocket would like as a gift, and also felt the inclination to head to Earth herself and collect said gift.

This is a dynamic we may see play out further in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3.

6. Mantis tells Peter that she is his sister

In the beginning of the special, it comes out that Mantis feels obligated to save Christmas for Peter because she is his half-sister, having also been fathered by Ego. She has kept this information from him as she does not want to be a constant reminder of Ego, who killed Peter's Mother. However, by the end of the special Mantis opts to reveal the truth. Peter is delighted, and the newfound siblings share a warm embrace.

"Mantis.. that's the greatest Christmas gift that I could ever get."

The discovery that they are siblings will likely change Star-Lord and Mantis's interactions in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3. However, Vol.3 is said to be a highly emotional film, and the MCU has developed an unfortunate history of killing off half of a sibling pair, usually when they have just reached a good place in their relationship. Therefore, some fans are now concerned that either Star-Lord or Mantis will not make it out of the new film alive.

The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special is streaming now on Disney Plus. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3 hits theatres in May 2023.

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About the Creator

Kristy Anderson

Passionate About all things Entertainment!

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