After Werewolf By Night became the first entry designated as a Marvel Studios Special Presentation, the next in line is James Gunn's The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. The upcoming Disney+ project is confirmed to feature the return of Chris Pratt's Star-Lord and his cosmic group of heroes minus Zoe Saldana's Gamora, and it's set before 2023's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
The exact plot details from the Holiday Special are still shrouded in secrecy, but a recent rumor revealed that Kevin Bacon will appear in some capacity. Although marketing has yet to officially begin, promotional merchandise, such as Funko Pops!, has already started to emerge online.
Now, ahead of the holiday season, the first official footage of the upcoming special has finally been revealed.
Drax & Mantis Searches for a Christmas Gift for Star-Lord
Marvel Studios officially released the brand new trailer for The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special, revealing the first footage of the cosmic team's celebration of Christmas, showing Kevin Bacon's MCU debut, and the return of Cosmo.
Chris Pratt's Star-Lord looks to be in awe seeing Christmas lights for the first time since leaving Earth:
Drax and Mantis stroll down the Walk of Fame in Hollywood as they search for the perfect gift for Quill:
The Guardians talk about Quill and Christmas in this new image:
Kevin Bacon looks terrified as Drax and Mantis enter his home:
Will Kevin Bacon go to space and surprise Star-Lord? Only time will tell:
Cosmo is poised to become a valued member of the Guardians:
The trailer can be seen below:
Why The Holiday Special is Essential to Vol. 3
The Guardians of the Galaxy are back in an unexpected way as the team celebrates Christmas for the first time. It makes sense that Chris Pratt's Peter Quill is at the forefront, considering that he is the only one from Earth on the team.
The Guardians' different reactions to Christmas put things into perspective on how other species react to Earth's highly-anticipated holiday. Although members like Nebula didn't care at first, Mantis' efforts to lead the team to find a gift for their leader essentially cements how far the team is in terms of their closeness with one another, a plot point that was briefly teased during Thor: Love and Thunder.
The fact that they have a stronger bond makes their adventure in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 more heartbreaking, considering that director James Gunn already confirmed that it's going to be the last one for this iteration of the team.
Moreover, seeing Drax and Mantis back on Earth after Avengers: Endgame's final battle is an interesting plot point, meaning that it's possible that the pair will reference their battle against Thanos during their journey back. Gunn has since teased Endgame's impact on the Holiday Special, noting that it will include "connective plot elements" between the two projects.
Kevin Bacon's inclusion is also a great callback to Peter Quill's interest in the actor. Bacon was referenced during the first Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Infinity War, and seeing him in person makes the connection even more notable.
It is unknown how Vol. 3's story will be impacted by the Holiday Special, but it seems that the team will have a much deeper connection before their eventual mission to find Gamora.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is set to premiere on Disney+ on Friday, November 25.