The Guardians of the Galaxy has changed and evolved over the years with many characters having come and gone across their eight years in the MCU. Among the losses in the franchise came with the death of Michael Rooker's Yondu - the Ravager leader who took Peter Quill from Earth and raised him as his own.
After sacrificing his life to defeat the Sovereign in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Yondu became a fan-favorite icon as he delivered his famous "I'm Mary Poppins y'all" line in his final moments. Despite his death, many fans continue to call for the Ravager to return, something director James Gunn has refused to allow.
In the five years since departing his MCU role, Rooker has reunited with Gunn in the DCEU's The Suicide Squad but unfortunately met his demise there too. Having died in both universes, most considered the actor's comic book days to be over, but that may not be the case after all.
Yondu Actor Returns to the MCU
In an official press release, Disney revealed that The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will see Yondu actor Michael Rooker return to the MCU following the death of his Ravager leader in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Rooker was listed in the release alongside his castmates, including Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, The Old 97’s, and Kevin Bacon.
Yondu was previously featured in the promotional art for the Disney+ Holiday Special, with several designs including the phrase "Yondu Ruined Christmas."
The synopsis for the Marvel Studios Special Presentation can be seen below:
"In the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, the Guardians, who are on a mission to make Christmas unforgettable for Quill, head to Earth in search of the perfect present."
How Will Yondu Return to the MCU?
James Gunn addressed the potential of Michael Rooker returning once before as he insisted that "unless it's a flashback, Yondu will stay dead." So, chances are, the Ravager leader will be limited to a flashback role in the Holiday Special, and similarly, if he were to also come back for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
With Chris Pratt's Star-Lord grieving the loss of Gamora at Christmas, perhaps Yondu will appear in flashbacks to Peter Quill's childhood with the Ravagers and the many holidays he celebrated with them. Although what's less clear is how that all connects to the "Yondu Ruined Christmas" promotional tagline.
There's no telling how significant Yondu's role in the special will be, although the likely flashback or dream-like nature of his appearance points to a cameo. Nonetheless, many will be excited to see the popular Ravager back in any capacity, as he gets the chance to be involved in the Guardians' farewell tour.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will premiere on November 25, exclusively on Disney+.