At the end of 2022, MCU fans will have a special treat waiting for them. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will likely drop in December on Disney+ and will see the fan-favorite group of intergalactic misfits caught up in some holiday cheer. The special was directed by James Gunn, who also led the way on the three Guardians feature films.
Little is known about the story in the special, including its runtime, but it will feature many of the characters from the films plus a few surprises.
Gunn filmed the special during the production of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and interestingly enough, it seems that some of the action takes place on Earth, given that certain production was confirmed to be filming in Atlanta on a set made to look like California's Beverly Hills. Also along for the ride is the telepathic dog known as Cosmo, who had a brief cameo in the Collector's museum in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film.
What's more is that James Gunn made the declaration that "one of the greatest MCU characters of all time" will be introduced in the Holiday Special. But will all these special appearances and returning cast members, will everyone be present and accounted for?
The Guardians Could Be Down a Member
According to a tweet by The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special director, James Gunn referenced a fan-made image in saying that not every character who is present in said image actually appears in the Holiday Special.
"The above is not an official image, it’s fan-made. Not all of those characters are even in the Holiday special. It takes place between Thor 4 & Vol 3."
Gunn also mentioned the fact that the special will have a soundtrack, likely referring to the classic tunes that have become associated with the Guardians franchise. According to the director, though, "original music" will also be heard.
"There will be a soundtrack yes, including original music."
And finally, Gunn clarified some specific info surrounding what the special actually is, being sure to mention that it's "part of MCU canon.":
I can. It’s a TV Special (not a feature length film) on Disney Plus. It’s part of MCU canon, & contains some important new elements in the Guardians’ story.
Who Could Be the Missing Guardian?
Or is it, "Why could be the missing Guardian?"
Obviously given how things went down in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, it seems incredibly likely that it's Zoe Saldaña's Gamora who won't show up in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. The original version of Gamora was sacrificed in Infinity War so that the Mad Titan Thanos could get his hands on the Soul Stone. And then in Endgame, Gamora resurfaces, but it's not the Gamora that Star-Lord and company know and love; rather, it's a timeline variant from the year 2014 who has no history with the team.
Chris Pratt's Peter Quill was last seen in the MCU running searches for Gamora's whereabouts on his ship's computer. Saldaña is definitely in Guardians Vol. 3 so the implication seems to be that the crew doesn't locate her until the events of the threequel.
Gunn, of course, also mentions "original music." What could this mean? Is he simply referring to the special's musical score or do Quill, Rocket and the gang bust out some Christmas carols?
As mentioned above, Marvel Studios' The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will debut sometime at the end of 2022, exclusively on Disney+.