To close out the MCU’s wild Phase 4 story, Marvel has pulled back the curtain on its second-ever Special Presentation, following up on the efforts of October’s Werewolf by Night. This time, the galaxy’s most famous band of misfits is front and center as they star in a Christmas-themed adventure filled with laughs, heart, and love.
And as is the case with every new MCU project, one of the first questions surrounding this Holiday Special is where exactly it fits in the MCU’s expansive timeline.
Well, upon its release, Disney+ confirmed that this question isn’t a difficult one to answer in the slightest.
When Does the Guardians’ Holiday Special Take Place?
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is the latest release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with the final project in Phase 4. As part of its debut, Disney also confirmed when exactly It takes place in comparison to the rest of its MCU counterparts.
Disney+ has placed the Guardians’ Holiday Special as the 43rd and final entry in the current MCU timeline, directly after Gael Garcia Bernal’s Werewolf by Night.
The full list of MCU projects in timeline order can be seen below:
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Captain Marvel
- Iron Man
- Iron Man 2
- The Incredible Hulk
- The Avengers
- Thor: The Dark World
- Iron Man 3
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- I Am Groot: Groot’s First Steps
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- I Am Groot: The Little Guy
- I Am Groot: Groot’s Pursuit
- I Am Groot: Groot Takes a Bath
- I Am Groot: Magnum Opus
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Captain America: Civil War
- Black Widow
- Black Panther
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Doctor Strange
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Avengers: Endgame
- What If...?
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
- Spider-Man: Far From Home
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
- Moon Knight
- Ms. Marvel
- Thor: Love and Thunder
- Werewolf By Night
- The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
The full graphic of that timeline can be seen here:
The Guardians’ MCU Journey Continues in Phase 5
Phase 4 of the MCU has largely been told in a pretty linear fashion timeline-wise, with only a couple of exceptions. 2021’s Black Widow falls alongside the earliest Phase 3 projects while Phase 3’s final entry, Spider-Man: Far From Home, actually happens a few months after the first stories from Phase 4 on Disney+.
Thankfully, the Guardians’ Holiday Special is an easy one to place, catching fans up on their adventures only a few months after their last big screen appearance. The team showed up for the opening sequence of July 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder before jetting off on their own mission, defending the cosmos before settling down for their own Christmas-centric story.
Now, this becomes the second of three entries for the team in under a year, as they’ll star in Phase 5’s second big-screen movie, May 2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. And while that story will pit them against some of the most dangerous challenges they’ve ever faced, they at least have a moment first to take things relatively easy with some holiday hijinks to close out 2022.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is now streaming on Disney+.