The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is now streaming on Disney+, and like the previous Marvel "Special Presentation" release (Werewolf By Night), the Guardians Holiday Special manages to both tell a fun standalone story while setting up some larger developments and/or revelations about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which will be important in the movies and/or shows to come.
Marvel fans have been keeping an especially keen eye on The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, knowing that this is just a pit-stop before director James Gunn and the cast will be coming back to the screen for Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 in just about six months from now. And this Holiday Special does indeed make a few changes to the Guardians franchise that could be key to Vol. 3 - starting with new ownership of a key location...
WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW!
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special reveals early on that the pivotal location of Knowhere – built on the severed head of a Celestial – has been purchased by the Guardians, and now serves as their home/base of operations.
What Is Marvel's Knowhere?
Knowhere is a galactic community and mining colony (Exitar) which is housed in the head of a Celestial that was left floating through space. It is a junction point for many interstellar travelers, as well the site of some pivotal locations, like The Collector's museum.
Knowhere first appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, and was the place where The Collector (Benecio Del Toro) set up shop. Knowwhere took a hit when the Power Stone blew up The Collector's Shop, and the Guardians did battle with the forces of Ronan the Acuser. Knowhere later showed up again in Avengers: Infinity War, where Thanos destroyed most of the location, during his mission of conquest to obtain all six Infinity Stones.
Why The Guardians Owning Knowwhere Matters
The Guardians of the Galaxy taking up residence in Knowwhere represents some big changes for teh team and their franchise. First of all, a home in Knowwhere signals that the Guardians of the Galaxy and thier Ravager buddies are truly settling ito the form of being a surrogate familyof misfits. Indeed, that is one fo the more powerful subtexts of The Holiday Special: genuine family bonds (literal and figurative) being tied together over the Christmas holiday. Making their first Christmas 'at home' special is a big part of that.
It's also an intresting place from which to open the story of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The Guardians have always been roaming scavanger types, but this feels like James Gunn in part setting up a heartwarming status quo to rip away from us in Guardians 3, with its guaranteed emotionally-taxing storyline.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is now streaming on Disney+. Vol. 3 will be in theaters on May 5, 2023.