Those who were hoping for every single character to appear in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday special may be disappointed, James Gunn revealed while discussing the MCU special on Twitter.
Confusion arose about who was in the 40-minute special, which is set to drop on streaming service Disney Plus during the 2022 holiday season, when Gunn quote-tweeted a fanmade poster. With the poster including Baby Groot, who hasn’t been seen since the 2017 adventure movie Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, some fans were hopeful that this meant the popular character would be making a return.
A Twitter fan asked, “Does the special occupy its own spot in the Marvel timeline, and that’s why I’m seeing Baby Groot, or is this an unofficial image?” Gunn quickly debunked this speculation, tweeting in response, “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 and Vol 3.”
Since the Guardians of the Galaxy made their MCU debut in their 2014 comedy movie, there have been a few changes to the initial team. Adult-sized Groot appeared to die at the end of the first movie before being reborn and debuting as Baby Groot in the sequel. Then, by the time Infinity War and Endgame came along, Baby Groot had become sullen Teenager Groot.
In addition to this, Earth-616 Gamora ended up being killed by adoptive father Thanos as part of his quest to fill the Infinity Gauntlet. Although the character made a (partial) return after the time-travelling Guardians convinced a past variant of Gamora to switch sides, she disappeared at the end of Endgame as opposed to continuing her travels with the team.
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. https://t.co/1cztR2R35g
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 16, 2022
Meanwhile, two other characters who joined the Guardians ahead of Phase 4 are Thor and Nebula, Gamora’s reformed, cyborg adoptive sister. With the Holiday Special set to take place after Thor 4 and before Guardians of the Galaxy 3, it looks like the events of Love and Thunder may well dictate who actually ends up appearing in the Holiday Special as well as the Guardians’ final chapter in their 2023 sci-fi movie.
The Guardians will return in Thor: Love and Thunder, which arrives in theatres on July 8, 2022.