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The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special ending explained

The Guardians of the Galaxy are celebrating the ancient Earth holiday Christmas but ends in kidnapping Kevin Bacon because of course it does...

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special ending explained: Drax (Dave Bautista)

What happens at the end of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special? Warning spoilers ahead! The latest Marvel Special presentation is here, courtesy of James Gunn, the mastermind behind some of the best Marvel movies. This time it’s The Guardians of the Galaxy who get the chance to shine in their very own Christmas special.

We open on Knowhere, where Kraglin explains to the other Guardians how back when Peter Quill was on Yondu’s ship, the blue alien bastard wouldn’t let him celebrate Christmas. Why? Well, Yondu didn’t think the spirit of giving was appropriate for a pirate, and I mean, yeah, it’s hard to disagree with him.

While most of The Guardians couldn’t care less about Peter’s troubled childhood, Mantis is moved by the story. You see, Peter’s recent years have been pretty shitty. Let’s see off the top of my head; the love of his life, Gamora, was killed by Thanos; then Peter was killed by Thanos; he spent five years being dead; oh and then when he was brought back the new Gamora didn’t know who he was.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special ending explained

So yeah, Mantis wants to make Peter feel better by giving him a traditional Earth Christmas, just like in the family movies Star-Lord loves so much. Mantis’s reasons aren’t all altruistic, however, as it turns out that she’s actually the daughter of Ego, which would make her Peter’s half-sister.

Recruiting Drax, the pair decide to travel to Earth and capture ’80s movie icon Kevin Bacon so they can give him to Quill as the ultimate Christmas gift. Travelling to Earth, the pair head to Los Angeles to track down Bacon, who they believe is “Earth’s greatest hero”.

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There’s just one problem. They don’t have a clue where Kevin Bacon lives, so they end up wandering through Hollywood looking for clues. After some shenanigans at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, which leads to our heroes getting drunk in a gay bar (it makes sense in context, I promise), they finally stumble across a map to the stars that leads them to Bacon.

Now, though, they have to deal with another problem. Bacon doesn’t want to go with them, and when The Guardians refuse to take no for an answer, Bacon’s forced to call the police. After the pair tear through LA’s finest, they finally capture Bacon and Mantis uses her powers to brainwash him into being happy about being kidnapped.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special ending explained: Kevin Bacon

Heading back to Knowhere, Drax and Mantis are disgusted to learn that Kevin bacon isn’t a great hero but instead an actor, which they find disgusting. The pair decide to swallow their distaste, though, for the sake of Peter Quill.

Back on Knowhere, a miserable Quill hears classic Christmas tunes and heads into the town square. There it’s revealed that Mantis, Drax and the rest of The Guardians have decorated Knowhere for Christmas (using stolen decorations), and they even make fake snow to complete the illusion.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special ending explained: Peter Quill

As Groot wheels out Peter’s gift, it seems like Mantis has managed to pull off the perfect Christmas, but then it all comes crumbling down. Peter’s genuinely shocked that his friends would basically traffic Kevin Bacon across the galaxy for him and demands the Footloose star be sent back to Earth.

Removing the brainwashing Bacon is genuinely horrified to be around so many strange aliens and monsters. Kraglin’s tasked with taking the actor home, but along the way, he shares with Kevin Bacon how much he means to Peter.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special ending explained: Drax and Mantis

Deciding he can spend a little longer with The Guardians, Kevin Bacon and the residents celebrate Christmas in musical style, with Quill even getting to hug his hero. As they celebrate, Mantis finally reveals to Peter that she is his sister, and he tells her that that news is the greatest Christmas gift she could have given him.

You’ll be able to see the Guardians again in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. If you want to know more about the future of the MCU and Marvel’s Phase 5, we’ve got guides to all the upcoming Marvel movies, including Thunderbolts, Captain America 4, and The Marvels.