The 5 great revelations about the UCM that Guardians of the Galaxy leaves us: Happy Holidays Special

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Attention: This article contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy: Happy Holidays Special. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can take a look at our review.


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever may have been the last movie in Phase 4 of the Marvels Cinematic Universe, but those lovable jerks known as the Guardians of the Galaxy had to have the last word. Guardians of the Galaxy: Happy Holidays Special updates Star-Lord and his team and adds Kevin Bacon to the list of MCU’s Mightiest Heroes.

While not the most plot-heavy MCU project to be introduced in Phase 4, the Guardians Christmas special reveals some important details about the status quo of the team and what lies ahead in their return to the big screen in 2023. Even James Gunn himself insists that this special is a must-view before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Let’s break down the five most important revelations.

Star-Lord has a sister

Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord is a pretty tragic guy despite his outward appearance. He lost his mother at a young age and was raised by space pirates. As soon as he met his lost father, he discovered that Ego was a Celestial bent on remaking the universe in his image and likeness. The only family Star-Lord has left is the one he has built himself. So it seems only fitting that we learn that Peter, like Luke Skywalker before him, had a sister who’s been hiding in plain sight the entire time.

The reveal that Mantis is also the daughter of Ego may be a big departure from the comics, but it helps fill in some of the major gaps in her story in the MCU. He explains how she ended up being Ego’s servant, and why he felt compelled to keep her close to her in the first place. We can deduce that although Mantis was not the perfect daughter that Ego had been looking for all those years, she was powerful enough that Ego did not want to kill her like all the other children of hers abandoned by her.

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How much this reveal will influence the plot of Guardians Vol. 3 remains to be seen. But whatever comes next, it’s nice to know that two of our favorite Guardians have an extra reason to be thankful this holiday season.

Groot is almost grown (again)

Needless to say, no MCU character has changed more physically in the last 14 years than Groot. He was an adult in the first Guardians movie, then resurrected as a sapling, then became Baby Groot, then evolved into a cranky teenager. Groot hasn’t returned to his adult size in the Christmas special, but he’s getting close.

Does this mean that Groot will return to his adult form in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? Of course, that’s what it looks like. It remains to be seen if he has acquired any new skills along the way. From what we know, Groot will follow his comic book counterpart’s lead and eventually start speaking in full, intelligible sentences.

The Guardians have taken over Knowhere

MCU fans were introduced to the Knowhere (Wisdom) space station in the first Guardians movie. This decapitated celestial head has become a major intergalactic hub, and at one point also served as home to The Collector’s massive stash. But thanks to Thanos’ attack in Avengers: Infinity War, Knowhere has definitely seen better days.

The Christmas special reveals two important details about Knowhere. One, we now have confirmation that The Collector is still alive and wasn’t killed by Thanos (something actor Benicio del Toro always insisted on but never outright confirmed). Two, it looks like Tivan sold Knowhere to the Guardians instead of trying to rebuild his prized collection room. No one knows where the Guardians got the money for such a massive real estate purchase. Apparently being three times the savior of the galaxy is good for the bank account.

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We can expect Knowhere to appear again in the next movie, which hopefully means a lot more scenes with Maria Bakalova’s Cosmo.

GoBots could exist in the MCU

Art by Tom Scioli. (Image Credit: IDW/Hasbro)
Art by Tom Scioli. (Image credit: IDW/Hasbro)

Apparently, Drax holds a lot of grudges for his murdered family members. Not only did Thanos kill Drax’s wife and son, but now we’ve learned that his cousin was killed by a GoBot. This is a random plot point with some potentially major ramifications for the MCU.

Drax’s violent encounter with the GoBot cosplayer suggests that these Transformers-like alien robots actually exist in the MCU. This is an unexpected twist, since GoBots don’t even exist in the Marvel Comics universe. Marvel may have published Transformers comics once, but they’ve never licensed the GoBots.

This cameo may just be a case of James Gunn paying nostalgic homage to a beloved ’80s franchise. But we can’t help but wonder if there’s more to it. Is this a tease for a bigger collaboration between Marvel and Hasbro? Given all the problems Hasbro has run into trying to build a movie universe around their toys, will they turn to Marvel for help? With any luck, we might see the GoBots and ROM the Space Knight join the MCU in Phase 7.

Gamora is still missing

The Christmas special doesn’t address the Avengers: Endgame loose end regarding Gamora, but her absence confirms that Star-Lord and the gang have yet to locate her. The Gamora we know died at the hands of her father in Infinity War, but the time-shifted 2014 version is still around. The absence of it is one of the main reasons why Peter Quill has such a grim look.

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We can safely assume that the search for Gamora will be a major part of the plot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, especially since that sequel is shaping up to be the last to feature this current lineup. As the team encounters Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock and faces Chukwudi Iwuji’s High Evolutionary, they will also work to bring Gamora home and help her realize that she still has a family that cares for her. Much like the 2012 version of Loki, Gamora will have to undergo a crash course to catch up on all those years she missed. Along the way, we hope to find out what she’s been up to since her disappearance in Endgame.

What do you think of these latest UCM plot twists? Are the GoBots really in the MCU? Tell us what you think in the comments below. And for more on the future of the universe, take a look at the history of Jonathan Majors’ villain Kang the Conqueror, and why Secret Wars could easily dwarf even Avengers: Endgame in scope.