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Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will introduce brand new characters

Updated Mar 29th, 2022 8:55AM EDT
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 poster
Image: Marvel Studios

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 isn’t hitting theaters until May 5th, 2023. But there is a Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special coming out this year that just got even more exciting. That’s because director James Gunn, who is writing and directing both the movie and the special, just teased that the Christmas special will is especially important.

Before we can discuss it, I’ll warn you that MCU spoilers might follow below.

Will Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special be on Disney Plus?

As the name implies, the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special isn’t a regular movie. It’s a short film experience that will be released around the holidays. In other words, it’s not the kind of MCU action that you’ll see in theaters on Christmas.

The Holiday Special will stream on Disney Plus this Christmas, but we have no release date just yet. As it turns out, Disney isn’t ready to lay out its full MCU plans for the year.

The only firm MCU Disney Plus 2022 release dates are Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel. The former premieres later this week. We’ll then meet Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel on June 8th. Other MCU attractions hitting the streaming service this year are She-Hulk, Marvel’s Halloween Special, and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

James Gunn addressed the Guardians Holiday Special and Volume 3 in recent interviews. He revealed he’s shooting them back to back, even though the former is supposed to come out this year. He took to Twitter to respond to additional questions about the Holiday Special.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special comes to Disney Plus in 2022.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special comes to Disney Plus in 2022. Image source: Disney

The mysterious characters

It’s on Twitter where Gunn said the special will have a “TV Special length.” The director told Collider last summer that the Guardians Holiday Special will be about 40 minutes long. 

During the same interview, he said the special will contain “stuff you need to learn before” Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Later, he teased that the Special’s script was getting more attention than Volume 3, which made him jealous even though both are his creations.

Getting back to his tweets from a few days ago, Gunn said that the action in the Holiday Special happens between Vol. 2 and Vol 3, chronologically. As a reminder, Infinity War and Endgame happened between those two movies. Also, we expect Love and Thunder to take place between them, with the Guardians set to appear in the new Thor movie.

But the best thing that Gunn revealed concerns new characters. “More than one great new MCU character will be introduced” in the Guardians Holiday Special. He offered no teasers, so we have no idea who they might be.

Whatever happens in the special, the new characters might be important additions. Of course, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will also be important for the overall arch of the MCU. Gunn said previously that the film represents the final story in this franchise, teasing that we should expect some tragic events as we experience this epic conclusion.

We would expect Marvel to keep some of the Guardians around for other adventures. As for the new characters in the Guardians Holiday Special, we wouldn’t expect Marvel to use “more than one great new MCU character” in just one or two productions.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.