One of the biggest influences of the Guardians of the Galaxy series is arguably the Star Wars saga. Still, few would’ve guessed that the Marvel franchise would follow in the footsteps of one of the most infamous and maligned properties that ever hailed from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away: The Star Wars Holiday Special.
But here we are with Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and his crew, including Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), Groot (Vin Diesel), and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) starring in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, set to be released on Disney+ on November 25, 2022. But while it’s a big deal that all the series regulars are present for the epic yuletide event, just like the principal Star Wars leads from the original film all appeared in their special, the big news is that acting icon Kevin Bacon is involved.
The Trailer Breakdown for Goodness Sake
A new trailer for the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which concludes Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, begins with a colorful, shiny declaration that this is “A Marvel Studios Special Presentation,” recalling similar, albeit less snazzy, intros for the popular Peanuts, and Rankin Bass productions of the ‘70s. Amid the sounds of jingling bells and the keyboard strains of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” we see shots of Pratt’s despondent Star-Lord making his way through a dark, lonely street.
We then cut to another series regular, Kraglin Obfonteri (Sean Gunn), saying, “I just saw on the calendar that right now on earth it’s almost Christmastime.” Gillian’s Nebula tersely responds, “We don’t have time for trivialities like Christmas,” to a concerned shot of Klementieff’s Mantis, who counters with, “But Peter’s so sad about Gamora being gone.”
A triumphantly urgent orchestra props up a “This Holiday Season” title, complete with sparkling Christmas light wrapping the gold lettering. We get some action shots of spaceships while Nebula continues, “Maybe if we go to Earth for a really wonderful Christmas gift, it would make him happy.” So an excited Nebula and Bautista’s characteristically stoic Drax travel to Hollywood, Los Angeles, on planet Earth with another title popping up to announce “The Perfect Present is a Galaxy Away.”
At the same time, imagery that looks like a Christmas party at a rave goes flashing by. Nebula summarizes the plan by emotionally stating that they are looking to get Peter “something special he’ll never forget.”
It’s Kevin Bacon for the Holidays
“What about someone special?” Drax asks with a conspiratorial gleam in his eyes and a wide-eyed Nebula gasps. The next shot has the dup arriving at a posh home with elaborate holiday decorations, presumably in Beverly Hills. “We’re looking for the legendary Kevin Bacon,” Nebula tells Bacon’s intercom right outside his house, with Drax repeating her words verbatim. “I just said that, Drax!” Nebula angrily scolds his reply, “Your voice is a smaller mouth; I think maybe he didn’t hear you.” Then cut to Drax smashing through a window next to a scared Bacon, who has a look of shock on his face as Drax says, “You’re coming with us…as a Christmas present!”
Bacon runs from Drax and Nebula and even throws over his Christmas tree to block their path toward him. This leads to a series of close-ups of all our leads, but with their character names – Star-Lord, Mantis, Drax, Nebula, Kraglin, Cosmo, Rocket, Groot, and the amusing addition, “Introducing Kevin Bacon,” which adorns a shot of Bacon still running from his Guardian captors down the street with the LA skyline behind them. A big musical flourish ends the spot on the Disney logo.
This brief, one-minute-and 26-second trailer appears to promise a fun, good-hearted visit to the Guardians’ realm of the MCU in a special that, alongside its connection to the Star Wars Holiday Special, also falls in line with previous Marvel Christmas-related projects like the special edition “Giant Superhero Holiday Grab-Bag” comic from 1975, and the Marvel Holiday Special series from the ‘90s.
While Bacon may be a new addition to the Guardian of the Galaxy-verse, he’s no stranger to superhero cinema as he was in Marvel’s X-Men: First Class (2011). Still, it’s obvious from his appearance in this trailer that he’s drawing more upon his experience in comedy to play an exaggerated version of himself. Bacon’s self-deprecating persona lends itself to the tone and self-satirical sci-fi atmosphere on heavy display in the popping preview.
So far, there is no information about the length of the special, but it can be assumed that the standard for such productions is 60 minutes. It should be a breezy, busy watch for folks who didn’t get enough of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s cameo in Thor: Love and Thunder earlier this year. Also getting hopes up is the fact that Guardians writer/director James Gunn told RadioTimes:
“The Holiday Special is the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It’s totally ridiculous, and every day we can’t believe that we’re making it. We all completely love it. It is unlike anything that anyone’s ever seen before. I can’t wait for people to see it.”
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special begins airing just two weeks after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters, so it’s looking like after Phase 4 goes out with a bang on the big screen, we get a desert of a coda wrapped in holiday cheer. That should certainly hold fans until Marvel’s Phase 5 kicks off in 2023.