In the far reaches of space, in a place called Knowhere, the Guardians of the Galaxy had made it their lair. There was no galaxy needing guarding, no evil doers to fight, but out there in the depths of space there was simply no Christmas spirit in sight. Bzermikitokolok tried to bring back Peter Quill’s lost holiday cheer, but it seemed not even that could remind Peter of the happiest time of the year. So Drax and Mantis had made themselves a pact, despite Mantis having eaten Drax’s favorite snack, they’d ride out to Earth and bring back Kevin Bacon, in hopes that Peter’s Christmas cheer would awaken.
And thus is the premise of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022), it’s a short Christmas flick, carrying nothing but the essential. And if I seem too much, I must draw your attention, because this isn’t an ordinary superhero film, that I should mention. And while there are punches, and kicks, and Mantis uses her ability, the feel of the special is mostly tranquility, coupled with a sentimental style where someone does discuss – how they want to help their friends learn about Christmas.
The whole gang is back, plus additions left and right, but Groot and Rocket tend to spend their time out of sight. The team is mostly there to introduce the story and then to bring it to an end, while the majority of the time spent is for Drax and Mantis to contend. While Drax is familiar, Mantis goes for broke, no longer satisfied being the butt of everyone’s joke.
In effect this special comes across like a Guardians of the Galaxy 2.5, setting up the plot for the Guardians for when part three does arrive. It takes an odd time jump forward, telling what happened without explaining, alongside an odd gift from Nebula without saying how she had gone obtaining. What’s a little more interesting is some of the little details it adds to the backstory, taking older props from the previous films and uplifting their glory.
It’s a fun little special, like watching old friends, see them gather together one last time before it all ends. Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (2023) promises to break up the band, one last flight into that blue sky for them to withstand, but for now, there’s at least, a moments respite, to celebrate friends, and family, and to have a good night.