Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel | Walt Disney

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special’ Recap: Bringing Home the Bacon

The 'Guardians' Christmas special is here, and it's a riot. Are you ready to see the holidays through an alien warrior's eyes?
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The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is Marvel’s chance to let its hair down and rock out with some of the strangest aliens from around the cosmos. If Marvel has an answer to Star Wars, it’s the interstellar weirdness of Guardians. That means the series is a perfect fit for a Christmas special, right?

Well, that’s what James Gunn says. And, hey, he’s right! The Guardians of the Galaxy have recently purchased the Celestial base Knowhere and are converting it into a base of operations for their superheroics, and it’s almost Christmas time. That means it’s time for an adventure full of good cheer and human trafficking. Yes, seriously.

Knowhere at All

The Guardians seem to have been busy filling their bank accounts during the events of Thor: Love and Thunder because they’re saved up enough money to buy the severed Celestial head known as Knowhere from the Collector. Cosmo, the telepathic space dog, has stayed behind on the station and is helping the Guardians rebuild the place after Thanos attacked it in Infinity War.

The Guardians are also conspicuously still missing a member. The time-displaced variant Gamora the crew met in Endgame went off on her own after the battle with Thanos, leaving Peter to mull over the strange scenario he finds himself in. While the Gamora he knew and loved is gone now, a version of her from earlier in her own timeline is alive and well. With this scenario weighing on his heart, Peter is feeling a bit glum as the holiday season draws near.

Mantis and Drax discuss the Earth custom of “Christmas,” which to them seems like a strange celebration. However, eager to cheer up their friend, they hatch a scheme to go to Earth to find a perfect Christmas gift for their buddy.

Bringing Home the Bacon

The two decide to give Peter the legendary actor Kevin Bacon as a Christmas present, not quite realizing that kidnapping a human being and bringing him into outer space isn’t exactly in the spirit of the holidays. While on Earth, they cause serious mayhem and get themselves lost in LA while asking everyone in earshot where they could find the actor.

After a chance encounter with a woman selling “maps to the stars” brochures, they find their way to Bacon’s Beverly Hills home. There, they briefly attempt to explain the situation to him, which results in him threatening to call the police on them for their bizarre behavior. Naturally, this spurs Drax and Mantis to just break into his home and chase him through the streets.

The police arrive to defend the actor, and Mantis and Drax spring into action, pummeling the officers and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Mantis uses her powers of mood manipulation to make Kevin Bacon adore the idea of going to space to be a Christmas present. During the journey back to Knowhere, the two realize that Bacon isn’t actually a legendary dancing hero – he’s merely played one on camera.

Merry Christmas, Peter Quill

Mantis and Drax convince Bacon to act like he’s a “real hero,” as though he really did once save a town by dancing. They surprise Peter with his childhood icon, whom they’ve wrapped up in a giant box and topped with a bow. Peter is horrified to see his friends have kidnapped Kevin Bacon and demands that Mantis end her trance over him and send him home.

Bacon is initially overwhelmed by the realization that he’s in outer space. After getting his bearings, however, he realizes that Peter Quill is a genuine hero and deserves to have a great Christmas, too. He spends some time with the Guardians and learns more about their adventures together before genuinely befriending the group. 

When Peter questions Mantis about the harebrained kidnapping, he presses her to know why she’s so fixated on whether or not he’s happy. She admits that they’re half-siblings; Peter’s father, the dangerous living planet named Ego, was also her father. With Peter’s mother having died when he was young, that makes Mantis his last living relative. He tells her that the discovery that he has a sister is the best Christmas gift he could have asked for, and the two embrace.