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Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Holiday Special Creates A GOTG 3 Arc Issue

ScreenRant logo ScreenRant 1/18/2023 Dhruv Sharma
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Mantis' revelation that she is Peter's sister brings some much-needed joy to Star-Lord's Christmas in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special but creates potential narrative challenges for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Unlike the chills and thrills that Michael Giacchino's Werewolf by Night brings to the table, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special harps on Christmas cheer by presenting a heartfelt story about overcoming grief and embracing the warmth of familial ties. While at it, it also uses Drax and Mantis' cracking dynamic and Kevin Bacon's charm to add a layer of comic relief to its festive storyline.

To bring a heartwarming ending to its Christmas action and drama, the streaming hit Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special features a warm moment between Mantis and Peter where she tells him they are siblings. For obvious reasons, this unforeseeable family tie literally saves Peter's Christmas and helps him find peace and happiness in his grief. At the same time, the revelation adds some heft to MCU's lore by hinting at Peter Quill's emotional state in Guardian of the Galaxy's final installment.

RELATED: GOTG Vol. 3 Will Struggle To Deliver On James Gunn's Biggest Promise

GOTG 3's Mantis Reveal Has No Easy Solution

Unfortunately, despite its implied narrative significance, Mantis' reveal in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special could spell trouble for GOTG 3. Even though Mantis and Quill's sibling relationship offers the perfect closure to the special's Christmas-centric storyline, it could come off as an immensely confusing and abrupt MCU development to those who do not watch the Special before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Moreover, since a significant number of viewers only follow MCU's cinema-release installments, it is likely that many will miss out on the Special's Mantis-Peter detail.

Since the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise has always been about the family-like dynamic between its leading superheroes, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 cannot simply gloss over such a crucial development in the relationship between its two primary characters. Not to mention, since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the final chapter of the GOTG franchise, the Mantis reveal cannot be addressed in a future installment. This leaves Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 with no choice but to re-explain the Holiday Special's MCU Mantis twist - but that, too, will come with its own set of problems.

Repeating The Mantis Reveal Is Best For GOTG 3 (But A Flawed Solution)

Considering Guardians of the Galaxy already has a lot of ground to cover in its final installment, it may not have enough time to subtly reinstate the Special's Mantis reveal. If Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 does reinstate Mantis and Peter's relationship without relevant build-up, it may be confusing as the Special was not promoted as a significant part of the GOTG franchise's overarching storyline. Owing to these narrative complications, Guardians 3 can't ignore the Holiday Special nor wholly re-establish the developments in Mantis and Peter's relationships. Hopefully, James Gunn will still find a way to pay off The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special's Mantis-Peter setup in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

MORE: Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 Is The Perfect Place To Explain MCU Mutants

Key Release Dates

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (False)
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  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
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  • The Marvels / Captain Marvel 2
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  • Captain America: New World Order
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  • Blade 2024
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  • Marvel's Thunderbolts
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  • Deadpool 3
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  • Marvel's Fantastic Four
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  • Avengers: The Kang Dynasty
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  • Avengers: Secret Wars
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