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The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special just made MCU canon a whole lot weirder

James Gunn has answers for all kinds of fan questions

Rocket Raccoon holding The Winter Soldier’s arm in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Image: Disney
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

The Guardians of the Galaxy have taken to Disney Plus for a Christmas celebration in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, and unsurprisingly it’s full of Easter eggs and references. Of course, the whole gang gets in on the fun, and even make their way to Earth, but perhaps the most surprising thing about the special is what it adds to the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon.

And in case you weren’t convinced that this story really is MCU-official, director James Gunn took to Twitter to confirm the accuracy of some of the special’s more outlandish jokes. So here’s a look at some of the things Gunn’s added to the superhero universe, and a few longstanding theories he’s confirmed (again):

[Ed. note: This story contains spoilers for the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.]

Nebula really did steal Bucky’s arm

Nothing is better than an especially thoughtful gift around the holidays, especially one you never thought you’d get, and in the Holiday Special, Nebula shows she knows that more than anyone by gifting Rocket the detached arm of The Winter Soldier. Of course, more than a few fans were curious about whether Bucky parted with it willingly or not, and Gunn is here to confirm that it may have been a bit of a fight, but that the spirit of goodwill, kindness, and Christmas won in the end — more or less.

Baby Groot isn’t the same Groot as original Groot

Gunn has been tweeting about this one since 2018, but it’s even more evident in this special than it has been in the past: Baby Groot is a different Groot than the original Groot. In Gunn’s own description this Groot is the progeny of the original and as their bodies start developing differently that’s getting more and more clear.

Guardians of the Galaxy’s Holiday Special Groot is 100% CGI

Gunn’s been inundated with Twitter questions about just how much of Groot is practical this time around, and it turns out it’s exactly 0%.

According to the director, Groot’s all digital, and he considers any questions about practically to be a great compliment to the team of visual artists who worked on the project.

GoBots are MCU canon now

GoBots, the pre-Transformers transforming toys, are now officially a thing in the MCU. This isn’t really important, doesn’t change anything (for now) and probably doesn’t matter (also for now). But there you go. Thanks, James Gunn.

Of course, longtime MCU and Guardians of the Galaxy fans are already pretty familiar with Gunn’s vocal Twitter presence and his enjoyable habit of answering tons of fan questions on the platform.

But this round of canon-confirmations seems particularly funny considering that Gunn is now playing for Marvel’s rival team by heading up the DC Universe for Warner Bros. This gives each and every one of Gunn’s tweets an extra layer of fun considering he won’t have to deal with most of their consequences after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, his final planned MCU movie at the moment, is released on May 5, 2023.