Karen Gillan returns as the stoic cyborg in a Marvel Christmas Special from James Gunn as Nebula and the Guardians learn the true meaning of Christmas

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is out now on Disney+, incidentally the future international home of Doctor Who. And among the interstellar ne’er-do-wells along for the ride is Karen Gillan’s Nebula. Gillan is an old hand at the Christmas Special tradition, of course, having featured in two Doctor Who specials with Matt Smith’s Doctor. But the 44 minute Guardians special is new territory for Marvel. Though they certainly seem to be giving even the most Christmassy of Doctor Who specials a run for their money. And just in time for Karen Gillan’s real life birthday today!

The special episode sees the Guardians crew worried for one of their own, Quill. Remembering what he’d previously told them about his childhood growing up on planet Earth, the spacefaring misfits set out to put on the Best Christmas Ever, right there in outer space. But first they’re going to need to find some very special help here on Earth…

 

Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) celebrate Christmas in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (c) Marvel Studios
Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) celebrate Christmas in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (c) Marvel Studios

Gillan has become a Marvel regular as Nebula, appearing in Guardians, Avengers, and Thor films

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is Gillan’s sixth appearance in the role of the reluctant cyborg assassin. Nebula originally entered the MCU as a villain in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but became an uneasy ally in the sequel, a member of the Avengers battling Thanos in the Infinity War and Endgame duology, and most recently fought alongside the Guardians once more in Thor: Love and Thunder. She’s also gone on a more complex journey than your average superhero character. The cruelty of her childhood has shaped her, first in her desire to please her adopted father Thanos, and then in her desire to destroy him. But thanks to the influence of her sister Gamora and Tony Stark, she’s slowly learned to accept herself and therefore other people.

But is she ready to embrace the Christmas spirit?

 

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (c) Marvel Studios
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (c) Marvel Studios

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

On a mission to make Christmas unforgettable for Quill, the Guardians head to Earth in search of the perfect present

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is available now on Disney+

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