WARNING: ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
The screenwriter and director of Guardians of the Galaxy: James Gunn Christmas Special offered a small but hilarious detail on exactly how Nebula (Karen Gillan) got Rocket (Bradley Cooper) the gift she wanted for Christmas. In the 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War, Rocket tried to buy Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier’s (Sebastian Stan) vibranium arm, obviously to no avail, though he swore he’d get it eventually. In the musical finale of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Rocket does indeed get the arm, as a gift from Nebula.
On Twitter, James Gunn not only confirmed that Rocket did indeed receive Bucky’s real arm, but revealed exactly how Nebula got it. While responding to a fan that he was angry at the implication that Nebula could get the better of Bucky — describing the prospect as an example of “forced inclusion” — the director retorted: “I’m not sure how a cyborg with advanced alien technology ripping the arm off a human in excess of holiday cheer is forced inclusion, but it’s canon now, sorry.”
The cast of Thunderbolts
In other words, it looks like Bucky is in the market for another new metal arm heading to the upcoming Thunderbolts movie, which is slated to premiere on July 26, 2024 as part of Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film will see Winter Soldier join forces with Yelena Belova/Black Widow (Florence Pugh), Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian (David Harbour), Ava Starr/Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), John Walker/US Agent (Wyatt Russell), Antonia Dreykov/Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko) and Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus).
Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special serves to close out Phase Four of the MCU. The Disney+ special centers on Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) as they travel to Earth in search of the legendary Kevin Bacon (Kevin Bacon), hoping to get the actor as a Christmas present to Peter Quill/Star-Lord ( Chris Pratt). MCU fans will see the Guardians again in the Phase Five film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which hits theaters on May 5, 2023.
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special by Marvel Studios is currently streaming on Disney+.