When is the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special set in the MCU?

Chris Pratt, Drax and James Gunn on the set of the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday SpecialDisney+

Marvel has brought glad tidings early with the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special – but when is it set in the MCU, and where does it fit in the timeline?

James Gunn made his MCU debut in 2014 with Guardians of the Galaxy, the first volume in a three-part trilogy, with the final movie set to hit cinemas next year. Yes, we’re saying goodbye to the Guardians team (or some of them, anyway).

The first movie arrived in Phase Two of the MCU, sandwiched between Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man.

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With Black Panther: Wakanda Forever bringing Phase Four to a close on the big screen, when is the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special set in the MCU timeline?

Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special MCU timeline explained

According to James Gunn, the Holiday Special comes between Thor: Love & Thunder and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, with new stories and characters connected to the Guardians universe.”

“Although the Holiday Special is a standalone story, it contains a lot of fun new facts about what the Guardians have been up to for all these years,” he also tweeted.

In Love & Thunder, we caught up with Thor after he joined the Guardians of the Galaxy in Avengers: Endgame.

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He’s an invaluable weapon for the team, both in terms of him being nearly invincible, and how much damage he causes when trying to save the day, including reducing a sacred palace to rubble. He eventually parts ways with the Guardians to continue his own story, and they set off on their merry way.

What about the Holiday Special with regards to Black Panther 2? Well, according to producer Nate Moore, Wakanda Forever takes place during Thor: Love & Thunder and before, if not almost concurrent with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

So, chronologically, the Guardians of the Galaxy are the last characters we see in Phase Four.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is available on Disney+ on November 25. You can read our review here, and sign up for Disney+ here.