Why Kevin Bacon Is in ‘The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special’, Explained


Kevin Bacon meets Dave Bautista

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special premieres on Disney Plus on November 25, 2022. It will see the return of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) Guardians of the Galaxy and will also introduce Kevin Bacon. The upcoming holiday special marks the second installment in Marvel Studios’ Special Presentations, as they reinvent the classic holiday TV specials of the 60s and 70s, such as It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

However, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has another unique task of serving as a prelude to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is set to premiere on May 5, 2023. Not only that, but director James Gunn has also teased it as the epilogue of Marvel’s Phase 4 which ended on November 11, 2022, with the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Despite the weight it carries for the productions before and after it, the premise of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is very light and festive. The special will see the Guardians take to Earth to find a present for Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), who is still reeling from the loss of Gamora (Zoe Saldaña).

The biggest question that viewers might have about this holiday special, which is confirmed to be canon, is why Bacon is in it and, furthermore, why he’s playing himself in the special. Here’s why Bacon is appearing as himself in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

Bacon’s The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special role, explained

The thing is, even before The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special announced Bacon’s role, he was already confirmed to exist in the MCU. Bacon was mentioned in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film in 2014 when it was revealed that the American actor is one of Star-Lord’s heroes. Star-Lord, when speaking to Gamora, stated:

Well, on my planet, we have a legend about people like you. It’s called Footloose. And in it, a great hero, named Kevin Bacon, teaches an entire city full of people with sticks up their butts that, dancing, well, is the greatest thing there is.

Later on, Gamora embraces Star-Lord’s Bacon metaphors and states, “We’re just like Kevin Bacon.” Ahead of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Bacon admitted that he didn’t know he was name-dropped in the film until he saw it in theaters and had an “out-of-body experience” before immediately calling his wife to tell her about his appearance. Given his inclusion in Guardians of the Galaxy and his prior work with Gunn on the film, Super, Bacon didn’t hesitate to agree to appear in the holiday special.

His role makes quite a bit of sense, as he ends up being the “perfect present” that the Guardians want to kidnap and give to Quill. Meanwhile, Bacon will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Megan Thee Stallion and David Hasselhoff, by appearing as himself in the MCU. As for why Gunn specifically chose to pursue the Bacon storyline, it may be because of his inspiration, the infamous 1970s Star Wars Holiday Special. The special received scathing reviews because it was utterly bizarre and wild. However, Gunn saw merit in it and used it as inspiration for his holiday special. What better way to pay tribute to the strangeness of The Stars Wars Holiday Special than with a strange and wild tale of his own about a Guardians of the Galaxy and Bacon crossover?

(featured image: Disney)

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