There was a blast from the past in James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Specialand we’re not just talking about references to Kevin Bacon in Free from all ties or teases Henry Winkler joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the ragtag gang of space thieves celebrated the snowy season, there was a major throwback to the early days of the MCU.
Although Gunn admits there were several drafts to bring Guardians to the big screen before taking the reins, he earned the honor in 2014. guardians of the galaxy. Yet their arrival was teased a whole year earlier in Thor: The Dark World. As the current iteration of the team is about to retire Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3the Holiday special gave some nods to what’s to come in the upcoming threequel.
Although the Collector of Benicio del Toro does not appear physically in the Holiday special, we get a throwaway line on what Taneleer Tivan did. At the start of the special, Karen Gillan’s Nebula says, “Since we bought Knowhere from The Collector, we don’t have time for trivia like Christmas.”
For those in need of a refresher, Knowhere is the severed head of a Celestial that has become home to the mining operations of the Tivan Group. More than that, it’s known for housing the collector’s “collection” which contained some of the rarest artifacts – and people – in the entire cosmos.
Appearing in the mid-credits scene of The dark world, Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) delivered the Reality Stone (in the form of the Ether) to the Collector for safekeeping. It’s easy to forget, but with The Collector having his own quest for all the Infinity Stones, he was something of a precursor to Thanos (Josh Brolin), who unfortunately faded into the background of the MCU.
We know he was less successful than the Mad Titan, and after having his base of operations wiped out by the Power Stone, a defeated Collector was last seen with a bandage on his head sharing a drink with former Howard the Duck and Cosmo the Spacedog exhibits.
It’s true that we saw Benicio del Toro more in the MCU, like an illusion version of The Collector appears in Avengers: Infinity War. Here, Thanos baited the Guardians of the Galaxy because he knew they would come for the Aether.
Although it looks like the Collector was thrown into one of his own cages and Thanos was killed by Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), it was just an illusion created using the Reality Stone. . As he disappeared, it was revealed that Knowhere was on fire and The Collector was nowhere to be found, making it clear that Thanos had attacked the place. With no sign of Tivan since. Infinity Warsome speculated he was killed off-screen.
Now that we know the Guardians bought Knowhere from The Collector and turned it into their new base of operations, it’s a small (but important) confirmation that Tivan is somewhere.
Whether we’ll see more of del Toro or not remains to be seen, but the events of the Holiday special at least prepare him for a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The Collector has crucial ties to the wider MCU, and as one of the Universe’s Elders in the comics, he’s also the brother of Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster.
Having an equally fleeting appearance in Benicio del Toro, Goldblum had a minor role in Thor: Ragnarok and had his share Cup of Thor: Love and Thunder. We know the MCU is building its teams in a space without Avengers, and alongside the Illuminati, Young Avengers, and Thunderbolts, a team of Elders of the Universe would be a formidable cabal of villains as the franchise reaches for the stars.
Remember THIS fat Holiday special reveal on Mantisit’s also convenient that Ego the Living Planet is a member of the Elders in the comics.
As for Benicio del Toro’s return alongside Goldblum in Volume 3 or one of many other space projects, the pieces fit together like a galactic chess set. The Collector was only ever for himself, so we imagine it’s a blow to his pride that he sold Knowhere to the Guardians.
It is not clear if Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock is a big bad in his own right Flight. 3, so imagine the scene where the Collector, the Grandmaster and others like Father Time or The Stranger confront our heroes. Otherwise, confirming that The Collector is still collecting somewhere establishes his potential return to the ever-expanding MCU.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 and Volume 2, as good as The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, are all available to watch now on Disney+then Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 arrives May 5, 2023.