Replying to a confused fan on Twitter who was puzzled by the film’s place in the MCU timeline, writer/director James Gunn clarified, “Guardians [of the Galaxy] Holiday Special is the epilogue of Phase 4” (via James Gunn on Twitter).
In a way, this would seem to mirror the function that Spider-Man: Far From Home fills, which ended Phase 3 after 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. Interestingly, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige reportedly thought Spider-Man: Far From Home was the perfect film for the role. last movie in phase 3after the death of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).
However, it doesn’t look like similar intentions were at work with Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special, as Gunn appeared to be completely unaware of where his upcoming Guardians films would go. . When asked in response to his tweet if the MCU phases helped him as a creator, Gunn confessed“I did not know [Guardians of the Galaxy] Volume 3 was Phase 5 prior to the Comicon presentation. [sic].”
However, Gunn is still excited about the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, promising fans a lot of fun. In another exchange Gann confirmed that the special would be canon, and said it was a must-see before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. writing“There’s a lot of important information in there.” We last saw the Guardians break up with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in the recent Thor: Love and Thunder, so it will be interesting to see what they turn out to be next.