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James Gunn Hints At Gamora's Return In The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special

Marvel Studios premiered its first trailer for the "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" on October 25, in advance of its release directly to Disney+ exactly one month later. Based on this first preview footage, this "Guardians" special looks to be a purely fun side story about the Guardians working on a Christmas celebration for Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)'s amusement, rather than the sort of clash with a supervillain typical for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Nevertheless, small details in "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" trailer provide some insight into certain canonical developments for the Guardians team since their prior appearance in "Thor: Love and Thunder." For example, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) looks to be older than in "Love and Thunder," finally approaching adulthood for the first time since he was initially de-aged.

"The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" may bring back Yondu (Michael Rooker) as well, in spite of the character's death — though a flashback to a time a young Peter spent with Yondu in his childhood seems to be the most likely avenue for such an appearance. In addition to Yondu, a photo James Gunn posted to social media and its subsequent framing by the Marvel website suggest that none other than Gamora (Zoe Saldaña) will appear in the special too, in spite of her character's convoluted canonical status.

The Marvel website listed Zoe Saldaña as a cast member

On November 8, 2021, "Guardians" director James Gunn shared a photo to his Instagram account in which he's posing alongside the main "Guardians" cast, including Zoe Saldaña. Gunn wrote that this image was taken on the first day of shooting "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," in which Saldaña is already known to play a part. That said, on that same day, the Marvel website published a blog post about this image describing some of the cast members in the photo as returning for "Guardians 3." After listing Saldaña as one of these cast members, the post then claims that they're all a part of "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special."

This is hardly definitive evidence that Gamora will be back for the "Guardians" Christmas special, given that a writer for the Marvel website may simply have presumed the entire core "Guardians" cast's return without officially confirming each name individually. Nevertheless, this is a statement on the official Marvel website that includes Saldaña as a part of the special, even if the chance that it may be inaccurate is non-negligible.

After the events of "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Endgame," even if Gamora does appear in the "Guardians" Christmas special, it will presumably be her alternate universe incarnation unless she factors into a flashback herself. Just how her possible inclusion plays out may only be revealed upon the special's premiere on November 25.