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Did We Already Know The Star-Lord Family Secret Revealed In The Guardians Holiday Special?

Contains spoilers for "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special"

Many great Holiday specials are ultimately about family, and as it happens, so is the most gleefully dysfunctional superhero team in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As such, James Gunn's "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" tells a story that might very well become required seasonal viewing for fans of the MCU and Holidays alike.

Make no mistake, there's a lot going on in the 44-minute Disney+ TV film, even by Holiday special standards. There are multiple animated flashbacks and musical sequences, a chase scene, fun looks at the interpersonal chemistry of various Guardians old and new, and a whole bunch of Kevin Bacon. However, the special's heart is no doubt Mantis (Pom Klementieff). As it turns out, she's one of Ego's (Kurt Russell) children, which makes her Peter Quill's (Chris Pratt) sister. She's been keeping their familial relation a secret because she doesn't want to remind Quill of their villainous father, but when she sees how tormented he is over the loss of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), she and Drax (Dave Bautista) embark on a mission to give Quill a Christmas to remember.

Star-Lord ultimately finds out that she has a sister, and is much more delighted about the fact than Mantis initially feared. The heartwarming revelation that two of the Guardians are quite literally family is a fitting theme for Holiday programming, but is it really such a surprise to the viewers? Did we already know Star-Lord's hidden family secret before "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special?"

A deleted Instagram post revealed telling things about Mantis' family

The internet has a habit of keeping careful track of every revealed secret, which is why the MCU actors have to be very, very careful about accidental spoilers. As it happens, a screengrab of a very interesting deleted Instagram post from actor Jennifer Sharp is still available for viewing on Reddit. In this 2017 post, the actor revealed that she played Mantis' mother in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," and confirmed that she appeared in a deleted scene with Ego.

"It was an honor to work with Kurt Russell for a short flashback scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, as Mantis' Mom (even though the scene was cut)," she wrote. "Definitely one of the most interesting days on set I've ever had. Thought I'd share since the movie is finally out."

Though the post didn't explicitly state that Mantis' mother and Ego had a child together, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" makes extremely clear that Ego's modus operandi of procreation on as many planets as possible doesn't exactly feature platonic social calls. As such, the post essentially confirms that Mantis and Star-Lord share a father in at least one version of the "Guardians" sequel, even if the scene that revealed this ended up on the cutting room floor.

It's unclear just why this revelation was left out of the finished movie — after all, it would explain a great deal about Mantis' presence on Ego's planet-self, and the familial relation would also go a long way toward explaining why her empathy powers work on a being as powerful as Ego. If James Gunn was playing the long game and decided to save this surprise for the Christmas special, it's pretty easy to understand. After all, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" is already juggling multiple storylines without bringing the whole brother-sister thing in the mix ... and Mantis' revelation works extremely well in the Holiday special context.

"The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" is available for streaming on Disney+.