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Why Kingo's Appearance In The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special Actually Makes Sense

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

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of diverse and different characters, but ironically enough, few of them are so far removed from each other than the MCU's two big cosmic super-teams. The Guardians of the Galaxy are colorful, happily dysfunctional space cowboys who might communicate by snarking and barely keep things together, but ultimately form a tight family unit that consistently welcomes fellow outsiders in the fold. Meanwhile, the Eternals' nature as long-living protector types tends to make them appear either haughtily carefree or just plain haughty. Despite being even more cosmic in nature than the Guardians, they've been Earth-based for thousands of years, and remain so until the very end of "Eternals." It's hard to imagine the two groups hanging out together, unless the Guardians happen to be pulling a con on the Eternals.

While it may be difficult to imagine the squads together, it doesn't mean that their respective projects can't allude to each other. The newest Guardians vehicle, "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special," sends Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) on a laugh-a-minute quest in Los Angeles, as they try to kidnap Kevin Bacon in an attempt to cheer the bereft Star-Lord (Chris Pratt).

As is so often the case with James Gunn's works, "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" is full of references and easy-to-miss Easter eggs. One particular moment in "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" reveals that the Eternal Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) – who was abducted by the Celestial Arishem (voiced by David Kaye) in "Eternals" — is apparently still making films, and somehow has a Christmas movie coming out. Let's take a look at why this strange semi-cameo makes perfect sense.

Kingo's disappearance may have increased the public interest in his unreleased movies

There might be marked differences between the Eternals and the Guardians of the Galaxy, but it doesn't mean that they both can't embrace the spirit of the Holidays. However, while the Guardians' motive to figure out the whole "Christmas" thing is purely altruistic, the Eternals' own Bollywood star appears to approach the subject from a strict business standpoint. If you pay close attention after Drax and Mantis earn big bucks taking pictures with tourists and day turns into night, you'll notice a massive sign for a movie called "Kingo's Christmas." 

This doesn't necessarily mean that Nanjiani's complex, energy-shooting Eternal is back in the movie game. Since Kingo was among the abducted in "Eternals," and it's not exactly clear where in the continuity the Holiday special takes place, it's possible that he just happened to have a movie or six lined up for release before his disappearance. As to why a Bollywood-based star gets a prominent neon sign in the US — for a Christmas movie that's effectively riding on his name, no less — the disappearance could also explain that. After all, when a star of Kingo's caliber mysteriously vanishes, the global audiences are likely to notice, and may well form an orderly queue to catch his final movie(s).

Kingo has been name-dropped in the MCU before

Of course, there's always the exciting chance that Kingo has somehow managed to dodge Arishem's machinations and return to his movie star lifestyle. The "Kingo's Christmas" ad could even be a stealthy clue that the Guardians will bump into the Eternal during their adventures in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," though given Kingo's situation at the end of "Eternals," neither seems like a particularly likely scenario. 

Regardless of what Kingo's current MCU status turns out to be, it's clear that he remains a well-known name on Earth. His status as a bona fide movie star makes him one of the most visible superheroes in the MCU, even though the public is largely unaware of his true nature. As such, this is not the first time he's been referenced after "Eternals." Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) and Kamran (Rish Shah) briefly discuss the Bollywood star in "Ms. Marvel" Episode 2, while also referring to the existence of an older Kingo — an allusion to the Eternal's method of explaining away his longevity by pretending to be an entire family tree of actors who, it appears, use the same name.

In fact, Kingo's longevity in the movie business opens yet another possibility for the true nature of "Kingo's Christmas." It could be that the movie isn't a new one, but a classic that's making rounds every Holiday season, and some small movie theater is simply showing it to rake in those sweet nostalgia bucks. Still, no matter what the story behind the movie is — and whether we'll ever find out said story — "Kingo's Christmas" is a fun Easter egg that reminds the viewers that the MCU hasn't forgotten its least-loved (via Rotten Tomatoes) superhero family. 

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