Universal’s Fast and Furious saga be damned; Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is the franchise that’s really about family. They don’t even need a six pack of Corona! Through two named films and Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, the Guardians have proven that their bonds are stronger than blood. This continues in a big way in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. Not only is it all about bringing the joy of the yuletide season to deep space, it expands what we know about the franchise’s lead character. Yes, Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, has a big realization.

In order to discuss this, we’ll have to spoil the special. But it’s only 45 minutes; go watch on Disney+ and then come back!

Spoiler Alert

While most of this special is just good, silly fun, we do get a few revelations. One is that the Guardians now own Knowhere, having purchased it from the Collector. So they’re landlords now. The rent is too high, Peter! Another is that Cosmo the dog is now a member of the team, it seems. But the third and largest has to do with Peter’s blood relations.

Peter Quill looks around at Christmas decorations in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.
Marvel Studios

We know from Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 that Peter’s father was Ego the Living Planet, a real tool of a near-god who was an intergalactic f-boy. The Holiday Special lets us know Ego spilled his egoo closer to home than we thought. Mantis reveals she is also a spawn of Ego, making her Peter’s biological half-sister.

It’s this revelation that causes Mantis to try to give her brother a good and happy Earth Christmas. She and Drax go to Los Angeles, get drunk in bars, and kidnap Kevin Bacon as a present for Star-Lord. This is all in an effort to soften what Mantis thinks will be the unhappy news that she’s his sister. With Gamora gone and Yondu’s questionable parentage, maybe Kevin Bacon can make him happy.

Mantis and Drax walk down Hollywood Blvd in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Marvel Studios

The good news for everybody is that Peter is very happy to have Mantis as his blood family, not just a found one. The special ends with the two of them hugging it out. For Mantis, whom Ego always mistreated, having his offspring embrace her fully is a pretty great present too.

We can’t wait to see more of this family dynamic in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 next May.

Kyle Anderson is the Senior Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Instagram and Letterboxd.

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