Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special Crew Gift Confirms Cosmo The Spacedog, Young Adult Groot

Over the past few years, Peter Quill and the crew of the Benatar have been busy avenging. When we last saw Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Groot (Vin Diesel), they were aiding Earth's Mightiest Heroes in their fight against Thanos in "Avengers: Endgame." When we next see them, they'll be alongside the God of Thunder this summer in "Thor: Love and Thunder." But by the end of this year, the team will make their triumphant return to guarding the galaxy in their own adventure: "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special," premiering on Disney+ this holiday season. And it looks like they'll be joined by a very good boy.

After a stint in the DC Extended Universe with "The Suicide Squad" and "Peacemaker," fan favorite filmmaker James Gunn returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to shoot "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3" back-to-back with the forthcoming holiday special. While there's still another week to go on the production for the Guardians' next big screen adventure, the writer/director revealed that they've already wrapped on the team's yuletide small screen outing. Gunn marked the occasion on Twitter by sharing the wrap gifts from the producers: A gorgeous set of ornaments featuring the beloved characters of the franchise decked out in Christmas gear.

Breaking up the collection

The first interesting thing to note here is who is included on the ornaments since presumably they would all be appearing in the holiday special. Based on the ending of "Endgame," it's unsurprising that Gamora isn't present. However, it looks like new Ravagers captain Kraglin (played by Sean Gunn) and Cosmo the Space Dog have stepped in to fill the void left by Zoe Saldana's character. This marks the first appearance of Cosmo in the MCU since his cameo on Knowhere as part of The Collector's collection in "Guardians of the Galaxy." 

While little is currently known about the live-action version of the character, Cosmo's comic book counterpart is a former Soviet Space Program test animal that was launched into space in the 1960s that was mutated by cosmic rays and given psionic powers. Based on Gunn's track record for bringing obscure comic book characters to life onscreen with their origins mostly intact, I'd imagine that we'll learn all this about the MCU Cosmo later this year. If you look closely at his ornament, it looks like Cosmo dressed up for the holidays along with the rest of the team, sporting a new spacesuit along with a Rudolph nose and antlers. Maybe this handsome doggo will have to guide the Milano through turbulent times like the most famous reindeer of all.

Beyond Cosmo's incredible cuteness, it's also worth noting Groot's appearance. Other than being wrapped in festive lights, the Guardians' resident houseplant and muscle apparently does some growing up between "Thor: Love and Thunder" and "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special." Whether he joined the Asgardian Avenger in a few work outs or just took a page or two from his voice actor Vin Diesel's book about getting swole, Groot is clearly progressing past adolescence and into young adulthood. It will definitely be fun to see what new powers and abilities come with this stage in Groot's life cycle. Plus, we'll have to see how he's blossomed out of his moody, angsty phase. 

Currently, there's no official release date for "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special." Although, based on the initial announcement of the project, we should expect it to premiere on Disney+ at some point this holiday season.