The GOTG Holiday Special explains the fate of the forgotten MCU character

The GOTG Holiday Special explains the fate of the forgotten MCU character

It was a blast from the past in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Specialand we don’t just mean references to Kevin Bacon in Footless or teasing Henry Winkler joining Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the tough bunch of space travelers celebrated the snowy season, it was a big throwback to the MCU’s early days.

Although Gunn admits there had been various drafts to bring Guardians to the screen before he took the reins, he was given the honor in 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy. Yet their arrival was teased a full year earlier Thor: The Dark World. While the team’s current iteration is set to bow out Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3it Holiday special gave some nods to what’s going to happen in the upcoming threequel.

Although Benicio del Toro’s Collector does not physically appear in Holiday special, we get a glimpse of what Taneleer Tivan has been up to. Early in the special presentation, Karen Gillan’s Nebula says, “Ever since we bought Knowhere from The Collector, we don’t have time for trivialities like Christmas.”

For those who need a refresher, Knowhere is the severed head of a Celestial that became home to the mining operations of the Tivan Group. More than this, it is remembered for housing the Collector’s “collection” which contained some of the rarest objects – and people – from across the cosmos.

Appears in the middle of the credits scene of The dark world, Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) handed over the Reality Stone (in the form of Aether) to The Collector for safekeeping. It’s easy to forget, but since The Collector had his own quest for all the Infinity Stones, he was something of a precursor to Thanos (Josh Brolin), who has sadly faded into the background of the MCU.

benicio del toro as the collector, guardians of the galaxy

Marvel Studios

We know he was less successful than the Mad Titan, and after his base of operations was wiped out by the power stone, a defeated Collector was last seen with a bandage on his head, sharing a drink with former exhibits Howard the Duck and Cosmo the Spacedog.

It’s true that we’ve seen more of Benicio del Toro in the MCU, as an illusion version of The Collector appeared in Avengers: Infinity War. Here, Thanos lured the Guardians of the Galaxy because he knew they would come looking for the Aether.

Although it appeared that The Collector was thrown into one of his own cages and Thanos was killed by Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), this was only an illusion caused by the Reality Stone. As it faded away, Knowhere was revealed to be in flames and The Collector was nowhere to be seen, making it clear that Thanos had attacked the place. No sign of Tivan since Infinite Warsome assumed he had been killed off-screen.

Now that we know the Guardians have bought Knowhere from The Collector and turned it into their new base of operations, there’s a small (but important) confirmation that Tivan is out there somewhere.

benicio del toro as the collector in guardians of the galaxy

Marvel Studios

Whether or not we get to see more of del Toro remains to be seen, but the events of it Holiday special at least set him up for a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The Collector has some crucial ties to the wider MCU, and as one of the oldest in the comic book universe, he’s also the brother of Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster.

With an equally fleeting appearance for Benicio del Toro, Goldblum had a minor role in Thor: Ragnarok and had his share cut off Thor: Love and Thunder. We know the MCU is building out its teams in an Avengers-free area, and along with the Illuminati, Young Avengers, and Thunderbolts, an Elders of the Universe team would be a formidable cabal of villains as the franchise reaches for the stars.

Remember SO big Holiday special reveal about Mantisit’s also convenient that Ego the Living Planet was a member of the Elders in the comics.

As for Benicio del Toro returning alongside Goldblum Volume 3 or one of the many other space projects, the pieces come together like a game of galactic chess. The Collector has only ever been out for himself, so we imagine it’s a blow to his pride that he’s sold Knowhere to the Guardians.

the collector and ether, the reality stone, in the dark world


It is unclear whether Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock is a full-fledged large bathroom in Volume 3, then imagine the scene where the Collector, the Grandmaster and others like Father Time or The Stranger take on our heroes. If not, confirming that the Collector is still collecting somewhere sets up his potential return in the ever-expanding MCU.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 and Volume 2, plus The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, are all available to watch now Disney+thereafter Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 arriving on May 5, 2023.

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