A throwaway line in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has revealed the fate of a minor MCU character.
The special, released on Disney Plus on Friday 25 November, is set after the events of Thor: Love and Thunder and sees Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel reprise their roles from Guardians of the Galaxy.
James Gunn, who directed the first two films in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, as well as the forthcoming Vol 3, returned to direct the festive-themed special.
Minor spoilers follow for the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special...
The line in question concerns Taneleer Tivan, the unscrupulous alien being otherwise known as the Collector, who lives on the severed Celestial head known as Knowhere.
The Collector featured briefly in the end credits scene of 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, portrayed by Benicio del Toro.
Del Toro would reprise the role in a more sizable capacity in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and, later, in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.
In Infinity War, the characters visit the Collector’s base on Knowhere, and the Collector was seen being trapped in one of his own cages.
However, this was revealed to be an illusion created by Thanos (Josh Brolin), leaving the fate of del Toro’s character unknown... until now.
While the character does not actually make an appearance in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, his post-Avengers fate is alluded to in a line spoken by Nebula (Karen Gillan).
“Ever since buying Knowhere from The Collector, we don’t have time for trivialities like Christmas,” she notes.
It is possible that this plot point will be further explored in the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 3, due to hit cinemas next year.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is available to stream now on Disney Plus.