Kevin Bacon stars as… “legendary hero” Kevin Bacon in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special – but why is he in it? Well, it’s been a 12-year journey – let us explain.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has finally dropped on Disney+ today, marking James Gunn’s long-awaited return to the MCU and a much-needed reunion with our favorite space bandits. You can check out our review here.
Coming after the dark, gory Werewolf by Night, this special presentation follows Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) as they try to give Peter (Chris Pratt), aka Star-Lord, the perfect Christmas.
That journey involves a major Hollywood star: Kevin Bacon, so let’s explain what he’s doing with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and how he joined the MCU in the first place.
Mantis and Drax want to give Peter the perfect gift: Kevin Bacon, the hero in so many of Peter’s stories, whether he’s saving a town with dancing or defeating a murderer at a summer camp… even though he’s killed with an arrow through the neck in Friday the 13th.
They fly to Earth, visit Hollywood, get drunk, and eventually wind up at Bacon’s home. He asks them to leave, but they break in and eventually manage to abduct him with some persuading – in other words, Mantis uses her powers to make him feel happy about going to Knowhere.
When they show Peter his present, he’s panicked by the fact they kidnapped Kevin Bcon, so he asks Mantis to remove all of the delusions from his head. Naturally, Kev freaks out and tries to run away. However, before flying home, Kraglin (Sean Gunn) explains to Bacon that the only reason they brought him here was to give Peter a great Christmas, as he’s been so sad without Gamora.
Bacon decides to stay and perform a catchy Christmas song, Here It Is Christmastime, and pledges to see the Guardians again for Easter.
Peter talks about Kevin Bacon in the first Guardians of the Galaxy when he’s explaining his Awesome Mix and Walkman to Gamora.
“Well, on my planet, there’s a legend about people like you. It’s called Footloose. And in it, a great hero, named Kevin Bacon, teaches an entire city full of people with sticks up their butts that dancing, well, is the greatest thing there is,” he says.
However, this isn’t a random reference: Bacon worked with Gunn on 2010’s Super. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said: “I knew it was going to be a cool movie because James was involved, but I had no idea that I was name-dropped in it. So, that was a real shock.
“I would say it’s almost like an out-of-body experience. It’s one thing if somebody uses your name in a comedy or drama, but this is a whole other universe – literally a planet where these people were talking about me.”
So, when Gunn asked him to take part in the Holiday Special, he said yes straight away. “I like to make fun of myself or play some heightened version of me,” he explained.
“I don’t get a chance to do things that are fun and silly that often. I’m often part of something more dramatic or some kind of darker, edgier stuff.
“So to go down and step into this world… I mean, they call it the Marvel Universe, but when you walk onto these sets, you really do feel like you’re walking in another universe.”
Amazingly, he’s only ever met the cast when they’ve been wearing the makeup and costumes of their characters. “I still, to this day, have never spent time with them in their own clothes. So, it’s kind of a funny thing to step into and have everybody call you Kevin Bacon all day long,” Bacon added.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is available to stream now. You can sign up for Disney+ here.