BURBANK, CA–Amid the laughs and fun festivities, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special quietly reintroduced a long-forgotten Marvel villain back into the MCU. The mutant terrorist Sebastian Shaw, last seen in X-Men: First Class (2011), played a major role in the special episode and is expected to return for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
The Holiday Special‘s plot focused on Drax and Mantis kidnapping Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon as a Christmas gift for Star-Lord. However, what they fail to realize is that the person they believe to be Bacon is actually the villainous Shaw, no doubt posing as an innocent actor as part of a sinister scheme!
Though not explicitly stated in the show, the character’s identity as Shaw is confirmed by a few subtle details. For example, it makes sense that Shaw would reside in Hollywood, since he actually does have acting experience from prior to his supervillain career. Most notably, he portrayed an unmasked Darth Vader in the original theatrical version of Return of the Jedi.
Furthermore, we know that the character can’t actually be Kevin Bacon, because Drax and Mantis manage to kidnap him from his home quite easily, whereas all Kevins at Christmastime are actually quite adept at fending off home invaders.
Shaw’s presence in the Holiday Special has major implications for the franchise and the larger Marvel universe. We can expect to see him return as the main antagonist of Vol. 3, where he’ll reveal his true identity and unveil his full evil plan to dominate the galaxy. This also seems to foreshadow an X-Men crossover and their long-awaited introduction to the MCU! Maybe we’ll even get to see a romance between Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde (it’s comic book canon, people!).
Still, we won’t rule out the possibility of seeing the actual Kevin Bacon appear in the movie too. After all, as science definitively tells us, everyone is connected to him by no fewer than six degrees–even in the furthest reaches of the galaxy!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 premieres in May 2023.