James Gunn Explained How Nebula Got Rocket's Gift In The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special But Is He For Real?

Rocket Raccoon in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney+
(Image credit: Disney+)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. Read at your own risk!

Marvel fans have questions following the release of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, and thus far, James Gunn hasn’t been shy about giving answers. The director already revealed the things from the special that he included to avoid spending time explaining them in GOTG Vol. 3, and he even dropped the tracklist for all the songs that are featured. He also allegedly explained how Nebula got her hands on Bucky’s arm to gift to Rocket Raccoon, but I’m seriously questioning if he’s for real on that one. 

James Gunn was happy to explain the plot point to an inquiring fan on Twitter, though I’m unsure if he’s serious or not. Check out what Gunn had to say below when a fan asked how Nebula got Bucky’s arm: 

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Well, that feels like a very brief explanation that definitely warrants many follow-up questions. If Nebula really did that to Bucky, then I’d reckon she’d have major beef with The Avengers the next time the Guardians link up. Obviously, it feels a little hard to believe that’s actually what happened. It seems even more suspicious after Gunn replied to a since-deleted tweet criticizing the decision, and referred to Nebula viewing Bucky as “wet crepe paper”: 

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It seems like James Gunn is trolling just a bit, which he’s done from time to time on Twitter. At the same time, he’s stating that Nebula ripping Bucky’s arm off is canon, and I’m skeptical that’s actually the case. It’s rare that the MCU makes any decision that impacts another franchise without developing a plan first on how to explain it, and taking Bucky’s arm feels like a big decision. Is it possible Gunn just doesn’t really care about making the moment jive with what's canon now that he’s done filming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and is working over at DC

I would speculate that isn’t the case, and that there is a real plan to explain how Nebula managed to get ahold of Bucky’s arm. I would also wager that James Gunn knows, or at least has some idea of which upcoming Marvel movie might answer that question. However, due to Marvel’s NDAs and secrecy, they can’t just reveal that answer.

If that’s the case, James Gunn has a couple of options on how to respond when asked about this. The first one is that he could dodge the question and be plagued by constant inquiries about it until it’s finally answered in another MCU project. 

Another option is he could just assert that one answer is true, even if it’s a lie, and fans will either accept that response or understand they aren’t going to get an actual answer from him. I’d be inclined to believe the second option is what’s going on here, but honestly, I have no clue. Perhaps in 2023, we’ll see a scene of Nebula ripping Bucky’s arm off of him and flying off, as strange as that may sound. 

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is currently available to stream with a Disney+ subscription. It’s a must-watch for any Marvel fan looking to get into the holiday spirit, as is Hawkeye if anyone is on the fence about re-watching it as December nears. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.