Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket Raccoon
Image via Marvel Studios

How did Nebula get her hands on that mind-boggling Christmas present for Rocket in ‘The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special?’

Even the daring Nebula couldn't have managed to get the real thing. Or could she?

In terms of major surprises that could shape the Marvel multiverse, there is hardly anything new that The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special hides. But it does offer some unexpected twists and one out-of-the-blue moment that reminds us of the old Marvel that knew how to connect long-forgotten dots.

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My fellow Marvel fans will agree that the biggest OMG moment from the special is when Nebula gifts Rocket Bucky Barnes’ arm. As the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene doesn’t answer the question it raises, we are here to address the elephant in the room — how did Nebula manage to subdue Bucky enough to get his arm, the arm that only Wakandan warriors know how to disarm? And the even bigger query is why on Earth — or whatever planet they are on — did she gift it to Rocket?

But first, we would like to dispel the unlikely — though rather desirable — possibility that Nebula managed to steal the Winter Soldier’s arm from him just so she could gift it to Rocket.

Why Rocket’s gift for Christmas is Bucky Barnes’ arm and how did Nebula get it?

Rocket holding Winter Soldier's arm in Guardians of the Galaxy Special
Photo via Marvel Studios

It is actually a callback to the hilarious scene in Avengers: Infinity War, wherein all the Avengers, the Guardians — as well as Bucky and the Wakandan warriors — faced off against Thanos’ massive army. During the fight, Rocket is seen baiting the enemy to fight him, and as they rush him, Bucky picks him up with his bionic arm, whirling him around as the duo keeps shooting down Thanos’ minions.

After dispatching their lot, Rocket turns to Bucky, and inquires about the selling price of his gun. Bucky stiffly responds that it is not for sale, prompting the not-raccoon to question if his arm is up for grabs, only to get a look in return as the Winter Soldier leaves Rocket to his musings. Well, the latter is far from giving up on the thought, as he mutters how he will “get the arm.”

Bucky and Rocket in Avengers: Infinity War
Image via Marvel Studios

While it is easy to imagine the determined Rocket jumping on an unaware Bucky to wrestle the arm from him, it is hard to digest the fact that anyone — even the badass Nebula — could make the formerly- brainwashed Hydra henchman part with his bionic body part. 

What probably happened, given Rocket’s evident obsession with Bucky’s Winter Soldier arm, is that he probably raved a lot about it to his friends. Nebula, despite her zero-fs-given attitude, has come to see the Guardians as her family, especially since the OG Gamora died, and the alternate version hopped off on her own adventures. So, no matter how disgruntled the idea of celebrating Christmas is to her, she decided to give Rocket what he wants most — a replica of Bucky’s arm, because securing the original would be a suicide mission even she wouldn’t embark on. 

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is streaming on Disney Plus


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Apeksha Bagchi
Apeksha is a Freelance Editor and Writer at We Got This Covered. She's a passionate content creator with years of experience and can cover anything under the sun. She identifies as a loyal Marvel junkie (while secretly re-binging Vampire Diaries for the zillionth time) and when she's not breaking her back typing on her laptop for hours, you can likely find her curled up on the couch with a murder mystery and her cat dozing on her lap.