March 29, 2012 at 02:49 PM EDT

Alec Baldwin as Nicholas St. North

This version of Santa is a former Russian Cossack who is described by Joyce as “the bravest man in the world.”

Voiced by 30 Rock‘s Alec Baldwin, this Santa “was as wild as they come as a youth, and along the way his warrior heart was turned to good. He decided to put all that prowess and energy and courage into protecting the innocent.”

While Santa is the nominal leader of the Guardians (since he is the one who enjoys the most belief from around the world), the actual chief of the Guardians is The Man in the Moon — an ancient, benevolent being whose massive starship, which we see orbiting our planet, was disabled in orbit around the Earth when he was just a child.

Pitch, the villain of the series, crash-landed on Earth after attacking the Man in the Moon’s family and crew, destroying the ship’s ability to fly through the galaxy.

Stuck alone up there (aside from his many moonbots), The Man in the Moon keeps watch over our planet, and helps recruit and direct the Guardians.

“He’s a godfatherly guiding figure,” Joyce says. “I thought, ‘Who’s the oldest one?’ It would have to be The Man in the Moon since the moon’s been around forever. But he’s also distant, so he guides them from afar.”

He’s kind of like Bosley from Charlie’s Angels.

“It’s funny how that keeps coming up,” Joyce laughs. “People are saying he’s like Bosley, but that’s exactly the way I thought of him.”

Joyce’s take on Santa was influenced by Sean Connery — and the Scottish actor’s most famous character. “In my mind, he was always bigger than life, and had an element of James Bond to him,” Joyce says. “He can do amazing stuff, and he has all sorts of cool gadgets. There’s no way you can be Santa and not have extraordinary technology at your disposal.”


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