Remember when Groot sacrificed himself at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy to save the rest of his heroic friends as their spaceship plummeted to the ground?
Groot’s sacrifice resulted in, what many of us assumed, was his own rebirth. He became an infant version of his previous self, losing all memory of who he was in the process, though we were left to believe that he made it out alive.
Apparently most of us felt wrong. I hate that we need to talk about this, but here we are, in the year 2018, having a heartbreaking discussion over whether Baby Groot is the same Groot that we first met.
“First Groot is dead,” director James Gunn tweeted. “Baby Groot is his son.”
Wait ... what? So he wasn’t reborn? This led to far more important questions like was this planned all along? Or was Gunn participating in the trend made famous by J.K. Rowling in announcing certain details seemingly out of the blue that forever change the course of the franchise?
“It’s canon AF (and it’s in the movies),” Gunn confirmed in a follow-up tweet.
Gunn provided some examples for the most confused fans (see: me), pointing to one important scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 where Baby Groot is instructed to push a specific button. The entire area they’re fighting in will blow up if he selects the wrong button, and Gunn says this is just further proof that Baby Groot isn’t the original tree character.
“He doesn’t have adult Groot’s memories for one,” Gunn said. “Adult Groot would know what button to push! Ugh. Because Rocket says ‘push this button’ many times. Adult Groot would only need to be told once. Maybe twice.”
Well, there you have it. Groot is a dad. Or a mom. Groot is a parent, and now his son is being raised by a group of ragtag misfits aboard a ship getting ready to take on their biggest enemy yet: Thanos.
First Groot is dead. Baby Groot is his son.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 27, 2018
Adolescent Groot, the second evolution of Groot’s new lifecycle, will appear alongside the other Guardians in Avengers: Infinity War on May 4.