James Gunn Reveals That Adult Groot Actually Died in the First Guardians of the Galaxy Movie

There are certain things that make a person feel safe: Indiana Jones’s signature hat returns to him every time he loses it. Xena will always make that weird yodeling battle cry before she kicks people’s butts. Every ship that Starfleet hands to Jim Kirk must be named Enterprise. Groot grows back.

Except he doesn’t? Oh wow, this is going to take a while to recover from.

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn quietly dropped a bomb on Twitter that left fans reeling:

Well I can see how…HANG ON A SECOND.

Fans were reticent to believe this shocking twist, but Gunn was insistent:

Okay, maybe you aren’t surprised by this revelation. (My spouse apparently already assumed this, and WE ARE NEVER SPEAKING AGAIN, sorry honey, that’s not true, love you–) It seems that some viewers got that Groot basically had a kid, while others made the same assumption I did; that Groot essentially “regenerated,” similarly to the Doctor. The reason he couldn’t remember things, like which button to push on an explosive, was because he regressed. He’s a baby! How could he possibly know what was going on?

To be honest, I’m not sure I think this new reality is a good one. It puts a really weird spin on some of the stuff that happens in Guardians 2--suddenly, the scene where the Ravagers are essentially torturing baby Groot is even worse than before. It also makes Groot’s schtick of not understanding what’s going on less comical throughout the film. Because he literally doesn’t know what’s going on. If Rocket is trying to retrain his pal, there’s a humorous patina to these interactions, but if he’s just teaching a toddler how to be exactly like his pops… then suddenly, I have a lot of questions.

But more importantly, it seems such a strange road to go down when only one Guardians film had been made. Rocket and Groot are easily the best part of Guardians of the Galaxy, and that is down to their friendship. To realize that this friendship was completely bulldozered before we’d had a few films to appreciate it is disappointing. Now Rocket is raising his friend’s kid? Kinda badly? Is this where we all hoped we were headed?

This makes more sense of the grouchy teenage Groot post-credits sequence, but… I still kind of wish Groot had gone all Time Lord on us instead.

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