James Gunn: Original Groot is Dead
The Groot is Dead. Long live the Groot! According to an interview with Guardians of the Galaxy Volumes 1, 2, & 3 director James Gunn, the Groot we all came to know and love over the course of the original Guardians movie is dead – and he isn’t coming back.
In an answer delivered during an in-depth question and answer session on Instagram, Gunn clarified (again) that the original, adult Groot (Vin Diesel) we met in Volume 1 did indeed die in the climactic moments of the movie, and the small “Baby Groot” we met during the credits and in Volume 2 is a distinct entity from his fore bearer – and in the past, Gunn has said Baby Groot is Groot’s son; however, it’s worth noting that, although he is a distinct character from adult Groot, he is still voiced by Vin Diesel!
Baby Groot’s On Screen Appearances
After being introduced in the final minutes of Volume 1, Baby Groot stole the show in Volume 2, beginning with a show-stopping dance number in the opening – and although the character might be voiced by Vin Diesel, his killer dance moves come courtesy of the film’s director.
Then, during the mid-credits sequence in Volume 2, we finally meet “Teen Groot,” who played a role in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, despite preferring to distract himself with video games, not fighting. Because of the character’s transformation in Infinity War, many fans were speculating that the misfit shrub would grow into an adult tree by the end of Volume 3, but it seems that really isn’t the case.
However, there is another part of this new Groot’s story that you haven’t caught on the big screen.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout
You get to see more of Baby Groot’s story in Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT!, a attraction at Disney’s Parks and Resorts (that will be incorporated into the Marvel’s Avengers Campus area of the park, opening soon) – sort of!
While the video segments of the ride were indeed directed by Gunn himself, he was careful to clarify that the attraction’s narrative technically takes place in a splinter timeline, separate from the primary MCU canon but very similar.
Furthermore, the presence of Mantis (not pictured) suggests that the story takes place after most of the events of Volume 2. However, because the Groot on display is a baby, it must be before the mid-credits scene with teenage Groot…huh…
The story of Mission Breakout is that the Guardians have been captured by the Collector and put on display in his traveling collection, with fellow inmates Cosmo and Ultron. However, Rocket escapes and – with the help of the Disney Park guests – he’s able to spring the rest of the Guardians, as well (including Baby Groot).
Luckily, he doesn’t spring the crackling remains of the Ultron Sentry though (of course, however, maybe that’s where Director Hayward in WandaVision got the technology to try and revive the Vision).
But that still isn’t all! In a special Halloween-themed version of the ride, which was only available after dark during the All Hallow’s Eve season, the Guardians realize that after being freed from the grasp of the Collector, they accidentally left Baby Groot behind (and in the midst of the chaos caused by their escape). Set to an original song by Guardians composer Tyler Bates called “Monsters After Dark,” Rocket must return to the overrun Collector’s museum and rescue little Groot!
We Are Groot!
Which version of Groot is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
Cover photo credits: Guardians of the Galaxy #16 by Brian Michael Bendis, Valerio Schiti, Richard Isanove, and Cory Petit, with covers by Arthur Adams and Jason Keith. Photo: Marvel Comics