Groot is dead. Long live Baby Groot!
Die-hard Guardians of the Galaxy fans are known for having watched and rewatched the James Gunn films multiple times in search of the hard-to-find Easter eggs the filmmaker scattered throughout the movie. That's what makes it so odd that these fans seem to have forgotten something rather important about our dear friend Groot. He's dead.
Gunn recently got into a heated philosophical debate with Entertainment Tonight producer Ash Crossnan about whether it would be better to save the life of a single porg (from Star Wars: The Last Jedi) or Groot if forced to choose in a hypothetical situation. Crossnan argued in favour of the porg and Gunn understandably went to bat for Groot, pointing out that the sentient plant had a direct hand in saving the universe.
As the conversation went on, a question about Groot's mortality came up and Gunn took the opportunity to remind everyone that the Groot we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 is quite dead:
First Groot is dead. Baby Groot is his son.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 27, 2018
A number of people took to Twitter to express their understandable grief at the idea of Groot's death, even though it isn't exactly new information. Gunn's said as much before about Groot and Baby Groot being two distinct entities from one another. In a Facebook post last September, Gunn stated "Groot is dead" and explained that while Baby Groot is a "little glob" that came out of Groot's decaying body, he doesn't have any of his father's memories:
"Although I don't necessarily think it's obvious in Vol. 1, it's important to say that if you exploded and a little glob of you started growing into a baby, I would not assume that baby was you.
I do think it's more obvious in Vol. 2, as Baby Groot has a different personality than Groot, none of his memories, and is much, much dumber."
The biggest thing to take away from all of this is that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already had an incredibly significant death in it that we don't spend nearly enough time talking about. Baby Groot's cute and all, but he's nothing like his father.