It turns out Baby Groot is actually Groot's son. At the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot heroically sacrificed himself in order to save the rest of the team. It was a beautiful moment, but one that resulted in the talking tree giving his life. Rocket saved a twig of Groot and planted the root, which resulted in the character we now know as Baby Groot. While it's been clear for some time that this isn't the same Groot, James Gunn reveals once again that Baby Groot is the original Groot's son. And he's telling you for the last time!
James Gunn, who directed both Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, regularly engages with fans on social media and is happy to answer questions. Gunn was pulled into a debate on Twitter that had to do with pitting Baby Groot against Porgs, as seen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which led to Gunn revealing this bit of information. Here's what he had to say.
"First Groot is dead. Baby Groot is his son."
Pretty cut and dry. James Gunn also further said, "Yes that's why he has a different personality," while replying to another fan in the thread. Previously, Gunn has made it clear that this isn't some carbon copy of the first Groot and that it is a different character. But saying that Baby Groot is Groot's son adds another layer to the whole thing. Here's what the director had to say about it prior to the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 last year.
"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."
This is interesting for a few reasons. For one, it makes it crystal clear who Baby Groot is. It also means that Groot really, truly died in Guardians of the Galaxy. That makes James Gunn one of few Marvel directors to include meaningful deaths in his movies that aren't the main bad guy. Yondu also had an incredibly meaningful and, as Gunn swears, permanent death in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The MCU has had quite a few deaths that weren't actually deaths and hasn't committed to killing very many major characters over the years. So credit to Gunn for that.
We're poised to see Groot in yet another form, as he'll be a teenage Groot when he shows up in Avengers: Infinity War. This was first teased in a post-credits scene from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Some fans tried to argue against Gunn on Twitter, but he was there to combat them at every turn. The big takeaway here: Groot has a son, and his name is Groot. You can check out James Gunn's Twitter posts on the subject for yourself below.