RIP, Groot, we scarcely knew you were dead.
Director James Gunn violated thousands and thousands of hearts today when he had reaffirmed that, yes, Groot dies at the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy . Baby Groot is his son , not his resurrected form.
First Groot is dead. Baby Groot is his son.
— James Gunn (@ JamesGunn) February 27, 2018
Predictably, the internet ran wild with heartache. And yes, I’m including myself here.
Fans: Marvel needs characters to remain dead, otherwise it’s meaningless.
Same devotees after James Gunn reconfirms age-old news that OG Groot is gone for good in a slightly different lane: MY LIFE IS OVER HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME
— Alisha Grauso (@ AlishaGrauso) February 27, 2018
I ever reckoned Baby Groot was “of” First Groot, a regeneration of First Groot, sort of like a phoenix rising from the ashes or whatever. that Baby Groot was basically born when his daddy succumbed is something far fucking sadder
— priscilla page (@ BBW_BFF) February 27, 2018
But … this isn’t precisely news.
We’ve known Groot was dead for years. Well, kinda.
As Gunn goes on to note, this is far from the first time he’s had reaffirmed that, yes, Groot is dead. Indeed, he’s been having versions of these discussions basically since the first Guardians came out.
Back in the day, he used to be cagier about the answer. In November 2014, a few months after Guardians made theaters, he answered a few questions of determining whether or not Groot was invincible with another question: “Is Baby Groot, Groot? Or is Baby Groot actully Groot’s progeny? “
A few months later, he said Groot “might be dead.” A few months after that, when a fan asked on Facebook whether Baby Groot was Groot’s son, Gunn replied that it was “complicated, ” and added that Baby Groot does not retain the original Groot’s memories.
( Worth noting: Apparently, even Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige’s been confused by this question- he told press in 2016 that Baby Groot has Groot’s memories, which is incorrect .)
By last year, though, Gunn was being very clear about his answer. “Baby Groot is not Groot, ” he stressed in a March 2017 interview with SFX ( via GamesRadar ). “He’s a different character and he does not have that character’s memories.”
When the issue came up yet again last fall, Gunn said in no uncertain terms that “Groot is dead, ” explaining:
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 newborn, I would not be said that child was you.
I do think it’s more obvious in Vol. 2, as Baby Groot has a different personality than Groot , none of his remembrances, and is much, much dumber.
Plus, like … what does “dead” even mean for Groot?
Still, some fans aren’t buying it- leaving Gunn to debate them on social media.
One even brought real science into this science-fiction conversation:
Anyway, Gunn’s answer actually merely creates more topics, if you think about it. Such as 😛 TAGEND
So, @JamesGunn‘s have indicated that Baby Groot is Groot’s son, and not a reborn version of Groot, has led to a lengthy convo behind the scenes at BMD, and we’ve been able to reach another question we’ve never asked: how do Groots on Groot’s home planet procreate?
— Scott Wampler( tm) (@ ScottWamplerBMD) February 27, 2018
OK fine so what happens if you separate Groot directly in half
— Josh L. Dickey (@ JLDlite) February 27, 2018
And 😛 TAGEND
Did people truly think newborn Groot was the same as big Groot? If a little version of yourself proved up with none of your knowledge, remembrances or experiences and the age-old, big you was run, is that not, effectively, demise?
* takes drag, turns on black illuminate*
— Craig Calcaterra (@ craigcalcaterra) February 27, 2018
Now we’re veering toward Black Mirror territory. Because, like … is it? Does Baby Groot truly count as an independent entity if he’s literally merely a developing piece of the original Groot? Would they are continuing be considered different Groots if both of them were still alive? I don’t know, is Digital Nanette the same person as Real World Nanette in “U.S.S. Callister”? Is a consciousness what makes a person?
Is it was feasible to get a new Groot without killing the age-old one, or is that seriously the only way to bring new Groots into the world? Does that mean all the other Groot slivers left over from the original could have been sentient beings, too? What does it even mean to be sentient in a reality where Ultrons and Visions exist? Why am I get so worked up over the personhood of a CG tree alien?
And then there’s this cold hard fact 😛 TAGEND
Maybe that’s the real reason all of us keep forgetting Groot should certainly succumbed: It’s just too dang sad to recollect the truth.