Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has confirmed that Groot is indeed dead while clarifying the true origin story of Baby Groot.
The first Guardians of the Galaxy film, which was released in 2014, ended with the giant tree-like being of Groot sacrificing himself to save the others.
During the end credits, one of Groot’s twigs is regrown as a sapling, leading to a common theory that the Baby Groot of Vol 2 is actually a younger, respawned version of the original Groot.
However, this theory was shut down by Gunn during a Twitter discussion over whether one would save Baby Groot or a Porg from Star Wars if allowed to only pick one.
When one fan argued that “you can grow Groot back”, Gunn replied: “First Groot is dead. Baby Groot is his son.”
He then further dismissed the idea of Baby Groot as a direct continuation of Groot, saying: “Would you think an infant was your dead grandfather? That little jerk has not clue what’s going on.”
Of course they are. Would you think an infant was your dead grandfather? That little jerk has not clue what’s going on.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 27, 2018
Understandably, some fans found it hard to accept:
Look let's be real, we all knew this but none of us wanted to believe it's true. https://t.co/9Y7kJxMpaG
— Eric Ravenscraft (@LordRavenscraft) February 27, 2018
I know it's the truth but it hurts. https://t.co/sYXpU5PwW2
— Synthia T. (@synthiat) February 27, 2018
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 was released last year, with Vol 3 expected to follow in 2020.