Director James Gunn made it pretty clear before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 premiered that Baby Groot was not the same Groot from the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. It made the impact of the first Groot's sacrifice hurt all the more, as the little twig that we see growing at the end of the film was not Groot at all, but an entirely new Groot.
Today, Gunn is making things even clearer, getting down to the bottom of who Baby Groot (Teenager Groot, by Vol. 2's end credits) actually is. According to Gunn's tweet, this new Groot is the son of the original Groot.
That not only makes us feel a little bit better about the loss of the original Groot, but makes perfect sense. Baby Groot grew out of a twig that was originally a piece of the first Groot, so naturally they would be related. It also helps to explain why Baby Groot's vocabulary is so very much like his father's— they both speak in a language that only contains the phrase "I am Groot" and the occasional "we."
Though Groot Prime is no longer there to nurture his son, it's comforting to know that Rocket has taken on the duties of surrogate parent, and that he takes them quite seriously. Baby Groot was cared for by all of the Guardians in various moments, but it is Rocket that still maintains the special connection with him. He also tells him that they're gonna have to talk about his language.
Will that connection last now that Groot is a teenager? We already saw him mocking Peter Quill in the credits for Vol. 2— will he go so far as to rebel against Rocket, a creature who is pretty much his uncle? We may find out in Avengers: Infinity War, where Teenager Groot is set to continue Groot Prime's legacy.
Have we said "Groot" enough in the this article? Has it stopped making sense? Groot, Groot, Groot...Groot! I am Groot, or I am Groot? I am Groot in the comments below!