When Guardians of the Galaxy came out, it was nearly impossible for many to pick a stand out character. After all, when your team of heroes is made up of a foul-mouthed raccoon, a sentient tree only capable of saying one thing with numerous intentions, a sassy human with great taste in music, and two aliens – one of which is amazingly literal – everyone is fun and lovable in their own way. So near the end of the film, when Groot sacrificed himself to save the rest of the Guardians, it was heartbreaking. The hurt was slightly healed though, with the revelation of Baby Groot.
Rescued from the debris by Rocket, Baby Groot was alive and well at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, dancing behind Drax’s back – and now he will return, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. While the character is still voiced by Vin Diesel, its not totally clear whether he is Groot reborn or Groot’s offspring. In fact, writer and director James Gunn says that he is a new character, while head of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige claims he is still Groot. In either case, the adorable character has already stolen hearts in the first trailer for the movie, once more uttering the famous phrase “I am Groot.”
Baby Groot has now run away with the cover of Empire Magazine, as well as something precious to his friend Star-Lord. On the cover of the May edition is Baby Groot, surrounded by an unraveled mess of cassette tape. Specifically, Awesome Mixtape Vol. 2, the last gift Star Lord ever got from his dying mother. Groot is looking pretty pleased with himself and the mess he created.
An earlier trailer for Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2 showed that Baby Groot might just be a bit of a destructive force. Like most babies, he’s curious and into everything. When Rocket lectures him on not setting off a bomb, Baby Groot still reached for the button several times before running away with the explosive happily. So him destroying Star Lord’s tape seems very much in character, though whether he actually does so in the movie or if this is just a clever image remains to be seen.
Like the Awesome Mixtape of the first movie, Awesome Mixtape #2 is expected to play a huge part in forming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s soundtrack. So it’s loss could be devastating. Though, as those old enough to remember cassette tapes know, an unraveled one can usually be wound back up with a pencil or pen.