Even though Avengers: Infinity War has been in theatres for about a month now, I think it’s safe to assume that a majority of the MCU fandom still aren’t over Groot’s departure.
For those in need of a refresher, the final moments of the film saw Thanos (Josh Brolin) secure all six Infinity Stones, snap his fingers and extinguish half of all life in the universe, thereby eliminating a multitude of beloved MCU superheroes. Among them was the Vin Diesel-voiced Flora Colossus from Planet X, Groot.
If you recall, prior to passing on, the fan favorite character verbalizes his trademark phrase, “I am Groot,” one final time, as his best friend, Rocket (Bradley Cooper), walks towards him. Then, as if the syrupy conclusion wasn’t enough to entirely leave you in tatters, James Gunn, writer and director of both Guardians of the Galaxy films, clarified the meaning behind Groot’s final utterance. According to his Tweet, “I am Groot” stood for “Dad,” and the moniker was directed at Rocket Raccoon.
Earlier today, Avengers: Infinity War co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo held a Q&A session with Huffington Post and among the liberal American news outlet’s extensive query list was this question: “was ‘dad’ really Groot’s last word in the script?” The directing duo took no issue with corroborating Gunn’s revelation, with Anthony Russo saying, “it was, and it was ‘dad.’”
The Flora Colossus from Planet X’s final word wasn’t the only Groot topic that the Avengers: Infinity War co-directors commented on, either. When asked whether or not Groot could regenerate from the Stormbreaker handle, Joe Russo couldn’t provide a definitive response, but left some wiggle room, saying “I don’t know if every piece of him that detaches … can grow a future version of him, but who’s to say?”
Circling back to that devastating final word though from Groot, and at least there’s a silver lining to it. Often depicted as partners in the MCU, the revelation that Groot views Rocket as a father figure adds an entirely new dynamic to their relationship. But I guess knowing that won’t do a lot of good now, seeing as Groot’s dead. Although, it is generally believed that Avengers 4 will reverse at least some of Infinity War’s deaths, so there’s still hope that we’ll see him again, right?