Has Groot retained his memories from the first ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ film? James Gunn explains

the guardians of the galaxy holiday special groot
via Marvel Studios

When it comes to Vin Diesel’s Groot from The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, who has also appeared in every previous installment in the spacefaring Marvel film franchise, fans may wonder if the tree-like character has any of the memories of the first film’s events.

In 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the adult-sized Groot actually sacrifices himself to save the rest of the team. However, all is not lost since it seems a leftover piece of him was able to grow into the baby-sized Groot that we see at the very end of the film. But is that the same character? According to writer-director James Gunn, no.

When a fan asked Gunn whether Groot has all the memories of the original Groot that he then carried with him as he grew up into a moody teenager, Gunn replied, “No memories. Son of OG Groot.”

If you consider Groot’s self-sacrifice to be a full-blown character death in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, this would establish a pattern of a character dying in some noble fashion in each movie installment. This is because Michael Rooker’s Yondu similarly sacrificed himself in order to save his adoptive son, Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

All of this information combined with Gunn’s previous statements that the forthcoming Vol. 3 will be the final film for this specific configuration of characters makes us extremely worried for the fate of our beloved Guardians. We’re especially worried for Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon, who Gunn has singled out as being a focus in Vol. 3.

If things keep going the way they have in the franchise, Rocket seems destined to make some kind of heroic sacrifice by the time the credits roll.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is now streaming on Disney Plus. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters on May 5, 2023.