At this point, it’s a bit hard to remember that prior to the release of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy, many wondered whether it might be the MCU entry that finally broke the franchise’s ongoing streak of massive success at the box office. After all, the titular heroes were far from household names, and two of them were a talking racoon and a sentient tree. Of course, that was far from the case, with Guardians earning a massive $773 million worldwide on a budget of only $170 million.
With that kind of return on investment, a sequel was quickly commissioned, which eventually came to be titled Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Set to hit theaters just a little less than three years after its predecessor, Guardians 2 features the grand return of Peter “Star Lord” Quill’s motley band of heroes, as well as the introduction of big name actors like Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone, and Nathan Fillion into the intergalactic Marvel mix.
Of all the memorable characters featured in the original Guardians of the Galaxy though, one arguably stood out above the rest, winning the hearts of seemingly everyone who watched the film: the aforementioned sentient tree, Groot (voiced by Fast and the Furious star Vin Diesel). Groot’s self-sacrifice to save his friends at the end of the first Guardians was perhaps the most poignant moment in the entire film, but his story thankfully wasn’t left on that sad note, as a new baby Groot was soon spawned from the old Groot’s remains. By most accounts, baby Groot’s scenes completely stole the trailer for Guardians 2, and he looks poised to cement his status as an all-time MCU favorite. To that end, Marvel has released a brand new image of baby Groot, in all his adorable glory.
While there probably isn’t too much competition for this distinction, baby Groot seems quite likely to take the prize for cutest tree-based creature in the history of pop culture. That said, as seen in the Guardians 2 trailer, his childish nature is not always that big a help to his friends. In almost a reversal of the team’s original dynamic – in which Groot was clearly the most powerful member – baby Groot is in some ways a liability, as evidenced by his willingness to push the button that will murder them all in the trailer.
On the other hand though, Star Lord, Rocket, Drax, and Gamora all owe their lives to Groot, and thus are more than obliged to raise baby Groot to adulthood. More importantly, he’s their friend, and they wouldn’t leave a friend behind, even if that friend is a clear and present danger to the success of their missions. Plus, he’s so cute that there’s no way anyone could possibly stay mad at him.
Source: Marvel Studios