One of the bigger revelations at Comic-Con 2016 was that during the Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 portion of the Marvel panel, audiences quickly became aware of the fact that Groot in the sequel is not exactly full size yet. Indeed, in the first footage that was unveiled, it was clear that Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 is very much still Baby Groot, which was a conscious decision on the part of writer/director James Gunn to help improve the overall impact of the story.
But does Baby Groot still have all of Groot’s memories or is it a clean slate for the sequel? This is the question that Collider’s own Steven Weintraub posed to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige backstage shortly after the Marvel panel, and Feige answered by comparing the character to Spock in Star Trek:
“He remembers. He’s not mentally a baby, he is still Groot… I sort of equate it to Spock circa the end of Search for Spock and The Voyage Home.”
Feige went on to stress that the dynamic between Rocket and (Baby) Groot will continue to be a centerpiece of the sequel:
“When it comes to a Guardians of the Galaxy film, a James Gunn script, it’s not just about the funny, it’s not just about the action, it’s about the heart. And the amount of heart that you get out of this trash panda raccoon and now this little twig baby Groot is actually awe-inspiring. It is amazing what he’s done with those two characters.”
While Gunn recently explained that fans shouldn’t expect to see the footage shown to Comic-Con audiences online anytime soon, Feige offered a tease for when the first trailer might drop, saying it could be attached to the next Marvel movie that comes out—which is Doctor Strange on November 4th. So yeah, fans are just gonna have to sit tight for a few more months, but the good news is Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2’s May 5, 2017 release date isn’t too far off.
And if you missed what Feige had to say about Spider-Man: Homecoming sequels, click here.