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Despite sacrificing himself in Guardians of the Galaxy to save his friends on Xandar, Groot wasn’t lost forever. Thanks to Rocket snagging one of his friend’s twig remains, Groot was able to regrow, and when The Jackson 5’s "I Want You Back" started playing, moviegoers saw Baby Groot dancing away. However, Groot won’t be back to full size in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as evidenced by this new image from director James Gunn, where the young tree alien is holding something weird.
James Gunn posted this sketch he made on his social media accounts of Baby Groot, or rather, Toddler Groot at this point, holding an alien creature in his tiny hands. This scene was shot recently, but the director didn’t provide any context on what’s going with this encounter. However he mentioned on the Facebook posting that this is one of the "thumbnail" drawings detailing every shot in the movie, and spread out over his office floor and walls before shooting begins. This is technically our second glimpse at Toddler Groot, as he was seen on Drax the Destroyer’s shoulder in the first official image from the sequel.
The first guess that comes to mind with the sketch is that Groot is holding up his partner-in-crime, Rocket. The tail and face somewhat resemble him, and despite Groot’s small size, he may have enough strength to lift his loud-mouthed not-raccoon. That would also explain the "AAAH" written on the drawing, as Rocket wouldn’t appreciate being lifted up without permission. It’s also possible that this is another small alien that the team runs into on their latest adventure, and their resident Flora colossus is humorously giving it a piece of his mind. At least Toddler Groot is mobile now. Being stuck in that plant pot would get boring after a while.
Aside from returning with his fellow Guardians to both do some good and cause some trouble, we don’t know what’s in store for Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It seems that he’ll retain his small stature for at least the beginning of the movie, although perhaps something will occur that restores him to his gigantic size from the first entry. Since he’s not towering over everyone else, obviously Groot can’t be the same kind of "muscle" he was when we first met him, but that doesn’t mean his assistance won’t be beneficial on whatever mission the Guardians are on this time. Since Vin Diesel is returning for the sequel, that begs the question if Groot will still have that deep voice even while that small, or if Diesel’s voice will be manipulated to sound squeaky to fit the size.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 flies into theaters on May 5, 2017.