This week marks our return to the MCU with the new Disney Plus series I Am Groot, a series of short episodes that focus on the child version of Groot from the Guardians films. Because this is the MCU and plot lines can tend to get a little convoluted, let’s take a look at Groot’s journey thus far in the MCU, as well as where this series fits in to the larger narrative.
We were first introduced to the walking, talking, sentient tree Groot in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Voiced by Vin Diesel, Groot could always be found working side-by-side with Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper). Throughout the course of the first film, Groot and Rocket join up with Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), and the daughter of Thanos (Josh Brolin) herself, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), to form the Guardians of the Galaxy. At the end of the film, Groot learns a new word (‘we’) and ends up sacrificing himself to save his friends in the aftermath of a space ship crash. From the wreckage, Rocket saves a part of Groot and plants it in a pot, which we learn grows into a baby Groot in the post credits scene of that movie.
Here’s the kicker – that baby Groot is not the same Groot we’ve come to love throughout the course of the first Guardians film. It’s his son, as confirmed by director James Gunn in a now deleted Tweet:
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 picks up a few months after the events of the first film, with a slightly older and free-from-his-pot baby Groot stealing hearts across the galaxy. There is a bit of a time jump in the post credits scene, featuring a surly, teenaged Groot.
Avengers: Infinity War introduces the Guardians to Thor (Chris Hemsworth), who immediately hits it off with Rocket and teenage Groot. The three team up to journey to Nidavellir to create the Thanos-killing weapon Stormbreaker, a powerful axe to which Groot donates a limb for the handle. The three then journey back to Earth to join the rest of the Avengers on Wakanda to stop Thanos from getting the mind stone and completing his quest to decimate half of all life in the galaxy. Spoiler alert – they fail, and Groot gets turned to ash in front of Rocket. His last words? “I am Groot”, which we later learned was him saying “Dad” as he called out to Rocket for help.
Not all is lost, though, as the Avengers successfully bring back everyone who vanished in Avengers: Endgame and finally defeat Thanos in an epic battle featuring heroes from across the MCU. At the end of Endgame, Thor decides to join up with the Guardians, which leads directly into Thor: Love and Thunder. In the fourth Thor film, Thor and the Guardians are seen battling various enemies until they part ways with the Guardians answering more distress calls throughout the galaxy and Thor going to help an old friend.
So, that’s where I Am Groot picks up, right? WRONG.
Where does I Am Groot fit into the MCU timeline?
I Am Groot, which features the shenanigans of baby Groot, takes place during the time jump between the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and the post credits scene which introduces teenage Groot. Therefore, if you wanted to do a Groot-centric marathon, you’d follow this order:
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- I Am Groot
- Post credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Avengers: Endgame
- Thor: Love and Thunder
What adorable misadventures will everyone’s favorite sentient tree get into? Tune in to Disney Plus starting on Wednesday, August 10 to watch the first episode of I Am Groot.
Featured image source: Reddit