The long-awaited Cosmic Rewind Guardians of the Galaxy attraction opened in late May in Epcot at Walt Disney World. Except for more motion sickness issues that expected, Cosmic Rewind has received wonderful reviews. In this Marvel based attraction, we get to see Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Drax, Nova Prime, Eson the Celestial, and a new character Centurion Tal Marik (played by Terry Crews). However, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans should have noticed some key characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies missing in action.
Perhaps I missed a few, but I noticed three main characters that would be considered Guardians of the Galaxy missing. Nebula, Mantis, and Yondu do not appear in the attraction. Since this is a different timeline than the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, all three could appear in Cosmic Rewind in terms of timeline. However, none of them make an appearance. If you have not seen the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, spoilers will follow. You have been warned.
For two of the three, it is easy to determine why they do not appear. I will start with Yondu. Since he dies in the movies, keeping him out makes it easier for guests not to have to worry about timeline. The timeline is confusing enough for Marvel fans since Groot seems full grown in attraction but perhaps not in the current Marvel movie timeline. That makes logical sense to keep Yondu out to avoid confusion.
Mantis being absent is also easy to explain. The reason revolves around the infamous Marvel theme park rights contract. If you are interested, I can write more articles about this contract. Please leave a comment below to let me know that. However, a simple explanation sounds like this: Mantis functioned as an Avenger in the comics before Islands of Adventure was built. According to Marvel theme park rights contract stipulations with Universal Orlando, no comic book characters who were members of the Avengers family or group may appear at any theme park east of the Mississippi River. Mantis can appear in California but not in Florida. Remember the Marvel theme park contract relates to comics, not current Marvel movies. Being an Avenger in movies now does not disqualify you from appearing at Walt Disney World. Also, comics before 1999 matter for these purposes.
Now, the grey area one, Nebula. Nebula first appeared in the comics in an Avengers comic book. She was portrayed as a supervillain. Technically, according to the never-ending Marvel contract with Universal Orlando, any character in the Avengers group or family can not appear east of the Mississippi river. Nebula was a villain, so technically this makes her part of Avengers family or group. This is like Green Goblin being in “Spiderman” family or group. I might argue that Nebula functioned as more than just an Avengers villain. However, Disney corporation may have decided to avoid pressing this issue. Of course, Karen Gillan may not have been available for recording. I do not have that information.
Once again, if you are interested in all the awkward intricacies of the Marvel theme park rights contract, please leave a comment below. Until then, I wish you luck getting a boarding pass for Cosmic Rewind. I will be attempting that soon myself. Thanks for reading.
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