2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a smash hit. Appealing to space-action-comedy lovers (apparently, that’s a lot of us), the Marvel-based movie with characters Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, and Rocket won over audiences to the tune of $700 million worldwide…and a sequel.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is due for release on May 5, and just a few weeks later, Disney is unveiling its tie-in, brand-new ride at California Adventure park in Anaheim. Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout may be interactive fun and games for Disney park-hoppers, but it’s also a stellar example of false imprisonment.
In the ride, a Marvel character known as the “Collector” has caught our roguish Guardians and is displaying them in his immense, fortified storage facility. Vitrines line the walls, filled with all sorts of rare and valuable galactic artifacts. In a booming voiceover, the Collector will welcome you to his collection and attempt to show off his newest acquisitions: the Guardians of the Galaxy. Not to spoil the ending for you, but after Rocket gets help from ride-goers and succeeds in breaking the Guardians out, they should consider filing a false imprisonment claim.
In California, “False imprisonment is the unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another,” as defined under Penal Code (PC) 236. Short, sweet, enacted originally in 1872. If a person or people are unlawfully detained, or forced to move from one place to another—basically, any restriction on personal freedom and movement—by another “being,” then that’s clear-cut false imprisonment. In our Guardian’s case, they are physically restrained, but false imprisonment can also be achieved by terror or threat of violence. For example, if Rocket the raccoon breaks free but is told by the Collector that he must return or he’ll be killed (and Rocket believes him), then Rocket’s return to the collection would not be “of his own free” will. Intent is very important in proving false imprisonment.
Since the crime took place in California, it falls under the jurisdiction of California’s criminal justice system—it doesn’t matter that the Guardians are from outer space! They could also file a civil lawsuit for any monetary damages. If the Guardians argue that being paraded on display was “forced labor or services,” the Collector would also be guilty of human trafficking!
It’s good to know that this is just a ride, and our Guardians are safe, up there roaming in the Galaxy as of May 5th. But if you have questions, specific concerns, or even just want more information about Orange County false imprisonment, go ahead and call the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 530-9690. It’s all fun and games—until someone is in real trouble.