You will probably notice some characters missing from the third Thor movie. Pretty much half of the main cast from 2011's Thor and 2013's Thor: The Dark World don't show up in the latest installment, Thor: Ragnarok, at all. Most notably, Natalie Portman's Jane Foster is not in Thor: Ragnarok, which may come as a shock to fans since she is both the main love interest and ally to Thor in the first two movies. So what gives? Why are so many of the franchise stars nowhere to be found in the new flick? Well, the reason is more practical than anything else, and it becomes pretty clear why Thor's friends from Earth don't show up.
Basically, you won't see Jane Foster or the rest of her research team in Thor: Ragnarok because it just wouldn't make sense for them to be around. Since the whole movie takes place on strange planets in outer space, there's really no good way to explain a group of humans walking around along. That means no Jane Foster, and also no Erik Selvig (the helpful astrophysicist played by Stellan Skarsgård) or Darcy Lewis (Jane's feisty intern played by Kat Dennings). Natalie Portman actually revealed she was out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe last year when talking with the Wall Street Journal:
As far as I know, I’m done. I mean, I don’t know if maybe one day they’ll ask for an Avengers 7, or whatever.
This possible end to the character of Jane Foster may be disappointing for fans of the Thor comic book series in particular, since the character goes on to have a pretty badass arc as the female version of Thor after gaining the power to wield his hammer Mjolnir. It sounds like the movies aren't going to be exploring that transformation, though. Oh, well...
But even though Jane, Erik, and Darcy are gone, Ragnarok is still full of familiar faces for Marvel moviegoers. The new movie features Thor's godly family, including Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Thor's Asgardian buddy Heimdall (Idris Elba) is also back. Not to mention a couple of Avengers, such as the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch).
To make up for the plucky team of Earth scientists that we don't see in the movie, Ragnarok also introduces fans to a bunch of exciting new characters. Cate Blanchett goes full space-goth as a goddess of death named Hela, and Jeff Goldblum shimmers as the powerful Grandmaster. And of course, there's also the badass bounty hunter Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), who makes representational strides for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as its first LGBT+ character, since Thompson confirmed the character is bisexual.
With all the intergalactic action going on in Thor: Ragnarok, it actually would have been really difficult and unnatural to try to shoehorn Jane, Erik, and Darcy in there, so I think most fans will agree that it was the right decision to not include them on this story. Of course, that doesn't mean they won't be back for more Marvel movies later on. Although Natalie Portman did say she was done with the Thor franchise, she left a door open for Jane Foster to pop up again in an Avengers movie or some other Marvel project. And we already saw how Erik Selvig came back as a pretty important player in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
In the end, I think the thing many fans will miss most from the first two Thor movies in this new one is his long flowing hair, which gets chopped off in Ragnarok. Maybe Jane just wasn't a fan of the new haircut.