Previously On: ETERNALS And The Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Eternals

There are lots of franchises out there and lots of storylines one needs to remember. Previously On is our way of providing a quick refresher with the plot points you may need to keep in mind for that upcoming sequel or spinoff. This installment updates you on all the happenings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it relates to The Eternals.

One of the big things (no pun intended) in the comic book lore of the Eternals that will be making an appearance in the upcoming film, are the Celestials. Immense beings with great power, their origins are shrouded in the mists of time. They travel the universe nurturing and testing planets where intelligent life is emerging for mysterious ends. Some worlds they allow to continue to develop, others they stop permanently. On Earth, they created a group of human-like beings called Eternals to watch over humanity until their return.

While the Eternals are new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we have seen Celestials before.

Guardians Of The Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy Celestial

A Celestial make its first appearance in the MCU as part of the Collector’s explanation to Star-Lord and his crew (and the audience) about the Infinity Stones. In the hologram we see one yielding the Power Stone, one of the Infinity Stones, to destroy a primitive alien civilization. Although the film doesn’t identify the Celestial by name, comics fans would tell you that is Eson the Searcher, whose primary task is to seek out new, emerging intelligent life across the universe.

Now those up on their comics lore would also tell you, it is not Eson’s job to eliminate any planet that does not meet the Celestials testing. That would be Exitar the Exterminator. So – outside of Guardians director James Gunn or someone else involved with the production simply picking the wrong Celestial to use – why was Eson wielding the Power Stone to begin with and how did it eventually wind up hidden away on the planet Morag, as we saw in the beginning of the film? These are questions that we probably won’t get answers to, but are fun to ponder and keep in mind.

Guardians of the Galaxy Knowhere

But Eson is not the only Celestial we see in Guardians Of The Galaxy. The meeting that the Guardians have with the Collector is in a place called Knowhere, which is actually the giant severed head of a long dead Celestial. How it came to be separated from its body is another untold tale. But unless the Collector’s hologram of Eson was somehow distorting how he looked, the Celestial whose head became Knowhere was much, much larger. Though that mystery may be solved based on things we learn in the next film.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

In Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2, Ego, the being who states that he is Peter Quill/ Star Lord’s father, claims to be a Celestial. He describes himself as the last of a race of beings of “pure light” and who have the power to manipulate the world around them. In fact, Ego claims his entire essence is actually at the core of the planet they are on and the human-like person they are talking with is just something of a projection of him.

But it doesn’t seem like we should take Ego at his word, concerning his origins. He was certainly duplicitous with Peter and even without knowing that there will Celestials in The Eternals, there is no reason to outright believe him when he states that he is the last of one. Granted, he could just believe that he is the last Celestial for some reason. Maybe he got into some sort of fight with others of his kind and in isolation just thinks that they died out. (That could possibly explain who would have been powerful enough to tear off the Knowhere Celestial’s head- another Celestial.)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe Now

In the spring of 2018, the Avengers were unable to stop intergalactic sociopath Thanos from gathering and using the powerful Infinity Stones to extinguish half the life in the universe. In the fall of 2023, the Avengers managed to reverse the effects of The Snap, bring back to life everyone who had been killed. But there were some hidden on Earth who had power enough that they could have helped defeat Thanos before he could have utilized the power of the Infinity Stones, if they had so chosen to…

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About Rich Drees 7124 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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