Marvel Monday: Breakdowns and Theories for The Eternals

This article, if I wanted it to be, could easily be 5000 words. The Eternals is without a doubt the craziest thing that Marvel will attempt to put on screen throughout their entire history of the MCU. If I wanted to, I could spend 5,000 words explaining how there was once this being known as the First Firmament, the first universe to ever exist, and then eventually got lonely so it created the Celestials who in turn slowly turned into two separate groups that eventually fought one another in a civil war that was so epic that it shattered their father, the universe, into pieces resulting in the multiverse being created. If I wanted to, I could go into detail on that and explain characters like the Celestial Madonna and how there are beings known as Exterminators that were created by the Celestials, but because the Celestials realized they were too evil, the Exterminators were imprisoned in between the walls of the multiverse. I could get into all of that crazy, but instead, I’m just gonna focus on what I think will be important for the movie… also, thank you, Jack Kirby, for this unbelievable story that I’ve gotten to learn about over the past few days.

Release Date: November 6, 2020

It’s important to note that Marvel often releases films that they don’t think will be big blockbusters in November: Thor: The Dark World, Doctor Strange, and Thor: Ragnarok. This belief of mine will, of course, be shattered by Marvel in 2021 when they release the Doctor Strange sequel Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness in May and Thor: Love and Thunder in November, despite the previous Thor making more money than Doctor Strange. Maybe they think the Wandavision show, which I’ll be discussing soon, will raise interest for the Strange sequel; I’m not sure. But the reason I’ve taken this giant detour is to simply point out that this movie isn’t coming out in the Summer meaning that even Marvel understands that The Eternals might not be as big of a hit as they’re probably thinking something like the Black Widow will be. After all, Black Widow is a movie about a badass woman fighting other badass women while also doing very cool spy stuff. On top of that, it’s the final goodbye to a character that we’ve known for nearly 10 years. The Eternals is about space Gods…

The Backstory:

Just hold on tight because I’m gonna do my best to make sure that all of this is as straightforward as possible; and if you are feeling like I’m writing this like an idiot is reading it, it’s only because I, an idiot, is writing it and all of this was very difficult for me to understand the first time through.

Four Billion years ago, a Celestial by the name of Progenitor crashed on Earth because he was infected by a race of space bugs called The Horde. Because of the crash, he was buried underneath the ice of the North Pole. The Horde then spent millions of years burrowing themselves into the primordial soup that what would eventually become known as mankind, resulting in some people gaining superpowers. Three Billion years after Progenitor dies, another Celestial by the name of Zgreb The Aspirant comes to Earth looking for him. He’s attacked by The Horde but instead of killing him, they turn him into a Dark Celestial, the first of its kind. With this evil on Earth, a group of cavemen that were born with superpowers (because of the Horde) fought the Dark Celestial. After defeating the Celestial they buried him in a part of the world that would later be known as South Africa.

Okay, just a heads up, if you’ve managed to read all of that and are still willing to read more, don’t worry, the rest of this is pretty straight forward.

modern man going through the “First Host”

After the death of two Celestials (keep in mind that these things are basically Gods) the other Celestials head to Earth and quickly defeat the super-powered cavemen. After this fight, the Celestials decide that Earth is a great location for the “First Host,” which is a series of four tests done by the Celestials on a species that they’ve genetically altered. During the “First Host”, humans, in this case, are split into three different groups: regular people, Eternals, and Deviants. Not to get too biblical but basically, imagine God coming down to Earth and then turning some people into demons and some people into Angels. That’s essentially what happened here. The crazy thing is that this practice is common for the Celestials. They’ve done this on the Kree and the Skrulls. Also, Thanos is attached to the Eternals in some way but I’ve actually had a difficult time figuring out if he was created a Deviant by the Celestials or if he was a child of Eternals that lived on Titan and was naturally born a Deviant. Either way, Thanos is attached to all of this.

There’s a lot more involving the Second and Third Host, but I honestly think the only thing of importance, when it comes to the MCU, is that the Deviants actually ruled over mankind due to breeding with one another at an alarming rate. It was thousands vs hundreds. It’s then, during the Second Host, that the Celestials came back to Earth as they heard the call for help from The Eternals. Once the Celestials arrived on Earth, they were attacked by the Deviants resulting in a cataclysm where the Celestials nearly killed all of the Deviants, but in the process sank the city of Atlantis, cough… cough… Namor, and changed the face of the planet forever. The surviving Deviants went into hiding underground while the Eternals took on their role of Gods for mankind and showed them things like growing crops, how to work metal, and how to write.

It’s ultimately the Fourth Host that I think is the most important when discussing the movie because it involves the Celestials modern-day judging mankind, or as they see it, their genetic experiment and obviously if mankind fails this judgment, it’s not gonna be good for anyone. It’s at this point that the Eternals must prove their worth and save mankind… but who exactly are the Eternals? After all, the movie is about them, not the Celestials. Well, I’m glad I asked…

The Cast

The Eternals

Angelina Jolie: Thena

Thena is typically the leader of the group and master tactician.

Richard Madden: Ikaris

With heat beams shooting out of his eyes and the ability to fly, the future leader of The Eternals might as well be called Superman.

Gemma Chan: Sersi

Described as transmutation, Sersi can change anything into whatever she wants such as a cat into a dragon or glass of water into wine.

Salma Hayek: Ajak

Ajak’s greatest gift is that he, or in this case she, can speak directly to the Celestials and as stated at D23, she is also the leader of The Eternals.

Kumail Nanjiani: Kingo

Kingo has all the same powers as the other Eternals but in battle prefers to fight in the ways of the Samurai… Something tells me that this character will be dramatically different in the movies.

Brian Tyree Henry: Phastos

Not only is Phastos one of the strongest Eternals but he also has levitation powers as well is a “master technologist.”

Barry Keoghan: Druig

The cousin of Ikaris, Druig is essentially a villain who helps protect mankind when it is needed the most because at the end of the day, he is still an Eternal. With the power of nightmares and control over fire, Druig is a unique addition to the MCU.

Lia McHugh: Sprite

A young child that was created to forever be an 12-year-old, Sprite has the power of illusion.

Dong-seok Ma: Gilgamesh

If I didn’t know any better, I bet the guy in the cool black suit turns out to be one of the bad guys… on top of that, he’s the strongest Eternal, can fire concussive blasts from his eyes and hands, and can fly.

Lauren Ridloff: Makkari

Makkari runs really fast… I’ll explain more in a minute.

The Rest of The Cast

Kit Harrington: Dane Whitman/The Black Knight

A devilishly handsome young man who inherits a castle from his uncle who turns out to be evil. It’s with his dying words that he tells Dane to bring honor back to the Black Knight name. Dane eventually is visited by one of his ancestors; and it’s during this visit that Dane proves his worth and pulls out the legendary sword known as the Ebony Blade.

The unique thing about the movie, compared to the comics, especially after reading Neil Gaiman’s book Eternals, is that a lot about the characters has been changed in casting. While there are smaller things like Sprite being changed from a young boy to a young girl, there are larger changes like Makkari being changed from a man to a woman. Typically, especially with characters most people are unaware of, I wouldn’t care about a change like this, but, at least in Gaiman’s book, Makkari and Sersi have fallen in love and broken up time after time for thousands of years. Since we know that the gay character in the movie is a man, that means that the relationship that Sersi has won’t be with Makkari.

While I think it’s not a bad idea to speculate that Sersi’s love interest in Ikaris, the man that will one day take lead of The Eternals from Ajak, there is another character that, after reading up on, I’m kind of surprised he’s included in the first story of the Eternals, Kit Harrington’s character, Dane Whitman AKA The Black Knight.

Dane Whitman almost feels like he should be getting his own spin-off show on Disney+ before The Eternals comes out. This character has a really interesting past and has not only been a former Avenger but also the love interest of Sersi. Their love for one another was so strong that they performed a Gann Josin which I compare to when the big blue alien in Avatar connects his hair to the other blue alien. It’s a big deal. Adding this character, with such an odd background to a movie like this, seems like it could be too much. That being said, we only know that Kit Harrington is in the movie. Maybe this character only appears in the end credit scene setting up his arrival for future Eternal movies.

Theories

Okay, so after everything that I’ve talked about, I think I have a rough idea on what the movie is going to be and the questions that the movie will try to answer, or at the very least introduce… I think. I’m not a doctor or anything so don’t hold any of this against me.

One of the biggest questions that I think the movie will have to address is what has happened to the Celestials? Since the beginning of the MCU we’ve seen three Celestials: Ego in Guardians of The Galaxy 2 and we also saw the severed head of a Celestial floating in space and another Celestial using the power stone in the first Guardians of The Galaxy. Where have they gone? What could have possibly cut the head off of a God-like entity? Besides that, what about Ego’s story that he tells the Guardians? When he was born, he was all alone? Shouldn’t the other Celestials have been there with him?

The other big question is why is Ajak and not Thena the leader of the group? Has she been killed? Gone missing? Maybe I’m way off, but I think that using Neil Gaiman’s book Eternals as the template for the movie is the best idea and if they are doing that, then I could see a scenario where Selma Hayek’s character is the ‘leader’ because she is the first one to remember who she is. The others haven’t gone missing, they just don’t remember they’re the Eternals and maybe because she is the only one that can speak to the Celestials, she hears their voice and that awakens her to realizing who she is. If the idea is to switch Makkari with Ikaris, then I could easily see Madden’s character living a normal life like Makkari does in the book and then being essentially stalked by what he believes to be a crazy woman who is claiming that he is a million-year-old being created by space Gods.

I think one of the faults of the book that could be fun in the movie is seeing Ajak and Ikaris getting the band back together. They learn that Deviants are looking to wake up a Celestial that has been buried underground for thousands of years and our two Eternals have to go globetrotting to find the other members of the group to save the world. I think it’s a fun way to introduce each member of the group and it’s a great way to explain why The Eternals didn’t help during the events of Infinity War or Endgame. And I think because Eternals aren’t allowed to fight Celestials and they cut through Deviants like butter, it would make sense to give them an enemy that teams up with the Deviants, which is where I think Gilgamesh comes in. He’s a formidable foe and if an Eternal kills another Eternal, they’re dead for good. It’s a great way to add tension to a potential ending fight scene. Also, if they aren’t going the way of the book, I don’t know how you explain a character that is a 12-year-old girl who doesn’t age when you’re making movies that are filmed years apart. I don’t think they’ll go as dark as they do in the book, but I do think that this will be a one and done appearance for Sprite.

Also, I didn’t know where to put this in the article, but the main power of the Eternals is that they come together like the Planeteers in Captain Planet and make an ultimate being that is pretty much unstoppable. I just thought that was awesome. With that last piece of information, I think I got everything, but I’m positive I’ve missed something. If you have more information about the characters or if I got something wrong, I’m more than happy to hear about it. After all, I’m no expert, just someone that really likes all of this stuff. Thanks for reading and I will see you guys next time when I talk about Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

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