Eternals, directed by Academy Award-winner Chloe Zhao, is the latest film in the franchise to introduce a whole slew of new characters. Plus, unlike the previous heroes we’ve met, the ones in Eternals aren’t nearly as well known. So many fans of the comic books and movies alike are wondering exactly how Eternals will fit into the greater MCU.
‘Eternals’ takes place after ‘Avengers: Endgame.’
We already know that Eternals ties directly into the MCU and takes place after Avengers: Endgame, so it will be a world without a Natasha Romanoff or a Tony Stark. In short, the Eternals are ancient aliens created by an older alien species, the Celestials, who were sent to Earth to protect the human race.
Why didn’t the Eternals butt in when Thanos was destroying half of the universe? Hopefully, we’ll find that out in the movie. But here's what Marvel Studios has shared so far: "Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, the Deviants."
According to some theorists, when the Hulk snapped the infinity gauntlet to bring back those who disappeared in the blip, the snap was so powerful that it created something called the Emergence, which draws the Deviants out of the shadows.
The Deviants are virtually the antithesis of the Eternals, so the only ones who can defeat them are the Eternals.
The creative team behind ‘Eternals’ has spoken about how it will fit into the MCU.
Producer Nate Moore revealed to ComicBook.com, "The Eternals are quite aware of what happened in the Endgame and what happened with Thanos, and you sort of get to hear their opinion about what happened and why maybe they didn't get involved. So it is both in a post-Endgame world, but isn't a direct line, as far as storytelling."
However, because the Eternals have been living among humans for so long, they know quite a bit. "These characters have been around for all of the movies that we loved and know the characters that we know to some degree," Nate explained. "So, there is a notion that it re-contextualizes a couple of characters and how you view them. But again, it also is very self-contained to some degree."
Director Chloe Zhao also revealed that Eternals will fit into the grand scheme of the MCU. As a new director at Marvel Studios, she explained to Inside the Magic, “[The team has] been so incredible holding my hand through the entire process of allowing me to go as far as possible and as small as possible, and how that fits into the whole MCU.”
The biggest tie ‘Eternals’ has to the MCU is in its lore.
Just like Thor and his compatriots come from real Norse mythology, the Celestials also have ties to traditions we’re familiar with. Production designer Eve Stewart revealed to Screen Rant, “Because the Celestials are gods and they've created the Eternals, we wanted to somehow look at sacred geometry, and look at the symbolism from every religion across the world.”
If the Celestials sound familiar, it’s because we’ve heard of them before in the MCU. In Guardians of the Galaxy, the Collector projects an image of the Power Stone, revealing that it was used by the Celestials to judge and destroy civilizations. It’s also mentioned multiple times that the planet, Knowhere, is the disembodied head of a Celestial.
In Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, we learn quite a bit more about the Celestials — mainly that Ego, a.k.a. Peter Quill’s dad, is believed to be the last living Celestial. However, as we now know, Peter Quill is also part Celestial and part human.
We learn from Ego that Celestials are basically forces of “living light,” so they create shells to live inside of. Because the Celestials created the Eternals, we’re expecting a lot of ties to certain things we already know about in the MCU — mainly, of course, the infinity stones.
Eternals releases in theaters on Nov. 5.