Filming for Marvel's Eternals recently wrapped in the U.K., and a crew gift may shed more light on a long rumored plot point. The Eternals aren't as widely known as the Avengers or the X-Men, but that hasn't stopped the comics giant from finding tremendous success at the box office – look no further than Guardians of the Galaxy. As we inch closer to the film's release, we're learning more about what to expect from the story and how this all-star ensemble might take the MCU in an ambitious, extraterrestrial direction.
Marvel fan account MCU Direct posted an image of a T-shirt given to members of the Eternals crew. It's printed with the logo seen in previous Marvel promotional materials, with a noticeable new addition: a circular set of astronomical symbols. The symbols match the motif of The Celestials, a looming presence in the comics.
The Celestials are an alien race who have wielded an unseen influence over the human race for centuries. (They're a lot like the "ancient aliens" theorized by history buffs.) In humanity's infancy, they started experimenting with genetic engineering, which resulted in two races: the Eternals, the godly superhumans of the upcoming Marvel movie, and the Deviants, horrific mutants posed to be the villains. The Celestials implanted a genetic code into early humans, resulting in certain people developing superpowers when exposed to extreme environments, such as gamma rays or radiation.
Ultimates 2 Vol. 2 #6 revealed the Celestials (and their more obedient counterparts, the Aspirants) were created by an even older being known as the First Firmament. The Celestials wanted to create beings that could evolve, but the Aspirants and First Firmament weren't really cool with that. The resulting conflict created the universe as we know it.
The Celestials then created the Eternals and Deviants, occasionally returning to Earth. They often acted as literal deus ex machina, like they time they intervened to defeat the Deviants after the Eternals isolated themselves, inadvertently sinking the lost island of Atlantis.
A deeply mythical race like that would be incredibly interesting to see on the big screen. If ComicCon poster art is to be believed, we will see the Celestials in some capacity in The Eternals, looming large over the protagonists.
It isn't the first time Celestials have appeared in the MCU: Ego from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 describes himself as one. The head of another appeared in the first Guardians film. The ship of a Celestial, Arishem the Judge, even made an easter egg appearance in Thor: Ragnarok.
The introduction of the Celestials could mean big things for the MCU as a whole. For one, it would create a clear path to introduce the concept of mutants, allowing for a possible X-Men appearance down the line. What's more, exploring the mythology surrounding Earth's creation could allow the MCU to expand to tell a story even more epic than Infinity War. On top of stories spanning galaxies, we could see stories spanning millennia.
Now that The Eternals is in post-production, expect to hear more information about the Celestials and their role in the film. The clues in the new logo suggests a broadening of The Eternals' story and the expansion of the MCU as a whole.
The Eternals premieres November 6, 2020.