Tony Stark and the rest of the Avengers saved the world from Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. Following this they doomed the world to the Emergence as Eternals shows, concluding another one of Iron Man’s errors. It’s a common theme in the current crop of MCU films: Iron Man’s presence is everywhere. Despite, Iron Man’s death in Endgame, his errors, and influence can still be felt in recent events of the films, from Far from Home, to Eternals.
The happenings and conflicts in the MCU are largely the results of Iron Man’s error in his efforts to be a good person. Ultron, the system he created with the express purpose of safeguarding the planet, is one such example. The obliteration of Sokovia and the deaths of many people are not the results of Ultron’s efforts to protect humanity. Sokovia Accords fall apart and the Avengers disband in Captain America: Civil War because of Tony’s attempt to take responsibility.
With Eternals, Tony’s efforts to be a good person result in yet another conflict in the film. The birth of a celestial while bringing down a planet, as seen in Eternals, is the cosmic event known as the Emergence. “The blip” is reversed in Endgame, dooming the Earth to the Emergence with the sudden population increase. A direct cause of this event is Tony’s creation of the formula for time travel. This method allowed the snap to be reversed in the first place.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony Stark sees the destruction of the world and seeks to fix it by creating Ultron, who is supposed to protect Earth from any potential domestic or alien threats, due to some manipulation by Wanda Maximoff, who blames Tony for the deaths of her parents. Unfortunately, Ultron goes rogue. It is here that he triggers the events of Sokovia. He does so because he believes that humanity is the greatest threat to Earth.
Despite his best efforts, Tony makes decisions that have far-reaching effects. The deaths he suffered in the Age of Ultron are a mark of his character’s flaws as an imperfect do-gooder. And this is a theme that runs through Eternals as well. And the events in Sokovia just ratchet up tensions in Captain America: Civil War even more.
Tony’s explanation of why accountability is so important in a group like the Avengers. Nonetheless, Steve’s point still stands on the corruption that can occur in a group like the Avengers. Wanda’s confinement, despite Tony’s best efforts to keep her and those around her safe, eventually causes Steve to lose faith in him.
This and the fallout with the Winter Soldier would make the Avengers an easy target for Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, making them vulnerable. On several occasions, Tony sacrifices the team’s agency in order to protect the lives of those who are directly impacted by the Avengers’ actions in Captain America: Civil War.
Eternals is one of the best examples of how Tony Stark’s most valiant efforts can be undermined by circumstances that make it appear as though he made a mistake. This does not change the fact that half of Earth’s population reappears in Avengers: Endgame’s ending, which causes the Emergence. This is despite Tony’s time travel efforts saving many of those who have vanished. With or without the Eternals, this would have been the end of the world as we know it. It further raises the age-old MCU question of how far betterment can demonstrate actions that also have unfavorable consequences.
The Eternals themselves face this dilemma when deciding whether or not to allow the Emergence to occur. The Emergence was definitely a necessary event. Nonetheless, the Eternals’ connection to Earth and the individuals of Earth compels them to interrogate whether the will of Arishem is genuinely correct. This further shows that it’s not only Tony Stark who will have to make these tough decisions within the MCU.