It all started with the Celestials in Endgame. While Avengers: Endgame hinted at a possible explanation for why the Soul Stone was hidden on the desolate planet Vormir, Eternals goes out and says it’s a hoax from the start.
It was only in Avengers: Infinity War that the true location of the Soul Stone was revealed. This solves one of the most perplexing mysteries of the first three phases of the MCU. When Thanos learned that the Red Skull was keeping watch over the Soul Stone on the planet Vormir, he unleashed his wrath. When Marvel finally explained the Soul Stone’s purpose in Endgame, a subtle line of dialogue contradicts Eternals.
Since 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel has been building up the Celestials. These cosmic space gods of the Eternals may have played a role in forging six of the Infinity Stones into their current form as concentrated ingots in James Gunn’s first MCU film. The Collector provided a chilling recording depicting a Celestial using the Power Stone to judge an ancient world and wipe out all life therein.
The Soul Stone’s hiding place, the planet Vormir, was subtly linked to the Celestials in Endgame. According to Nebula, Vormir is “the center of Celestial civilization.” Fans may remember her sharing this information with the Avengers. After watching Avengers: Endgame, it appeared as if Vormir had been left barren and lifeless by the extinct Celestials. Eternals, on the other hand, contradicts the MCU’s Celestial setup.
The Eternals believe that the Celestials are the creators of the universe. Incubators for their eggs, the planets act as incubators for the celestial seeds nestled deep within their cores, feeding on the life energies of the worlds they inhabit. As a result of their diminutive size, and the fact that only a few of them could fit on a single world, the Celestials depicted in the Collector’s recording cannot be considered a civilizational powerhouse. It was completely ignored that the Infinity Stones had a connection. As a result, the throwaway explanation for the Soul Stone’s location in Avengers: Endgame is no longer logical. The Soul Stone must have been placed in Vormir for a reason other than being the centre of Celestial civilization.
It’s no secret that Marvel Studios is known for taking their time with projects. And so, for the most part, this is a strategy that works. However, the studio is more reactive than most people think. As a reason, and it’s not uncommon for a setup to be dropped in favour of another idea later on down the road. A comic-book Thanos was clearly in place in The Avengers. Meanwhile, a cosmic Infinity Stones plot was hinted at in Guardians of the Galaxy’s murals. Even so, when it came time for Marvel to finalize their take on Thanos and the Snap, they tossed out all of these ideas. The Celestials are a case in point. This is so because Marvel decided to go in a new direction and abandon the setup.
Inconsistencies may irritate some viewers. However, Marvel prefers to give their writers a level of artistic freedom so that they can tell the best story possible. A common universe like the MCU necessitates continuity, but it’s a useful tool and a poor master. As a result, most readers will overlook the tiniest of inconsistencies caused by Marvel’s shift in strategy. Furthermore, Eternals did the right thing when it depicted the Celestials. This leads to a much more satisfying story overall.