Marvel’s Eternals is out in theaters. The movie has paved the way for a completely different set of characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although Eternals is a very intricate story for MCU, the film has allowed the franchise to enhance some of the biggest heroes in the history of Marvel.
Marvel Studios has been working on creating its extensive universe for over a decade now. And Eternals has made fans familiar with an entirely new potential of the intergalactic hierarchy. It is not novel for the audience to sneak a peek into the space to explore their favorite characters’ stories. With franchises like Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, Loki, and Avengers, MCU Cosmic is a branch of Marvel Studios’ primary storyline and it has been building since 2011.
This angle is indeed creating its own dynamic identity. But it cannot be neglected that the characters, concepts and the consequences to their actions, all occurring in MCU Cosmic directly affect the workings of Earth more often than not. Eternals has introduced a plethora of things to the MCU. Most of which will probably leave a more extended and profound rooting effect. One of these things might be the coming of a Marvel Comics villain, who is very close to an incredible on-screen adaptation and will soon be a familiar name in the MCU.
Based on some prominent theories, this is why Eternals and the backstory of Celestials has the potential for setting up the Devourer of Worlds, Galactus.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for the ending of Eternals.
History Of Celestials In The MCU
First things first. It is essential to understand the center of all the cosmic Emergence portrayed in the Eternals story. The pre-eminent beings pillar this part of MCU called the Celestials. We know through the film that Celestials are a race of intergalactic beings in the universe even before the Infinity Stones existed. They are responsible for creating all the suns that help sustain life in various galaxies everywhere in the universe.
However, Eternals was not the first movie to ever have mentioned the Celestials in the MCU. Earlier we have seen that Knowhere is a place displayed in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and Avengers: Infinity War. The location is the severed head of a Celestial. The people residing there mine the matter of being for resources. Not only that, in the sequel of Guardians Of the Galaxy, the audiences also saw Peter Quill’s father, Ego, who is a Celestial.
In contrast to the Eternals depicting Celestials as massive beings, Ego had taken the form of a living planet. His mission was to increase the extent of his being across the galaxy, just like spreading weed in a field. We suppose that by doing so, MCU has made us believe that now all Celestials are equal in power and appearance. And that some Celestials may turn against Arishem in the Eternals for a hidden agenda.
Celestials and their motive against Planets
The question is, what could be that plan? To put it simply, the fundamental essence of the motive is to give birth to various worlds in all parts of the universe. Then, by cultivating life on these planets, creating enough energy to use it to breed and birth other Celestials.
Here is a detailed explanation of the concept. Eternals explained how f “seed” needs to be planted on a planet. for a Celestial to be born, This seed needs to be fertile and able enough to be harvested into a full-blown Celestial. For the said seed to begin giving birth to a Celestial, there needs to be a certain amount of intelligent life on that planet. This energy will combine to start the “Emergence,” a term that describes the birth of a new Celestial. Essentially, an Emergence is an event that destroys the entire planet to sustain and nurture the unborn Celestial along with every living thing existing on that planet.
To ascertain the level of intelligent life on these planets, it was Arishem who sent Deviants to the world to take down predators hindering his all-powerful cause – the Emergence. To his disadvantage though, the Deviants began to evolve, giving up on their essential duties. Thus serving as a threat to the intelligent life on these planets. This is where the Eternals come in.
Arishem created the Eternals as a heroic counterpart. Their duty was to fight and defeat the Deviants, ultimately ensuring that intelligent life reaches its required level for an Emergence to begin. Is it the responsibility of the Eternals to do everything in their power to make sure that intelligent life evolves far enough for the quota to be met. Once their mission is accomplished, their memories are erased, and they are sent to another planet to fulfill the same purpose.
In the movie Eternals, the team that is sent to Earth finds out the hidden agenda of the Celestials and decides to fight against it by trying to stop the Emergence on Earth, and the birth of the new Celestial, Tiamut. For this, they form a strategy. They combine their energies though the Uni-Mind and begin, intentionally or not, drawing powers from Tiamut. Hence, stopping the Emergence and turning Tiamut into marble. This occurrence leaves parts of a Celestial showing off in the Indian Ocean, albeit in the form of marble.
To sum it all up, a “seed,” or an unborn Celestial, is planted in the belly of planets all over the universe. Once intelligent life on that planet reaches its max, the Celestials use it to be born. After that, they destroy the concerned planet and create another sun to power another galaxy to make up for the one they destroy. The question is, how does Galactus fit into the picture?
Galactus In Marvel Comics
Prior to correlating the two stories, it is essential first to understand who Galactus is. Having been featured in two live-action adaptions namely Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Fant4stic, the 2015 reboot, the character still hasn’t received the necessary screen time for the audiences to get familiar with who or what Galactus is.
Galactus is believed to be one of the most potent and terrifying villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And just like other characters in the comics, Galactus has several origin stories and iterations. It all boils down to one thing though, that Galactus survived a previously existing universe. In Marvel Comics, Galactus is first portrayed as the last known survivor of the 6th iteration of the cosmos. This was believed to have been destroyed during the Big Bang that created the 7th universe. The 7th universe is the current one that we are all accustomed to.
Having survived the difficulties of the previous universe, Galactus is considered a powerful cosmic entity that maintains a balance in the power dynamic of the current universe. Galactus does this by consuming planets all over the cosmos and drawing energy from them to sustain life. The core concept behind this is that as time passes and his power gathers up, it will be released as the next big bang that will reset the universe, which in itself is a horrifying occurrence.
Galactus is essentially known as a Fantastic Four villain. The First Family of comics fights the villain to stop him from devouring the Earth, but he has been repurposed as one of most threatening cosmic forces within the red brand lore.
Galactus And Planets
Galactus roams across the entire galaxy to locate planets that he can consume to stay alive, and create enough energy for the next big bang. He pays close attention in choosing what planet to devour. He uses a herald to travel across the universe and to find an appropriate planet that fulfils all his needs. This herald is known popularly as the Silver Surfer.
The Surfer does not rely on a sequence, but instead explores the galaxy in order to find planets of sentient life that feed Galactus. And eventually this search is what leads him to Earth. This is where the villain is seen engaging with the MCU.
Arishem’s Judgment For Earth
IAtthe end of the movie Eternals, Arishem squares up to the three remaining Eternals on Earth to hinder the Emergence. As a punishment for being disloyal to the mission, Arishem warns the Eternals about the impending judgement to be faced by humankind. Sersi, Phastos, and Kingo’s memories of Earth will decide whether or not the people of Earth can be salvaged.
In the Marvel comics, Arishem is depicted as the Celestial of Judgement, and more often than not, he is pretty merciless. In Eternals, Sersi and the team go against the Celestial’s mission and save humankind instead. They stop the formation of the ultimate galaxy that Tiamut would have created had he been born to completion. What exactly will be the consequences of this defying action is yet to be seen, but we have a few assumptions.
A likely scenario would be to revolve the story around Galactus. Even after being surrounded by the same concepts, the comics do not officially show Galactus as a Celestial. Which means there is not a single rule book that braces the theory of Galactus being a Celestial. But Marvel has already featured Ego the Living Planet as contradictory to its comic book appearances, making it easier for fans to believe so.
We have theorized a few scenarios surrounding Galactus where Arishem could return to Earth for his final judgement, thus allowing MCU to introduce the supervillain.
Theory 1: Galactus Is Arishem’s Judgement For Earth
Regardless of the years spent by the Eternals on Earth, working towards a mission, it would still make sense for Arishem to punish them for the death of a Celestial. As a way of delivering this punishment, Arishem might rather hurt the people of Earth for the Eternals’ mistake. This can be done by using the core concept that Galactus lives with. He can be used by the Celestial as a means to devour the planets yet to attain the Emergence of a new Celestial.
This theory would be identical to the comics in that Galactus prides himself as a force of balance in the universe. Earth is one of the most significant planets in the galaxy, which makes it necessary to remove it through Emergence in order to maintain the balance of the cosmos. Earth still contains a massive intelligent life, and an unborn Celestial sticking out from its center. This makes it abundant in energy, and Arishem needs it removed. Hence, Galactus could be a helpful tool.
Theory 2: Galactus Is Feeding On Unborn Celestials
While the first assumption is based on Galactus working alongside Arishem, this theory is slightly different. What if Galactus was not an ally, but actually a seeker of planets full of energy created by a Celestial seed?
Suppose MCU decides to follow the source material and portray Galactus in the comics. In that case, his herald (probably Silver Surfer) is constantly hunting for planets lavish with energy to sustain his hunger. It would certainly be easier for the Silver Surfer to scout planets carrying a Celestial seed in them, as they would have a large amount of energy for Galactus to feed on.
All the events that have led up to this point have made Earth the perfect target. With an abundance of intelligent life and an unborn Celestial on its surface. For Galactus, to devourer, a Celestial embedded planet like Earth would mean an intergalactic conflict with Arishem . The event would affect the fabric of existence.
Theory 3: A Potential Link Between Shang-Chi And The Silver Surfer
The final theory is a mix of events from Marvel’s two latest installments. Eternals and Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings. In Eternals, Phastos removes the orb Sersi uses to communicate with the Celestials. He uses the globe to make bracelets that allow the Eternals to connect through Uni-Mind to stop the Emergence of Tiamut.
Shang-Chi’s post-credits scene shows Bruce Banner, Carol Danvers, and Wong examining the Ten Rings to understand their power. They figure out that the power dates way back in time and is far from any Avengers’ knowledge. There is a fair chance that the Ten Rings and the bracelets created by Phastos have something in common. Given that we ignore the timeline associated with both the events, there is yet another thing that connects the Eternals with a Galactus appearance. And it is the beacon.
In the post-credits scene, Wong is seen shedding light on the fact that a powerful energy beacon is released when Shang-Chi uses the rings. This is resonated throughout the world and can be felt by anyone with the potential to track it. While a beacon ringing in all parts of the galaxy could signify many things, correlating it to Eternals would only mean one thing. That the planet has attained its energy goal and that it is ready for devouring.
If the Silver Surfer is successful in tracking the beacon, he will most definitely go for it. This way, tying up Shang-Chi with the Silver Surfer could trigger a lot of interest in Marvel fans.
To Conclude, Galactus Is Coming
It is no shocker that with Eternals, the creators have made it possible for fans to expect another Thanos level villain to enter the MCU. While there still aren’t enough visuals that confirm this theory, there are events otherwise. Like the Celestial Emergence, the use of planets as bearers and the beacon of energy being resonated. It doesn’t matter how, but the fact remains the Galactus would soon enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel Studios have a history of tdeveloping the worlds with thepatience needed to flesh out certain intricacies. So it is safe to expect an exciting turn of events before the introduction of Galactus. With Eternals, the MCU Cosmic has expanded to reach its concepts to the all-powerful ancestral cosmic being.