Marvel’s Eternals trailer revealed the Celestials and their immense power. But why were they exterminated in the Guardians of the Galaxy films? A race of space Gods who came to Earth at the dawn of time. It was in 1976 that the late Jack Kirby created the Celestials.
These ancient beings were in charge of sowing the seeds of life on countless worlds throughout the galaxy when it was still young. They only come back to judge the worlds they seeded. They also were to decide whether the species that thrive on these planets are worthy of remaining.
The Celestials have been a part of the MCU canon since 2014. However, the upcoming Eternals film promises to delve deeper into their history. In the comics, the Celestials were the ones who created the Eternals and their rivals, the Deviants, led by Warlord Kro. So, their inclusion in the film makes sense. Everything in the MCU is changing.
Furthermore, all evidence points to the Eternals being sent to Earth to protect humanity rather than just an evolutionary offshoot of the human race. But the Celestials still appear to be the ones who have assigned them to this task.
However, why haven’t the Celestials made an appearance in the current MCU? Their apparent absence has already been set up in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. This, of course, is surprising because it’s not explained.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn hinted subtly that the Celestials were a part of the MCU’s past. However, this is not currently. Eson the Searcher, one of the Celestials, wielded the Power Stone in a pivotal scene and used it to judge the entire world.
Astonishingly, these visions appeared to be from the distant past, and the Power Stone had been hidden on Morag, where Quill first appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Astonishment flooded the room as everyone realized they had never heard of someone like Eson. Peter Quill spoke for everyone when he remarked, “There’s a little pee coming out of me right now.”
While all of this was going on, the movie also introduced viewers to the world of Knowhere. Located in the severed head, this mining settlement confirms the ancient race’s size and power while also implying that they are now nothing more than a distant memory throughout the galaxy. When Knull, the God of Symbiotes, used the Necrosword to attack light and life, he slew this Celestial.
Once again the MCU’s Celestial lore was expanded upon with the appearance of Ego, who regarded himself as one of the last of his kind. As Ego explained to the Guardians, “I don’t know exactly where I came from,” he had no idea. ‘The first thing that comes to mind is flickering… adrift in the cosmos, completely… and entirely alone”. Because he couldn’t find any of his kind in the cosmos, Ego became deranged. The character also began trying to absorb the entire universe into himself to bring harmony and unity to everything.
A lot more information about Celestials was revealed in the sequel. These cosmic beings appear to be made up of enigmatic energy known only as “living light” at their core. As a result of this ability, the Celestials can manipulate matter at the molecular level. Because of this, Ego began by creating an entire planet. Later, avatars allowed him to explore the cosmos. As a result, it’s safe to assume that Eson the Searcher and Knowhere, the severed head of a dead Celestial, were all forms Celestials created instead of worlds to contain their living light. However, Ego did warn that if he spent too much time away from his “living light,” he would perish. “If I don’t return regularly to my planet,” he exclaimed, “and the light within it… this form will wither and perish.”
Marvel initially chose to reveal that the Celestial race had been exterminated for a variety of reasons. Because Marvel was still wary of delving too deeply into the strange and supernatural in 2014, introducing an entire race of space gods would have seemed far-fetched to the studio. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s Celestial revelations felt natural because the Celestials were already capable of wielding the Infinity Stones, and Peter Quill’s ancestry implied that he was as well. Quill’s celestial heritage made sense, and so did Ego’s.
Marvel’s decision to remove the Celestials from the MCU’s present-day timeline assisted the studio in reimagining Thanos. However, unlike in the comics, in the MCU, Thanos isn’t motivated by a devotion to the avatar of Death. Instead, he’s bent on saving the universe for the sake of “balance.” The Celestials, not Thanos, are traditionally associated with the language of balance because they believe they are in charge of maintaining the equilibrium of the entire universe. Having the Celestials in the MCU would have made Thanos seem a little less unique.
Of course, now we have a new mystery to solve: what happened to the Celestials? This ancient race may have been wiped out in a cosmic conflict, such as a civil war, or because different civilizations grew tired of the space gods appearing to judge them periodically. Even though Knowhere is a Celestial corpse, the planet Sakaar is littered with the remains of Celestial bodies, according to the Marvel Studios Visual Dictionary. The Celestials didn’t go gently into the night; it appears that they were wiped out.
If the Celestials were wiped out, it is most likely because the Infinity Stones were used against them. The Collector hinted that the Power Stone had been used in the past for some unknown purpose, and that could have been the moment when the Celestials were wiped out by races that found them lacking. It’s possible they were wiped out. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 showed that they could be killed when the living light inside of them is exposed to the elements. They could have been exiled to another dimension as an alternative.
It’s possible that the release of cosmic energy associated with Hulk’s snap in Avengers: Endgame triggered an “Emergence,” as suggested by the second Eternals trailer. In Eternals, the Celestials will almost certainly return after millennia of exile. However, it is more likely that the Deviants are simply trying to take advantage of the Emergence’s chaos. Consequently, this mysterious event is linked in some way with the Celestials. Seven is the number of gods in Judeo-Christian traditions, so the Eternals believe they have seven days to save the world.
Because Marvel hasn’t revealed how the Celestials were defeated in the first place, it’s impossible to predict how they’ll return. Because of the power of Hulk’s snap, the Emergence could be the moment when the Celestials return from exile. Further, they tear through the fabric of reality and enter our plane of existence. Alternatively, even if they were wiped out, there may be a way for them to reappear; in Marvel’s Earth X series, various superheroes discovered a Celestial seed lay deep within the Earth’s core.
Marvel could reveal that the Celestials’ creation of galaxies and worlds was a part of their life-cycle and that the energy from the Hulk’s snap has matured this. With the energy shots rippling across the Earth’s surface, that makes sense.
Whatever the case may be, it appears that the Celestials will be returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If that’s the case, then the Avengers’ heroism has had unintended consequences. This changes the MCU’s cosmic status quo, and Eternals reveals just how dramatic those changes may be.