The Celestials

What are the Celestials?

Being a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe who hasn’t read the comics can be difficult. Your friends who have decades of comics behind them know what’s going on the second a trailer drops. Without that context, some things can be a little confusing. The first full trailer for the upcoming movie Eternals and the Celestials it contains has certainly had that effect on some people.

Naturally, a lot of MCU fans want to know who the Eternals are. In addition to that, many of them want to know where they’ve been hiding throughout the war against Thanos. But there’s a much bigger question looming over the entire trailer. To be specific, the massive Celestials have caused a lot of people to wonder what is going on and what they mean to the greater MCU.

The Celestials in the comics

The celestials marvel comics
The Celestials in Marvel Comics

Calling the Celestials powerful does not do them justice. This group of massive extraterrestrials are God-like in the scope of their abilities. They have lived for tens of thousands of untold years, manipulating and experimenting as they went. Such shenanigans on Earth produced both the Eternals and the Deviants as well as the X-Gene that would cause Mutants to exist.

Not surprisingly, they were created by comic book legend and icon, Jack Kirby. Celestials made their first appearance in Eternals #1 in 1976, and have become key parts of innumerable stories. Any remotely cosmic story usually involves them on some level. Even if they aren’t part of it directly, the Celestials have to be on the periphery somewhere.

Their size and power certainly make them intriguing. But it’s the mystery surrounding them that truly draws people in. No one knows why Celestials do what they do. If they have a greater purpose, it’s known only to them. Whatever is inside those massive suits of armor remains one of Marvel’s biggest unsolved mysteries next to their plans.

Joining the MCU

Knowwhere the celestial
Knowhere (Marvel Studios)

The Celestials made their presence felt in both Guardians of the Galaxy movies. In the first film, the Guardians took an Infinity Stone to The Collector on a station called Knowhere. It was built in the head of a dead Celestial. The Collector also showed them a vision of another Celestial in the distant past using that same Infinity Stone to level a world. Then in the second movie, Star-Lord’s father was revealed to be a Celestial called Ego the Living Planet.

But Eternals will be the deepest dive into the Celestials’ larger role in the MCU to date. They are obviously still immense in size and exceedingly powerful. It’s also quite likely that they will remain as enigmatic always, continuing to move in mysterious ways. What’s interesting is that the Nova Corps in Guardians of the Galaxy spoke about Celestials in the past tense. It seems like they may be very much alive and well.

The MCU has changed drastically in recent years. Obviously, the birth of the Multiverse is a big deal. Beyond that, stories have been becoming more cosmic and mystical in scope. That can only lead to more appearances from cosmic beings like Celestials. Or, to be more precise, cosmic beings that will attract the attention of the Celestials.

The Celestials are just the beginning

The celestials
Arishem the Judge (Marvel Studios)

There has been a lot of conversation about when Doctor Doom will arrive in the MCU. But there’s another big bad named Galactus who the Fantastic Four have often crossed paths with over the years. When he finally arrives on the scene, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Celestials take notice. He’s another cosmic force of nature worth their time.

In addition to that, the Celestials could play a role in the addition of Mutants to the MCU. As previously mentioned, they had a part to play in creating Mutants in the comics. Just because that’s the case doesn’t mean it will be in the movies. But it would be interesting to find out how deep their machinations run other than creating the Eternals to protect humans and having condos in their heads.

What the Celestials are in a larger sense is a sign of the grand cosmic threats coming to the MCU. There are a lot of characters and even more stories that the movies have yet to tap into. When that happens, minds will be blown. And even the comic book fans don’t really know for sure what’s coming. The rules in the movies are a lot different than they are in the comics.