Published on September 14th, 2021 | by minshewnetworks0
The Eternals Preview
Unless you have lived under a rock the past half-year or so, you have probably seen – or at the very least heard – of the Eternals, one of the movies in Marvel’s loaded slate of superhero films for the upcoming year.
So set aside your excitement for Spider-Man: No Way Home for a minute and focus on this superhero-stuffed extravaganza instead.
Set to be released on November 5, 2021, the Eternals promises to be one of the more unique pieces of work that Marvel has ever put out, as everything about it from the director to the cinematography to the overall vibe of the film seems almost completely different from anything you have seen from Marvel before.
Pushed back a year due to the pandemic, the Eternals finally look ready to make its way to the big screen.
Before that happens, you need to know everything there is to know about the background of the Eternals, who is in the film, and what the plot is expected to be.
That’s where we come in, so read on!
The Eternals are a race of god-like beings who have watched over the Earth for millennia. For much of those millennia, they have been in conflict with the equally old but slightly less evolved Deviants, as well as the creators of the two species – the Celestials.
One of those names sounds familiar, right? The Celestials have made an appearance or two in Marvel movies before this one, but more on them later.
First created by comic book legend Jack Kirby in 1976, the original comic book arc shows how the Celestials experimented on the evolution of things on Earth eons before the present. Those experiments ended in both the Eternals – whose primary purpose is to build order and help things grow – and the Deviants, who are a similar power level to the Eternals but much more destructive and mindless.
In 2006, world-famous author Neil Gaiman worked with artist John Romita Jr to create a reboot of Kirby’s original Eternals comic book arc. In that rendition, one of the leaders of the Eternals, Icarus, discovered that he had his memory wiped. He and the rest of the Eternals and Deviants had all been living in human form for centuries, having forgotten about their great powers.
While the movie will probably be similar to the 1976 Eternals comics, Marvel is likely to take bits and pieces from various storylines, mix them together, and dump in a little original content for good measure.
We’re just going to have to wait and see how the background comic book arcs weave their way into the film, but we definitely know what characters are set to star.
Eternals is an ensemble cast if we have ever seen one, filled from top to bottom with high-wattage movie stars and top-tier talent.
Let’s get into who the Eternals are, and who is going to play them.
Played by Gemma Chan, Sersi is the Eternal with the most love for humankind. She has the ability to manipulate matter, and is the love interest of Ikaris. She is rumored to be the lead of the film.
Played by Richard Madden, Ikaris is the tactical leader of the Eternals. He is their version of Superman, with the ability to fly, shoot beams out of his eyes, and incredible super strength.
In the comics, Ikaris starts out undercover on Earth as a human named, get this… Ike Harris.
Played by Selma Hayek, Ajak is the spiritual leader of the Eternals. She is the main conduit between the Eternals and the Celestials and has played a major part in the growth of Earth.
In the Comics, Ajak was a man who was worshipped by the Incas as their god Tecumotzin. He was buried and slept in a tomb until he was awoken by Ikaris.
Played by Angelina Jolie, Thena is arguably the most warlike of the Eternals. She can form any weapon imaginable out of cosmic energy and shares a close bond with Gilgamesh after they were both exiled.
Played by Kumail Nanjiani, Kingo is obsessed with fame. Portrayed as a famous Bollywood actor in the film, he can fire high-powered energy projectiles out of his hands.
The scout of the Eternals, Makkari is the first deaf superhero in the MCU. Played by Lauren Ridloff, who is deaf in real life, Makkari can move at near light speed.
Played by Don Lee, Gilgamesh is the strongest of all the Eternals. He can create an invulnerable exoskeleton out of cosmic energy.
Played by Kit Harrington, Black Knight is a human who gains his powers through a mystical sword.
THE DIRECTOR AND WRITERS
The movie is directed by Chloe Zhao, who you may remember as the director who just won a pair of Oscars for her work on the film Nomadland.
WHO ARE THE BIG BADS IN THE ETERNALS?
The enemies of the Eternals are the Deviants, and it appears they will be the main antagonist in the film.
Let’s get a little more into what a Deviant is.
Like we said before, both Eternals and Deviants were made by Celestials through genetic testing on Earth.
Where they differ is in the stability of their DNA.
While the Eternals are genetically perfect, their Deviant cousins did not quite luck out as much in the genetic lottery. Their DNA contains a gene that makes it unstable, causing massive mutations that can take on many forms. The destabilization also causes them to become more destructive and warlike, even bringing some down to the intelligence of mindless beasts.
In fact, a certain purple-skinned universe destroyer has a relation to both the Eternals and the Deviants.
WAIT… HOW IS THANOS RELATED TO THE ETERNALS?
Technically – as far as the comics are concerned at least – Thanos is an Eternal.
Cousin to Thena and born of two Eternal parents, Thanos was born an Eternal. He was also born with that damned unstable gene, and when his genes started to deviate and he transformed into a Deviant, he grew to an enormous size and turned purple.
While there is no guarantee that the MCU will have Thanos related to the Eternals in the same way that he was in the comics, it is cool to know that most of the characters that you meet in the Eternals are related to the Mad Titan.
SO WHY EXACTLY DID THE ETERNALS NOT STOP THANOS?
For that to be answered, why don’t we go right to the source herself? Director Chloe Zhao had this to say about the lack of Eternals in Infinity War and Endgame:
“The audience will understand why. Not only why, but how complicated not interfering made them feel. We explore that. You’ll see that in the film. The Eternals were instructed not to interfere with any human conflict unless Deviants are involved. There’s a reason why that’s the case. And that was the instruction from the prime Celestial Arishem.”
Whatever is the calamity in the Eternals movie, it must be pretty bad if Arishem allows them to interfere after forcing them to sit one out when Thanos wiped out half of life in the universe.
The Eternals want to help humanity, as their background has shown time and time again, but disregarding a direct order from someone as powerful as Arishem may not be in anyone’s best interests.
Who exactly is Arishem, you may ask?
We’re glad that you asked…
WHO ARE THE CELESTIALS?
In some ways, the Celestials are almost to Eternals and Deviants what Eternals and Deviants are to the common human.
Cosmic extraterrestrial beings with amazing and terrifying powers, the Celestials made both Eternals and Deviants. They are basically gods, even to the incredibly powerful Eternals.
Their powers are almost immeasurable.
When words like “nigh” are thrown around, you know that you are approaching some real god-tier stuff. And yet, that is exactly the word that is commonly used to describe the immortality and omnipotence of the celestials.
They are basically all-powerful and immortal, but with the small caveat that they are not actually quite all-powerful or immortal. You actually see one in the original Guardians of the Galaxy, wielding an infinity stone to wipe out an entire alien race.
Arishem the Judge (remember? The guy who told the Eternals to let half of the living things in the universe die out?) is the lord of the Celestials, meaning he is incredibly powerful even by Celestial standards.
Other celestials include Eson the Searcher, Ashema the Listener, Callus the Void, Ea the Wise, and Exitar the Executioner. All of them fall in line behind the will of Arishem.
Another Celestial (well, self-proclaimed Celestial, but we will let him off the hook this time) in the cinematic universe is Ego the Living Planet. Better known as Peter Quill’s dad and the guy who gave Peter Quill’s mom cancer, Ego shares many of the other Celestials’ powers.
That makes Star-Lord an actual star lord, as he is half Celestial and half-human.
WHAT THE TRAILERS SO FAR HAVE REVEALED
The trailers have been surprisingly tame and unrevealing compared to most Marvel movies. Also, the merchandise released so far doesn’t give too much away.
That doesn’t mean there were no easter eggs, of course. After all, this is still Marvel we are talking about!
Perhaps the biggest reveal in the trailers is that part of the movie will take place when the Eternals first stepped foot on Earth and helped humanity find its way.
There is a quick shot of a massive spaceship inching ominously towards staring, prehistoric villagers.
Another shot shows Gemma Chan’s Sersi using her powers to bring water to a village, giving them access to crops and water that would have helped them advance as a civilization.
While these scenes themselves are probably not that important to the overall storyline of the movie, they are great table setters for how much the Eternals cared for humanity and how they were revered as gods.
Well, what do you think? Are you excited for The Eternals to hit theaters this November? Which Eternal are you most looking forward to seeing?
We hope this guide helped you learn a little more before walking into that movie theater and watching the majesty that is The Eternals!