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Eternals

Eternals, the newest movie introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was released on Friday, November 5th, 2021. The film was directed by Chloé Zhao and stars Gemma Chan as the movie’s main protagonist, and Bill Skarsgård as the main antagonist.

The movie was overall gorgeous. Between stunning visuals and a fantastic soundtrack, the movie definitely delivered on being one of Marvel’s most visually aesthetic films. Along with being stunning, Eternals is one of Marvel’s most diverse films. It holds one of the largest cast of superheroes on a team, varying in race, culture, gender, and age.

Marvel started with their superhero repertoire being predominantly a white male cast, and throughout the years, they have added more and more representation. It all comes to fruition in this movie, with a tremendously diverse cast. Eternals holds Marvel’s first openly gay superhero, Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, and their first openly disabled superhero, Makarri, played by Lauren Ridloff, who, along with her character, is deaf. 

One thing that Marvel did, which was a great choice, was to change the gender of some of the characters. In the comics, Ajak, played by Salma Hayek, and Sprite, played by Lia McHugh, were men. However, Ajak is not only a female superhero, but she’s the leader of the Eternals, the first woman in her fifties to don a super-suit, and the first Mexican woman to be a superhero.

As someone who is South Asain, seeing Kumail Nanjiani playing Marvel’s first South Asian superhero, Kingo, is extremely important to me and was fantastic to see in such a big Hollywood movie universe like the MCU.

The Eternals themselves were immortal beings put on Earth to fight Deviants and protect the human race from those creatures, but not interfere with the development of humans. Throughout the movie, we see how they grow attached to humans and care for them through flashbacks. The flashbacks were stunning, gave a small glimpse into the past of the Eternals, and helped show their impact on history.

The movie explains a lot about the history and creation of Earth and civilization in the MCU. Many mythologies inspired the Eternals characters, and in the MCU, the stories they are based on are based around the Eternals. For example, when they were in Athens, Sprite came up with the tale of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, based on the Eternal Ikaris. Another example is Thena, who becomes part of Greece’s mythology and is Athena, the goddess of war.

Even though it felt as if the characters didn’t have a lot of character development, they were all interesting characters. Each of them had their own reasons for their actions and unique personalities. They all have a deeply intertwined history, but each has paths and stories separate from the group. 

The Emergence is an event that signified the birth of a new Celestial while destroying the planet that it was stuck in the core of. In Earth’s case, the Celestial Tiamut was to be born, but because of the Blip was delayed. The Eternals stopped this in the movie, but it raised some interesting questions and themes. 

One of the main questions raised in the movie was whether one’s function could be challenged in the name of love, which Sersi answers when her compassion and love for human beings help her stop the Emergence. Another question that the movie brings up is a bit more specific but still thought-provoking if it’s okay to sacrifice one civilization for the sake of another, which is what stopping the Emergence is. 

The post-credit scene introduces Sersi’s boyfriend, seen at the beginning of the movie and played by Kit Harington, Dane Whitman’s storyline as the Black Knight when he debated whether or not to take a sword that has been passed down in his family known as the Ebony Blade.

The mid-credits scene introduced Pip The Troll from the planet Laxidazia and Eros, otherwise known as Starfox, played by Harry Styles. Pip presents Eros as he enters the Domo, where Thena, Druig, and Makarri are going to find other Eternals. In Pip’s introduction, he lists Eros as the brother of Thanos and is an Eternal.

The movie felt slightly irrelevant to the MCU as a whole in a detached way. Other than a few references to the Blip and some former Avengers like Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, the movie could have been just another sci-fi action film. However, contradicting that statement, introducing the new characters in the end-credit scenes and the movie’s open-end leave room for sequels and further discover how the Eternals will fit into the MCU.

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