Marvel Studios' Eternals promises to expand the horizons of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Arriving this November, Eternals is the story of a group of celestial beings who arrived incognito on Earth thousands of years ago. The Eternals have borne witness to mankind's triumphs and failures, but have been compelled to stay removed from human conflict – and the reason for that becomes clear (sort of, kind of) in the majestic final trailer.
There's some serious pedigree behind this one. Behind the camera is Chloé Zhao who won an Oscar for her engrossing docudrama Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand. The cast of Eternals is something very special: Richard Madden (Bodyguard), Salma Hayek (Frida) and Angelina Jolie (Maleficent) join Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk), Brian Tyree Henry (Widows), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians) and Kit Harington (Game of Thrones). Here's the new poster teasing the very starry ensemble.
So, what did we learn from the new Eternals trailer? Scroll down to find out.
1. We know the movie's placement in the MCU chronology
At the beginning of the trailer, Salma Hayek's Ajak fills us in. She informs Richard Madden's Ikaris, a being who can project energy from his eyes, about the fallout from Tony Stark's actions in Avengers: Endgame. Therefore, we have an idea of where we stand: this comes in the wake of Tony's death, after he sacrificed himself to restore half of all life in the universe.
That said, there appears to be a prologue in which we bear witness to the Eternals arriving on Earth 7,000 years ago: certain set-pieces appear to show the Eternals protecting primordial humans from their feared nemeses, the Deviants. That said, this movie largely appears to occupy a post-Endgame universe, although it's currently unclear whether the movie will run alongside the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home.
2. We understand the implications of Tony Stark's reverse-snap
Tony may have saved the world, and indeed the whole universe, but his reverse-snap (or 'blip') came at a cost. The trailer keeps things ambiguous, but it seems as if the restoration of life on Earth sent a cosmic shockwave throughout the galaxy. This appears to have drawn the attention of an especially deadly enemy via a process known as the 'emergence'; who it is, at this stage, is unclear. What is clear is the sense of ticking clock urgency: as Ajak explains, the Eternals have just seven days to protect mankind from this new threat.
3. We get an inkling as to why the Eternals don't wage war
It becomes apparent that the Eternals have been instructed not to meddle in mankind's affairs, particularly as far as conflict is concerned. Their role is to only fight the Deviants – hence why they didn't step in to help destroy Thanos (Josh Brolin). Cut to... some kind of red-eyed deity whose presence will likely provoke questions from many. Who is the mysterious figure giving the all-powerful Eternals their instructions?
It's implied that the Celestials are the ones telling the Eternals what to do. The Celestials created both the Eternals and the Deviants, and are so ancient, they even pre-date the formation of Asgard as seen in the Thor movies. The severed head of an ancient Celestial acted as the landscape of Knowhere in Guardians of the Galaxy. This critical part of Marvel Comics lore hasn't been teased out all that explicitly in the previous MCU movies; we can practically hear the fans squealing with delight as the Celestials make their presence known.
4. The Eternals collective has its own Q figure
Every Marvel movie has its designated comic relief character. Well, with the Earth being threatened yet again, you need to break up the tension every once in a while. In Eternals, the responsibility falls to Bryan Tyree Henry as Phastos, the group's resident technology expert and IKEA enthusiast. Are we imagining the rival to Black Panther's Shuri (Letitia Wright)?
5. The Eternals are bound by a love of humanity
According to Marvel.com, it's the Deviant named Kro whom we see threatening Angelina Jolie's Thena and, by extension, the whole of mankind. ("You cannot protect them," he mocks.) As per the comics, supervillain Kro is a militant figure within the Deviants and he shares a uniquely personal history with Thena. Created by artist Jack Kirby, Kro spawned two children with Thena, Donald and Deborah Ritter, although it's not yet clear if this history will form the backbone of the Eternals movie.
What is clear is that the Eternals are motivated by a deep-seated love of mankind. As Thena says: "When you love something, you protect it." No doubt this will make their latest conflict especially personal and all the more emotional to navigate. Let's prepare to grab our popcorn and enjoy the ride.