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Eternals Trailer Breakdown: 25 Story Details & Marvel Secrets You Missed


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Marvel's Eternals trailer introduces viewers to the next group of MCU superheroes - and here's our full breakdown of the trailer, exploring all the story details and character moments. It's easy to forget that, when Marvel launched the MCU back in 2008, they didn't have any of their most famous or popular brands. Iron Man and Captain America were far from household names, with the film rights for Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four sitting with Fox.

Marvel learned an important lesson; it doesn't matter how famous a superhero character already is, or how well-established they are in the public consciousness already. If you make a good enough movie, they'll become a hit. As a result, the MCU's Phase 4 will introduce an unlikely group of super-powered beings, the Eternals, who have never exactly been A-listers in the comics and have been reinvented by award-winning director Chloé Zhao for the MCU. Now, at last, Marvel has released the first Eternals trailer, and for most viewers this will be their introduction to the group.

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RELATED: MCU Characters Who Could Already Know The Eternals In-Universe

As a result, the Eternals trailer is mainly focused on establishing the high-level concept and showing off some of the Eternals' powers. There are only hints at the overarching story, and the trailer provides only a glimpse of Kit Harington's Black Knight, who is also set to make his MCU debut in Eternals. So here are the major takeaways and reveals.

25. The Arrival Of The Eternals

In the comics, the Eternals are an evolutionary offshoot of humanity created by a cosmic race of aliens known as the Celestials. The MCU appears to have rewritten their origin story, however, instead portraying them as a group of ancient aliens who were sent to Earth to serve as shepherds and guides for human civilization. Speaking at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, actor Kumail Nanjiani discussed the Eternals' origin in a little more detail; "We were sent to Earth thousands of years ago to protect Earth from these monsters, the Deviants," he explained. "By this point, we've been on Earth for a long time." That's abundantly clear in the trailer's stunning opening shot, which sees the Eternals' ship decloak over a group of fishermen and farmers thousands of years ago. This ship may serve as the Eternals' base of operations, allowing the Eternals to interact with different human civilizations across the planet; set photos have shown everywhere from Babylon to the Aztec "City of the Space Gods" from Jack Kirby's original Eternals run. Its ability to cloak means it could still be hidden in the present day.

24. Eternals' Opening Music

The opening song in the Eternals trailer is unusual, but potentially significant. Skeeter Davis' "The End of the World" was released in 1962, a sad song written after the end of a romantic relationship. It's a perfect song-choice for Eternals, because it blends the theme of romance - believed to be central to the film - with the literal threat of the end of the world. Amusingly, it also has links to Angelina Jolie - it was used in the award-winning Girl, Interrupted, albeit in a very different way.

23. Sersi & Ikaris Look Down At Earth

Two of the Eternals are shown looking down at the Earth; Gemma Chan's Sersi and Richard Madden's Ikaris, who are set up as the main characters in this first Eternals trailer. In the comics, Sersi is the member of the Eternals who has traditionally interacted with humanity the most, even becoming a member of the Avengers during the '90s. It's fitting that she falls in love with the Earth the moment she sees the planet, dedicating herself to its defense on an emotional level. Ikaris, the leader of the Eternals, seems rather less impressed.

RELATED: Is Millie Bobby Brown In Eternals? Casting Rumors Explained

22. Angelina Jolie's Thena

Angelina Jolie is making her MCU debut as Thena, an Eternal warrior who has often served as a diplomat for the Eternals, helping them find common ground with other cultures and civilizations. The Eternals trailer gives viewers their first look at Thena in costume, and the design is gorgeous, perfectly complementing the flares of circular cosmic energy surrounding her. The introduction of such cosmic energy is important in its own right, because the Power Cosmic sets up the likes of the Fantastic Four and Galactus. "Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation," defined as "relic radiation dating back to the Big Bang," was also referenced in WandaVision.

21. Ajak, The Spiritual Leader Of The Eternals

The Eternals trailer moves on to introducing Salma Hayek's character, Ajak, who's been gender-swapped from the comics. Ajak is believed to serve as the Eternals' spiritual leader, and according to leaked Eternals merchandise her wisdom has guided the team from their arrival on Earth to the present day. She possesses the power of physical healing, which she can use to heal humans and Eternals alike, and intriguingly the merchandise teased she possesses the unique ability to communicate with the Celestials.

20. Phastos Manipulates Cosmic Energy

Next up is Phastos, the Eternals' inventor, played by Brian Tyree Henry. Merchandise suggests this character has operated from the shadows, secretly helping humanity develop technologically. The Eternals trailer shows him manipulating cosmic energy in an unknown way, and it's unclear precisely what he is attempting to do. The flares of cosmic energy are beautiful, evocative of the creative designs of Jack Kirby.

19. The Eternals' Role In MCU History Explained

The Eternals trailer features both a voice-over and a number of scenes explaining just what role the Eternals have played in the development of human civilization. They have presented themselves as passive observers but, for all their claims, in truth they have served to direct humanity by helping people progress as a culture. Their actions have led to the Eternals being treated as gods; in the comics, their creator Jack Kirby intended them to be the inspiration for the legends of the Greek gods in particular, explaining the origin of their individual names (Thena being linked to Athena, for example, and Ikaris to the legend of Icarus). Amusingly, Russell Crowe will play the Greek god Zeus in Thor: Love & Thunder, perhaps meaning the Greek Pantheon will be drawn from two sources in the MCU mythology.

18. Sersi Helping Irrigate A Desert

True to the comics, Sersi appears to have interacted with humanity to a greater degree than other Eternals. One shot shows her using her power of matter transmutation to create water, effectively irrigating a desert environment. It's easy to see why the Eternals are worshiped as gods; many of the earliest gods worshiped by humans were associated with fertility, with rivers flowing in the deserts. There is most definitely a sense of the divine about Sersi's demonstration of benevolent power. She's later shown integrating with a human family, getting her hair platted by a girl.

17. Thena Showing Off Her Combat Skills

Angelina Jolie's character, Thena, looks set to be one of the stand-out characters in Eternals. According to leaked Eternals merchandise, in the MCU Thena is able to reshape cosmic energy in order to create any weapon she can imagine. Her favorite weapon in the comics is a staff, so it's safe to assume the trailer shows her wielding the MCU version of that, which she has forged using her powers.

RELATED: MCU's Eternals Footage Suggests A Major Comic Book Story Change

16. The Eternals At Babylon

The Eternals are shown at the Gates of Babylon, with the voice-over hinting they may well have been linked to all seven of the ancient "Wonders of the World." Babylon is a key location in Eternals lore in the comics, because it was there Thena began her long and controversial romance with the Deviant warlord Kro, who's been confirmed to appear in Eternals by tie-in merchandise. What's more, the Eternal Gilgamesh is tied to Babylon as well; his very name comes from an ancient Babylonian poem, while one comic book story saw a time traveling Captain America team up with Gilgamesh in order to defend Babylon from an alien army. It's interesting to note the shots in Babylon seem to suggest the Eternals have revealed themselves to the people of the city, in marked contrast with the voice-over claiming they never interfere.

15. Makkari Speed-Reading

The Eternals trailer moves on to show Lauren Ridloff's Makkari, the fastest woman in the universe and the MCU's first deaf superhero. Makkari is another character who has been gender-swapped, and her precise role is a mystery, because merchandise has suggested she's typically a herald of the Celestials - and yet she's definitely seen in historic shots in the trailer too. Makkari is seen here in the Eternals' ship, flipping through books at super-speed. Clearly the Eternals have collected items from every civilization they've interacted with, and it's interesting to note Medieval British armor, perhaps a first hint of a connection with Camelot and the Black Knight. Not all the mementos are important, though; attentive viewers have spotted a pack of Pop Tarts.

14. Time Passes For The Eternals

Eternals may span thousands of years, but the trailer stresses that the bulk of the action takes place in the present day. Sersi is shown walking through ancient Babylon, and then in the present; interestingly, she seems more than a little confused. It's possible some of the Eternals have been absorbed into human civilization, forgetting who they really are, and that they learn the truth through a number of visions. That particular idea would be lifted from Neil Gaiman's iconic Eternals run, and it would explain why the Eternals didn't help against Thanos.

13. The Fall Of Babylon

The Eternals trailer shows what appears to be another shot from the past, the fall of Babylon. It's a brutal moment, and it serves to remind viewers that - for all the Eternals have inspired human progress - they have stood by and watched many tragedies and atrocities over the millennia. That in itself raises the disturbing question of just why they have chosen to step out of the shadows now; whatever threat humanity is facing must be a horror on a far greater scale than any we have seen before.

12. A Brief Glimpse Of Sprite

At last the Eternals trailer gives a shot of one of the most exciting characters in the film, Lia McHugh's Sprite. This Eternal is permanently trapped in the form of a young child, something that - in the comics - they ultimately came to resent. This particular gender-swap has become canon in the comics, where it's it's been revealed the Eternals are gender-fluid, with Sprite becoming a girl. Sprite is traditionally one of the most dangerous Eternals, infinitely more malevolent than her kin; indeed, Sprite once robbed all the Eternals of their memories as part of a mad plan to avenge herself upon the beings who had trapped her in a child's body.

11. Introducing Druig - Another Ominous Eternal

The Eternals trailer also reveals Druig, played by Barry Keoghan. According to merchandise, he has retreated from the rest of the Eternals because he disagrees with the extent of their influence on humanity. Druig possesses the power to manipulate the minds of others, and the trailer teases that he may well have become some sort of cult leader. It's possible he doesn't disagree so much with the idea of influencing the human race, as with the direction the Eternals have pursued.

10. The Eternals Unite

Individually, the Eternals are powerful. But their greatest ability is to unite their minds into a single consciousness, a so-called "Uni-Mind" infinitely greater than any one of the Eternals. The Eternals trailer shows a brief glimpse of the heroes combining their powers in what may be the MCU's version of the ritual to create the Uni-Mind. It will be interesting to see whether the MCU follows Jack Kirby's original idea, in which only the Prime Eternal could initiate a Uni-Mind, or whether it follows more recent stories where any Eternals can bond together - but the Uni-Mind increases in power as others are added. The latter would be a smart approach, because it would allow Eternals to set up the idea of Eternals combining their power ahead of this dramatic shot.

9. Thena's Blade

The stand-out moment in the first Eternals footage was a shot of Angelina Jolie's Thena wielding a shimmering golden blade, likely one she has summoned into being using her cosmic powers. This shot is reproduced in the Eternals trailer, which makes sense given the strength of people's reactions to it. It's unclear when this event takes place; some set photos have suggested Thena will somehow be tied to Medieval England, perhaps meaning she's been woven into the sword-and-sorcery adventures that led to the creation of the Ebony Blade.

8. The Romance Between Ikaris And Sersi

Marvel's Eternals movie has been described as the MCU's first romance, and the trailer focuses on the love between Ikaris and Sersi. According to leaked Eternals merchandise, Sersi has been in love with Ikaris for centuries and uses their relationship to persuade him to bring the Eternals back together for one last mission. But, although the love between these two Eternals may have burned for centuries, it may well turn out to be a doomed romance. In the comics, Sersi winds up becoming the lover of the Black Knight, and set photos have shown Gemma Chan's Sersi and Kit Harington's Black Knight kissing.

7. Welcome To Bollywood

Kumail Nanjiani plays the Eternal Kingo, who has come to enjoy a life of celebrity and fame in the present day as a Bollywood star. In December 2019, lucky attendees of Brazil's CCXP got to see some first-look footage of the film, which featured an actual Bollywood sequence. The Eternals trailer includes a couple of brief shots from this scene, with Nanjiani in full Bollywood garb.

6. A Volcanic Eruption - The Fall Of Atlantis?

Eternals spans thousands of years, and the main characters do not change or age, so it's difficult to say how some shots in the trailer fit into the film's overarching narrative. One of the most intriguing shots shows a volcanic eruption, which may be tied to the legend of Atlantis. In the comics, the ancient war between the Eternals and the Deviants came to a climax 10,000 years ago on the continent of Lemuria, which was ruled over by the advanced race known as the Atlanteans. The King of Atlantis turned the city's magma pits into a weapon to be used against the invading Deviants, but unwittingly triggered a devastating earthquake. This coincided with a Deviant attack upon the Celestials themselves, and the entire continent of Lemuria sank beneath the waves. Only a few Atlanteans survived in cities protected by great domes, and they were transformed by the blessing of the gods into an aquatic race. There have already been signs of Atlantis' existence in the MCU; Iron Man 2 featured a SHIELD hotspot in the Atlantic Ocean, and Avengers: Endgame referenced a submarine earthquake that could be linked to the Atlanteans. It would be fantastic to see Eternals build upon this.

RELATED: Every Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie

5. Sprite Seems To Have Gone On A Rampage

There's a brief shot of Sprite on a plane, and it looks as though she's performing a karaoke. This may seem bizarre at first glance, but notice the "K" logo on the door; that suggests this is the private plane of Kingo, the Eternals' Bollywood star. Disturbingly, Sprite appears to be performing in front of dead bodies, suggesting she's just been on a rampage. It is possible that, just as in Neil Gaiman's Eternals comic book run, Sprite is the real villain of the film.

4. Kit Harington's Black Knight & Sersi

The Eternals trailer shows a brief, blink-and-you'll-miss-it glimpse of Kit Harington's Black Knight standing alongside Sersi. In the comics, Dane Whitman is a scientist who was swept up into a world of sword-and-sorcery adventures when he inherited the cursed Ebony Blade, a weapon that dates back to the time of King Arthur and Camelot. The Black Knight's role in Eternals is still unclear, and this first trailer is focused on setting up the ancient aliens rather than the Black Knight himself.

3. A Storm Is Coming - Is This The Celestials?

As the Eternals trailer builds to a climax, a storm is seen brewing in the skies. This kind of effect is traditionally associated with the arrival of the Celestials themselves in the comics, who have returned to Earth on numerous occasions in order to judge humanity. The Celestials are believed extinct in the MCU, with Ego the last of his kind in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but it's possible that belief is incorrect - and that the Celestials have come to Earth. This could well be the cosmic event that forces the Eternals out of hiding, because they know the entire world could potentially be destroyed if the Celestials find humanity wanting.

2. The Eternals Assemble

It looks as though the Eternals put their differences behind them in order to stand against this mysterious threat, because the trailer shows them standing united - all wearing their traditional costumes. This is the first time viewers have been able to see these beautiful, Kirby-esque designs. Meanwhile, note the natural light surrounding them; Eternals has a completely different DNA to other Marvel movies, shot mostly on location.

1. Who's Going To Lead The Avengers?

The Eternals trailer ends on a lighter note, with the Eternals discussing who will lead the Avengers now that Iron Man and "Captain Rogers" are gone. While this is pitched as nothing more than a moment of levity, it's actually crucial in reminding viewers this film is part of the same shared universe - and it definitively positions Eternals in the MCU timeline. It's interesting to note the Eternals refer to Captain America as "Captain Rogers," perhaps indicating a past connection to the star-spangled man with a plan; perhaps they even crossed his path briefly during World War II.

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