The Celestials' Origins in Thanos' Prequel Book
If you want to learn a little more about the Celestials in the MCU, though, there is one other place you have to look; Barry Lyga's Avengers: Infinity War novel, Thanos: Titan Consumed. This was announced as the first official MCU tie-in novel, although it was quickly branded non-canon. For all that's the case, though, it's clear that Lyga worked closely with Marvel Studios when writing it. He'd completed it well before the theatrical release of Avengers: Infinity War, and yet Lyga knew about the Titan's assault on Zehoberei; he knew that Thanos achieved his insane goal of erasing half the life in the universe; and he even knew the genocidal being had an out-of-body experience when he snapped his fingers. The book even confirms that Thanos survived Titan's destruction because he was exiled after making the insane suggestion of euthanizing half his homeworld's population, a detail not explained in the film.
All this means that, for all it may be dubious in terms of canon, Thanos: Titan Consumed should be taken very seriously indeed. And, significantly, it features a scene where Thanos encounters the fabled Lorespeaker. The Lorespeaker is an insane being who has collected the myths and legends of the entire galaxy for an unknowable amount of time; it's eventually revealed that he's learned all these because he has possession of the Mind Stone, and has been peering into the minds of men and women across the galaxy. Lyga uses the Lorespeaker to tell Thanos a lot of the universe's deepest, darkest secrets - including the existence of the six Infinity Stones. Significantly, the Lorespeaker also gives a bit of an infodump on the Celestials as well.
"In the wake of the universe's creation," the Lorespeaker declares, "there arose the Celestials! Beings enormous in power, in stature, and in influence... Some say they were born in the heart of the Big Bang. Others that they came into being billions of years later, predating the rise of intelligence and civilization throughout the universe." As the Lorespeaker tells it, the Celestials were "the first great species to roam the stars," and he even suggests that it was the Celestials who forged six singularities into the current Infinity Stones. All this is so ambiguous an origin story that it would no doubt make Kirby proud, given he avoided telling the tale of the Celestials' origins as well. But, assuming that the Lorespeaker is correct, it suggests that the Celestials were the first spacefaring race in the MCU, and that their story is intimately bound with that of the Infinity Stones.
The Celestials' Origin In Future MCU Movies
Future MCU movies promise to further explore the Celestial mythology. Next year's Captain Marvel, for instance, is set to introduce the shapeshifting race known as the Skrulls - and Skrullos was another world visited by the Celestials eons ago. On Skrullos, as on most worlds touched by Celestial power, war broke out between the native population, the Eternal strain, and the Deviant strain; but on that world, the shapeshifting Deviants ultimately triumphed. Interestingly, the second season of Marvel's Runaways TV series introduced another shapeshifting race, the Xartans, who again originate from a world where the Deviants became dominant.
Meanwhile, there are reports that The Eternals - expected to release in 2020 - will essentially be a prequel film to the entire MCU. It's reportedly set "millions of years ago," and will tell the story of how the Celestials came to Earth and experimented on the human race. That makes sense; the movie appears to be heavily influenced by Kirby's original Eternals run, which focused on the relationship between the Eternals, the Deviants, and the Celestials themselves. Perhaps The Eternals will even reveal the origin of the Celestials - or how they came to be destroyed. Given so many Infinity Stones have been connected to Earth, it would hardly be surprising if the final battle between the Celestials and their unknown foes happened over our skies millennia ago.
Whatever the truth may be, one thing is clear; the Celestials are becoming increasingly important to the MCU. Given that's the case, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 could well serve as a foretaste of things to come, a first snack ahad of the Celestial banquet Marvel has planned. And who knows - perhaps they're not as extinct as the universe believes.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019