Summary

  • The Celestials are the oldest and most powerful race in the Marvel Universe, responsible for creating life forms like the Eternals and Deviants.
  • The MCU has featured different Celestials, including Ego the Living Planet and the Unknown Decapitated Celestial (which became Knowhere).
  • Each Celestial has unique abilities and roles, such as Arishem the Judge creating the universe and Hargen the Measurer helping create cosmic bodies.

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The Celestials are perhaps the single most powerful race in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there have been precious few examples of them throughout the franchise’s many films. The grand cosmic beings are the single oldest sentient creatures in the Marvel Universe, having been responsible for the creation of the Eternals, Deviants, and many more life forms. As a result, the importance of the Celestials’ role in Marvel’s cosmology, both in the films and the comics, cannot be understated.

Typically appearing as humanoid giants inhabiting colorful suits of armor, the Celestials have a variety of forms and awe-inspiring galaxy-scale powers. In the comics, the spacefaring beings do much more than simply seed life in planets, acting as gatekeepers to interstellar travel that destroy or enhance entire races based on their own judgment. While the Celestials’ role in the MCU might not be quite so present, they have made a multitude of appearances.

11 Ego The Living Planet

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

A being of great cosmic significance, Ego is a remarkably different Celestial with his own set of goals and powers. Rather than appearing as a massive humanoid clad in jagged armor, Ego is a literal living planet, capable of conjuring and re-shaping matter and energy at a whim. Using these powers, Ego infiltrated the furthest corners of the galaxy, creating host bodies from which to conceive half-Celestial offspring in the hopes of using their doubled powers to conquer the galaxy in his image.

Because of his difference from the other Celestials, Ego’s actual status as such was a topic of debate for some time. However, What If…? confirmed that Ego is a Celestial, despite how vastly unique he is. It seems as though his claims of springing into consciousness from the earliest days of existence are to be believed, as directly stated by The Watcher.

10 The Unknown Decapitated Celestial

First appeared in Thor: The Dark World (2013)

knowhere in the mcu

While not much is known about the Celestial that would later become the satellite Knowhere, the place itself has a storied history. Originally a haven for criminal organizations like the Tivan Group, looking to mine the rare organic components of the decaying Celestial skull, the literal Celestial body would eventually become the headquarters of the Guardians of the Galaxy, who outfitted it with massive engines to make it mobile. In the comics, the Celestial that would go on to form Knowhere was decapitated by Knull, king of the Symbiotes, but in the MCU, the origin of the severed head space station is still a mystery.

9 One Above All

Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

Thor Love and Thunder One Above All Statue

Appearing only in statue form, the Celestial known as One Above All is possibly the single most powerful member of his race, or at least was. Alluded to in Eternity’s temple in Thor: Love and Thunder, the character serves as the Celestials’ leader in the comics, possibly occupying a similar role in the MCU’s cosmology. Confusingly, the One Above All shares his title with another entity of the same name, an even more powerful being that essentially acts as the Marvel universe’s true God and creator.

8 Arishem The Judge

Eternals (2021)

If the One Above All is the Celestials’ leader and most powerful member in Marvel Comics, Arishem the Judge fulfills this position instead in the MCU. The Prime Celestial, Arishem is responsible for creating the universe as we know it, sewing the seeds for the formation of stars, galaxies, and other heavenly bodies, culminating in the creation of intelligent life. Arishem was also responsible for the creation of the Deviants, a race of ferocious creatures meant to protect intelligent life from predators before becoming predators themselves, and the Eternals, immortal beings later created to stop the out-of-control Deviants.

However, the true purpose behind Arishem’s plan was the creation of new Celestials, which Emerged from seeded planets in order to further spread life throughout the universe. The only reason Arishem wanted sapient life to develop and flourish was to feed the birth of fresh Celestials, such as Tiamut the Communicator, whose Emergence would destroy the planet. In the comics, Arishem’s role was more closely aligned to his title, judging whether various civilizations should live or die, with the One Above All acting as the Prime Celestial instead.

7 Nezarr The Calculator

Eternals (2021)

Nezarr the Calculator Eternals 2021

Another Celestial billions of years old, Nezarr the Calculator was another of the ancient race, shown to Sersi when she took over the role of Prime Eternal. With his signature blue armor, Nezarr gracefully navigated the cosmos, his work like incomprehensible to mortal minds. In the comics, Nezarr the Calculator was responsible for gathering and interpreting the vast amounts of data corresponding to emergent galactic civilizations, feeding it to Arishem for judgment.

6 Eson The Searcher

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Eson the Searcher in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Clad in purple armor, Eson the Searcher showed off to the Guardians of the Galaxy just how staggeringly powerful the Celestials’ destructive capabilities are. Using his staff to harness the awesome might of the Power Stone, Eson is shown obliterating the entire surface of a planet with one strike, ruthlessly ending an entire civilization for unknown reasons. In the source material, Eson’s job isn’t so violent, instead living up to his name as a purveyor of planets, being the first Celestial to discover Earth.

5 Jemiah The Analyzer

Eternals (2021)

How powerful are the eternals celestials

Jemiah the Analyzer is among the first Celestials shown to Sersi, seen creating the stars that led to the formation of the galaxy and life itself. Once again, the comics version of Jemiah the Analyzer pays closer attention to his title, analyzing the various civilizations the Celestials had seeded throughout the cosmos and reporting them back to Arishem. In the MCU, his name also comes up on Knowhere, with the satellite’s popular bar, Jemiah’s Boot, being named after him.

4 Hargen The Measurer

Eternals (2021)

Several Celestials stand among the stars in the MCU

Relatively younger compared to the other Celestials, Hargen is counted among those of the race who had emerged from seeded planets thanks to the life-force of intelligent species, proof of Arishem’s plan working. A particularly huge and brutish-looking Celestial in his green armor, Hargen helps his fellow Celestials create stars and other cosmic bodies later on. Of course, in the comics, Hargen the Measurer does indeed measure things, assessing the planets within the Celestials’ cosmic survey.

3 Tiamut The Communicator

Eternals (2021)

Dead Celestial Tiamut in Eternals

Meant to emerge from the Earth, Tiamut the Communicator was the be the newest Celestial born with the destruction of humanity, feeding off of the latent energy of the species’ developed minds. Luckily for the human race, the Eternals chose to save humanity at the cost of Tiamut’s life, leaving the massive being stillborn and half-formed in the Indian Ocean, having been transmuted into stone by Sersi. In the comics, Tiamut is similarly trapped within the Earth, being sealed under California’s Diablo Mountains to become known as the Dreaming Celestial.

2 Mantis

First appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Appearing as a humanoid member of an unknown alien race, Mantis was raised alone by Ego the Living Planet since childhood, who utilized her abilities of emotional manipulation to help him sleep and control his neurotic tendencies. In The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Mantis revealed that she, too, was a child of Ego, and thus a half-Celestial alongside her half-brother, Peter Quill. Unlike Quill, Mantis seems to have inherited none of Ego’s Celestial powers, her empath abilities being a result of her biology via her antennae and still working after Ego’s death. In the comics, Mantis is actually a human who lived with the Kree, rather than a half-Celestial alien.

1 Peter Quill

First appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

For the longest time, both audiences and Peter Quill himself thought him to be simply a normal human boy with an absent father, abducted by aliens after the death of his mother. However, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 revealed that his father was actually the Celestial, Ego the living planet. Peter is significant for being the only known offspring of Ego to inherit any of his father’s powers, showing the same abilities to manipulate matter. His powers seemed to be tied to Ego himself, fading away with the death of his father.

Peter’s Celestial powers were hinted at earlier in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, when he managed to withstand bare contact with the ravaging cosmic forces of the Power Stone. This half-Celestial heritage represents a major departure from the comics, in which the ancient cosmic entities are incapable of mating with lesser life forms. Originally, Star-Lord was half Spartax, an advanced race of aliens nearly indistinguishable from humans. It’s safe to say that the MCU‘s take on Star-Lord’s heritage is much more compelling.

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