One year ago, MCU fans were treated to a surprise cameo by one of Marvel's more unique cosmic characters, Starfox (AKA Eros), in Marvel Studios' Eternals. Even more of a shock to fans was that Thanos' brother was played by ex-One Direction singer, Harry Styles.
Fans probably have plenty of questions about Starfox after watching his quick appearance in the Eternals' first post-credit scene. Audiences have no idea who Eros is, and they hardly have a foundation to get excited about what he may bring to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
So let’s fix that. This is everything you need to know about Harry Styles' Eros!
Who is Harry Styles Playing In the MCU?
Let’s get the key question out of the way. As audiences saw during the first post-credits sequence for Eternals, Harry Styles is now a part of the MCU. But just who is he?
Well, he’s precisely the person he claims to be: Starfox, also known as Eros––an Eternal who happens to be the brother of the same being who wiped out half of existence. He’s also from Titan, the destroyed planet that fans saw in Avengers: Infinity War, the one where Doctor Strange gave The Mad Titan the Time Stone he so desired.
According to his entourage, Patton Oswalt’s Pip the Troll, he goes by my titles: Eros, Starfox, Brother of Thanos, Knave of Hearths, Defeater of Black Roger, The Great Adventure—he’s also Titan royalty.
Is Starfox Really Thanos' Brother?
Yes, Starfox is Thanos’ brother.
Their parents were A’Lars (also known as Mentor) and Sui-San––each Eternals, one of whom was from Earth and the other a refugee from what became Titan. These now colonists decided that they wanted to start something new, and with their combined genetic material, they founded a new species of Eternal-derived beings: Titans.
Now, when it comes to the circumstances brought about by the MCU, there are a lot of questions raised. For one, how can a synthetic being have a brother? Arishem established the Eternals from Earth are created by him—but does the same apply to Eros?
There is always the chance that Eros is an Eternal made from different, more organic means, which would mean the same goes for Thanos.
If they aren’t brothers by DNA, this declaration of brotherhood could also be more of friendship or kinship, born out of a close bond. Though that would take away from the tragic childhood which the two shared—and their feuding throughout the millennia.
Why is Starfox Not Purple in the Movie?
With Starfox and Thanos being brothers, one thing is clear: they look nothing alike. So what gives?
Despite being born in the same circumstances, parents, and location, Eros is clearly a normal-looking Eternal, or, at least, a humanoid-looking one. He’s handsome, popular, and basically a perfect specimen.
Thanos, however, did not get so lucky. He was cursed with the Deviant gene. The Deviants from the films are different, but basically, this gene was a mutation originating from their races’ mortal enemy.
This congenital disability caused Thanos to look how he does today: purple and deformed, at least, in comparison to his kin.
To put further context to Thanos' syndrome, his mother even attempted to kill him at birth, fearing how he looked and sensing his capacity for evil. His father, A’Lar, stopped her attempt, but Thanos made sure to return the favor by killing her himself later in life.
The MCU is likely to pull from this backstory in some regards, as they will have to explain why the two are so different.
How Powerful is Harry Styles' Starfox in the comics?
Eros isn’t the strongest Eternal out there and isn’t generally the fighting type. However, he shares a lot of the same abilities that most Eternals do: super strength, stamina, durability, speed, and enhanced reflexes and senses—he can even fly.
His unique powerset comes with his ability to stimulate the pleasure centers of people’s brains. Starfox can make people fall in love with him or other people—he can also simply calm people down or make one more suggestible than usual.
Between the two camps in the movie, the fighter and the thinkers, Starfox would likely be more on the thinking side—though, if there was room between both of them, that’s a grey line he would gladly straddle.
Who’s That Leprechaun Next to Starfox?
The leprechaun that shows up with Harry Styles’ Eros is actually more of a troll, specifically, Pip the Troll. The character is voiced by MCU newcomer Patton Oswalt.
Funnily enough, the two of them don’t really have any history in the comics. There is someone in Marvel Comics lore that Pip is closer to than others: Adam Warlock. Adam actually happens to be set to debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, played by Will Poulter.
When it comes to who he actually is, well, he isn’t someone important—not anymore. Pip was born into royalty, but after drinking with some Laxidazian trolls, he started to gain their characteristics through the altering qualities hidden in their beverages.
On top of working alongside Adam Warlock, Pip has also served Thanos briefly, had a run-in with Hela and her Hellfire Club obsession, and was a member of Yondu’s Ravagers.
So while his partnership with Eros is a new thing, there are plenty of existing plot threats that Marvel Studios can tie him to.
Is Starfox related to the Guardians of the Galaxy?
One of the biggest cosmic teams in the MCU is none other than the Guardians of the Galaxy. So, with such a significant character like Eros, does he have a connection to the team?
His first appearance in the comics coincided with an adventure involving Iron Man and Drax the Destroyer fighting the Blood Brothers. This occurred during the events of Iron Man Vol 1, Issue #5, and Starfox appeared in a single flashback panel.
That’s where Eros' connections to any member of the Guardians of the Galaxy stop, at least, for a long while. More recently, though, Eros was involved in quite a feud against the group, namely Gamora, the deadliest woman in the galaxy.
The most recent time Thanos met his death in Marvel Comics continuity, he left with him a will––one that his brother Eros picked up. On it came a warning: the Mad Titan planned a resurrection, one in which he’d take over an unwilling participant’s body.
That participant was assumed to be Gamora, his daughter and murderer. Eros took this to heart and got together his own Dark Guardians of the Galaxy, consisting of names like Nebula, the Rider, Gladiator, and Wraith. Their team went up against Star-Lord and his entire team as well as Richard Rider’s Nova.
Two cosmic characters who do share a connection with Eros are the original Captain Mar-Vell, and Monica Rambaeu’s Captain Marvel/Photon. Eros became good friends with Mar-Vell and then worked closely with Rambaeu during his time alongside the Avengers—yes, he was a member of the team for a good amount of time.
What Has Eros of Titan Even Been Up To?
The first possibility is that he’s been hiding out on Titan. With it being his home planet, maybe he never wanted to leave after it fell—or it was simply a good hiding spot. That being said, Thanos had a rendezvous there and then a massive brawl with the Avengers, so, hopefully, Eros had a bucket of popcorn.
Being known as the Mad Titan’s brother is clearly important to Eros, so lots of his time was probably spent on Titan. This is potentially the place in which he was originally assigned to by whatever Celestial watches over him, whether that be Arishem or someone else.
But where was he during the Blip? Was he snapped, or did he survive? Zhao recently confirmed that none of the Eternals were snapped, given their synthetic origins––so the same would be true for Eros. This means that he had a long five years to do whatever he wanted in a fractured galaxy.
Why Didn't Eros Stop Thanos?
Well, he may not have interfered with his brother and his tyrannical tirades throughout the galaxy because he was too busy seeking adventures across the stars.
One thing to know about Eros is how he is the antithesis of his brother: he treasures all life and is always seeking to experience it. This includes the romantic side of existence as well, something his brother doesn’t seem to care all that much about.
Given Eros’ arrival at the end of Eternals, it seems he actually may have been up to a lot since Thanos has been gone. He does have a Celestial orb, after all, and a clear purpose. He knows that fellow Eternals were taken by Arishem and the exact location as to where to find them.
It seems like a lot for someone who may have been sitting on their butt for years. It’s pretty obvious that there is a bigger picture fans won’t be able to see for years to come.
Where will Starfox be Seen Next in the MCU?
It’s nearly impossible to say. However, it’s probably safe to assume that he won't be going to Earth anytime soon. Maybe fans will be taken back to the desolate planet of Titan, which would now be littered with moon shards. Given the character's close connection with the planet, Eros’ base of operations may be somewhere on its rocky surface.
Two other likely films where the character may show up, besides any Eternals sequels, are The Marvels. Carol Danvers’ next outing could be a good candidate given Eros’ history with that line of heroes, and Gunn’s next Marvel outing could be a good fit because Starfox is dragging Pip around; he might as well acquaint them with Adam Warlock sooner rather than later.
James Gunn recently mentioned that Harry Styles will not be making a cameo appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Directly asked about the rumors, Gunn quickly shot down speculation with a resounding "nope." The director went on to say that “[he's] setting the record straight. He’s not [in the movie]– Starfox doesn’t pop up.”
Harry Styles himself has indicated that he is not sure if Starfox will appear again in the MCU. Styles noted that he "[doesn't] imagine [he'd] do a movie for a while," joking how "it'd be funny if [Eternals] was it" for his MCU debut. Read everything Harry Styles said about his MCU future here.
Kevin Feige himself has commented on the future of Harry Styles, however, and is much more hopeful about his MCU future. Feige says that Eros has an "exciting" future in the MCU, teasing more appearances for both Starfox and Pip the Troll.