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How MCU's Eternals Movie Influenced Epcot's Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Guardians Eternals
By Savannah Sanders

Guardians of the Galaxy fans don't have to wait until Thor: Love and Thunder or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to come and get their love. On May 27, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opens at Walt Disney World's EPCOT, offering park guests the chance to save the galaxy alongside Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, Gamora, and Drax aboard an indoor, rotating "story coaster". However, James Gunn's ragtag crew aren't the only MCU characters fans will see on this ride, with the attraction bringing back an alien race most recently seen in Eternals

Cosmic Rewind's villain happens to be the Celestial Eson who first appeared in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. After determining that humanity has failed, Eson seizes Xandarian tech and creates a new jump point to rewind space and time.

However, for this particular adventure, Eson is sporting a brand-new look that's actually more in line with 2021's Eternals than the original Guardians film; and according to Disney, that's by design. 

Eternals Inspired Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind's Celestial

Guardians Eternals
Marvel

During an invited preview of Walt Disney World's Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction, The Direct asked Disney Imagineering about the influence of Chloe Zhao's Eternals on the design of the Celestial Eson. 

Not only did they confirm having worked with the Eternals design team, but Eson's fresh appearance is an effort to be more "cohesive" and part of a "new direction" for the look and design of Celestials.

In the original Guardians of the Galaxy film, Eson looked like a larger and taller Thanos when he levels the face of the planet he's walking on using his staff that contains the Power Stone.

Eson Eternals Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvels

But now, much like Arishem in Eternals, Eson is largely portrayed from the torso and up and is significantly larger than a single planet. He also has a more ancient, worn appearance and his own gravitational pull, evidenced by bits of rock and debris circling around him. 

Eson also appears to only have four eyes in the Cosmic Rewind attraction, as opposed to the six he was seen with in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy

Eson Guardians Cosmic Rewind
Walt Disney World

More Celestials In Store for the MCU?

Marvel Studios' Eternals was a tall order in more ways than one. In addition to introducing audiences to a ten-person ensemble cast, the Chloe Zhao film was also tasked with showing close-ups of the Celestials and illustrating their overall mass and size. 

Since the film ends with Arishem whisking Sersi, Phastos, and Kingo from Earth to determine humanity's worth, it's unlikely that Eternals is the last audiences have seen of Celestials; and Eson's presence in Cosmic Rewind only supports this. 

Theme park attractions are designed to entertain the masses for generations, not for the short term. Even though MCU-based Disney Park attractions exist in their own universe and aren't strictly considered canon, it's unlikely Marvel and Disney would choose a one-and-done villain for its first (and possibly only for the East Coast) MCU attraction. 

Also, the language Imagineering used - particularly in regard to the attempts at being "cohesive" - implies that Marvel Studios wants the Eternals' design for the Celestials to be the MCU's design for the Celestials. 

Just where and when Marvel audiences will see the return of Celestials within the MCU remains to be seen. However, since a Celestial was chosen for a Guardians theme park attraction involving Marvel Studios and James Gunn, and since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to release in 2023, could it be sooner rather than later?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is set to open on May 27 at Walt Disney World's EPCOT.