What Is The Uni-Mind From Marvel’s Eternals?
The new film “Eternals” changes much of the landscape of the already ever-expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Eternals are immortal beings, created by Arishem (known in Marvel Comics as Arishem the Judge), the ancient and massive prime Celestial being who is credited for making the first sun and bringing light into the universe. Arishem is billions of years old and incredibly powerful, holding much responsibility for creating and destroying life throughout the Marvel universe.
In order to assist the birth of more Celestials, Arishem creates the Deviants, deformed near-immortal creatures that are sent to a planet to wipe out its apex predators in order for civilization to grow further, until Deviants adapt and begin killing all life. In order to combat this, Arishem creates the synthetic and immortal Eternals who are sent eradicate the Deviants and protect life — specifically human life on Earth — in order to correct what Arishem views as a mistake within the Deviants. In the film, we see the Eternals begin to distrust Arishem, questioning the ancient Celestial and ultimately refusing to destroy humanity for the sake of birthing another Celestial with the Emergence. The Eternals are successful in doing so, but only when they’re able to combine their essences and abilities into one energy called the Uni-Mind.
But what is the Uni-Mind, and how is Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) able to so easily come to the conclusion that they can merge their essences into one sort of being? Here’s everything we know about the history of the Uni-Mind and how it has been adapted to the MCU.
The Uni-Mind creates one supreme consciousness
In the comics, the creation of the Uni-Mind not only happens a long time ago — over 500,000 years, to be exact — but it’s actually an experiment conducted by the “ruling class” Eternal named Kronos (who has surprising connections to Thanos in the comics). He wants to see if he can isolate the Eternals’ energy that gives them their abilities, and nearly succeeds, but instead the process transforms Kronos into an entity that becomes one with the universe and time and kills the remaining Eternals. Although this is a very dark event for the supposedly immortal beings, they are subsequently reborn by the Celestials, but now with enhanced abilities.
The Eternals find that they can now combine their minds and wills together to create a Celestial-level powerful being that they dub the Uni-Mind. It’s a fitting name, as the process truly combines each mind of the Eternals to create one cohesive existence and power unit, essentially erasing their individual identities when combined. This means the Uni-Mind is a separate being from each individual Eternal, containing the total abilities of each member. In the comics, it’s unclear if the Prime Eternal then controls the Uni-Mind, but it seems that this is the case in the film, as Sersi (Gemma Chan) is the crucial connection, with the Prime Eternal abilities and link to Arishem. Hopefully, things will become more clear on this in the future of the MCU.
The Uni-Mind restores the Eternals' power and can appear in a human form
Although the Uni-Mind is only able to be summoned by whoever is the Prime Eternal, the combination of all the Eternals into one actually heals and restores the abilities of each. According to the comics, the Uni-Mind is able to heal Sersi, Thena, Makkari, and Druig after they temporarily become human to attend a party and are attacked. A subconscious reaction from each Eternal triggers a connection to the Uni-Mind, and it heals and restores their powers in order to help them defeat their foes.
Unlike in the film, in which Sersi maintains purely a mental link to the Uni-Mind, with no change to her or any Eternal’s physical appearance, the Uni-Mind often appears in an energy-based humanoid form in the comics. It typically has pure energy limbs, a head, torso, legs, and no face, very similar to Tye Longshadow’s Apache Chief astral form from DC’s “Young Justice.”
Although neither the human form of the Uni-Mind or its healing abilities are shown in “Eternals,” it is entirely possible that this is something the Eternals of the MCU have yet to discover about their connection within the Uni-Mind.
The Eternals' Uni-Mind can defeat a Celestial because Celestials are Uni-Minds
If you are wondering how the Eternals, given that they are creations of a Celestial, are able to stop the Emergence of another Celestial, the comics can answer that question as well. In one Marvel storyline, the Young God Mira, a human-made goddess, is looking to prove that humankind is worth saving. During her mission, she comes to discover that Celestials are actually Uni-Minds made from entire planets encased in armor.
This explains the entire birthing process of a Celestial, meaning that if Earth or another planet is actually destroyed during a scenario like the one in “Eternals,” it would be because the Celestial being born is forming a Uni-Mind of the entirety of humanity, which is ultimately encased to become the new Celestial. It also explains how the Eternals’ combined Uni-Mind is able to prevent this process, as their Uni-Mind is considerably powerful given that they are essentially creations of a Uni-Mind itself.
Other Uni-Minds exist from beings with Celestial-level power
It is possible that the future of the MCU’s “Eternals” will hold a battle with other powerful beings who are able to create Uni-Minds, as according to the comics, the Eternals are not the only ones with the ability to do so. The Celestials create many experiments to assist in the creation of their own kind, and many of these beings are able to create Uni-Minds — even Deviants. In one particular comic storyline, the Deviant named Ghaur creates a Uni-Mind of his own with separate species, including Steve Rogers’ Captain America as one part of that particular Uni-Mind.
It will be interesting to see how the MCU adapts these elements of the Uni-Mind moving forward, and if or how they ever reveal that Celestials are in fact Uni-Minds themselves. At the end of the film, we see Arishem drag Sersi, Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), and Phastos back into space to ultimately judge if the Earth is worthy of saving over a Celestial. It would be interesting to see the reasoning if Arishem allows humanity to remain. Perhaps with superpowered beings now commonplace on Earth, a Celestial Uni-Mind may be too powerful to Arishem? If Marvel Studios gives the greenlight to “Eternals 2,” as the end of the movie suggests might’ve already happened, fans might have answers very soon.