A big problem with Marvel blockbusters is that there's big bucks to be made through merchandising. This means that the studio faces an uncomfortable trade-off when advertising a particular film's merchandise well before said film hits the box office. In the case of Thor: Ragnarok, Funko's upcoming toys for the film have been revealed but in the process, we may have actually just learned a huge spoiler about one of the film's characters: The Grandmaster.
Is The Grandmaster A Celestial?
According to the intriguing Funko minifigure description of Grandmaster on the ToyWiz website, it looks like he is actually a Celestial. Not only does this model's description contain the word "Celestial," the model itself will be recognizable to any Marvel fan, confirming that this is the right Grandmaster from Ragnarok, too. It may seem like a small detail now, but if Grandmaster's Celestial being is commented on in Ragnarok, it could have a big impact on the film overall. Such a powerful being hiding in plain sight is something to take notice of.
If you'll recall, the ancient race of powerful aliens were introduced to the MCU in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. We learned that in ages long ago, the Celestials used the Infinity Stones to impose judgment on other worlds. In the #MCU, Celestials seem to be vastly powerful beings whose essence is composed of "living light." They're also able to manipulate matter on an atomic level, like Ego, the Celestial introduced in #GoTG2, who used this light to build his own world. To give a sense of Ego's power, he's introduced when he destroys an entire Sovereign armada!
It would seem that the Grandmaster is a Celestial if only because this Funko toy looks like it has the effect of being filled with a "living light," with the shimmering head and clear skeletal structure around the ribs. Very interesting stuff which, if he shows his true form in a way similar to the Funko toy, could prove doubly interesting for his character development.
What This Means For The Planet Sakaar In Thor: Ragnarok
That said, if the Grandmaster is a Celestial, then the planet Sakaar where he's camped out could have been reimagined as another Celestial world. In the comics, Sakaar was the center of the Old Power, a mysterious force that could even be used to stun the Hulk. Marvel has most likely substituted the Old Power for the "living light" of Celestial energy and the Grandmaster is the Celestial who calls this world his own.
Intriguingly, it's possible that the Grandmaster isn't alone. It's surely no coincidence that the first Thor: Ragnarok trailer showed Jack-Kirby-inspired Celestial designs among the Grandmaster's coterie. At the D23 Expo 2017, we learned that these Kirby-esque Celestials were actually the Grandmaster's guards. It's possible that Thor has stumbled on an entire world of Celestials!
If Sakaar is indeed a planet of his own creation, then that means the Grandmaster has settled for bringing the universe to him for his own purposes. He could very well be using the "living light" to create a complex web of portals with Sakaar at the center. Sakaar itself has essentially become a junkyard planet with the Grandmaster's agents combing through the detritus of the universe in a relentless hunt for champions with their latest prizes being being Hulk and Thor.
Are There More Celestials Out There?
But are there other Celestials out there? Marvel fans have long suspected we’d already seen a Celestial world in, of all places, #AgentsOfSHIELD. Season 3 introduced us to the barren world of Maveth, a planet that had fallen under the sway of the parasitic Inhuman known as Hive. Curiously, on Maveth itself Hive possessed a strange ability to manipulate the world around him, influencing everything from the weather to the geology. Fans had speculated that Maveth was itself a Celestial world, but that Hive had poisoned the “living light” with his presence, and the world’s energy had gradually died.
Another possibility, though, is that the Collector — played by Benicio del Toro in Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy — is actually another Celestial. Along with Ego and the Grandmaster, in the comics the Collector is an ‘Elder of the Universe,’ a last survivor of an ancient race. In fact, in the comics, the Collector and the Grandmaster are brothers.
If Marvel has reimagined two Elders of the Universe as Celestials, what’s to stop them doing the same with another? Is it actually possible that the Collector is another Celestial? If so, Infinity War has just become even more thrilling. We know Thanos the Mad Titan will wrest the Reality Stone from the Collector’s grasp. Does that mean we’ll see Thanos go head-to-head with a Celestial? And if he can defeat a Celestial — what chance do the Avengers have?
Looking beyond Infinity War, it’s clear Marvel view the Celestials as a major part of their cosmic lore. The House of Ideas has a strong cosmic focus planned for the MCU’s future; in fact, James Gunn recently noted that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is intended to set up the next ten or twenty years’ worth of Marvel movies! With the Celestials playing such a major role in two of this year’s Marvel blockbusters, it seems likely the ancient aliens will be heavily involved in that cosmic future. That might not be good news for Earth; in the past, the Celestials have traveled the world passing inscrutable judgment on civilizations. They destroy any they find lacking.
So, if this Funko toy is to be believed, the Grandmaster is a Celestial. It certainly fits with everything we already knew and even provides a neat explanation for the network of portals surrounding the planet Sakaar. The odds are good that this particular spoiler will be proven true in Ragnarok and Funko's probably just revealed a huge plot twist by accident. It's not the end of the world, though; that task falls to Ragnarok's actual villain, Hela.