Eternals finally hit theaters last week and has left MCU fans with a lot to discuss. We got ten new heroes, amazing credits scenes teasing future adventures, and a load of deep lore about the MCU’s prehistory. But one moment that’s resulted in a lot of debate is the decision made by Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo before the final battle.
The final act sees Ikaris confessing that he’s responsible for Ajak’s death and that he’s set on continuing on the path set for them by the Celestials. This leads to internal conflict, with each Eternal choosing a side. But there’s a third option. Kingo explains that while he agrees with Ikaris, he’s not prepared to fight his family. He promptly washes his hands of the whole affair and heads home.
Many critics of the film have pointed out that it’s odd to show a character skipping the finale of the movie, arguing that they should have cut Kingo altogether. Now Eternals producer Nate Moore has stepped in to explain their thinking. Speaking on the Phase Zero podcast, he was asked why Kingo didn’t fight:
“That would be against, what I believe, is Kingo. So, if there’s a spectrum, ‘I’m not all the way to Ikaris, but I don’t agree with you guys.’ And if you watch the movie, at no point does Kingo ever agree with their plan. He is actually a pretty consistent character in what he believes and values. And again, in a movie, that for us was very much about faith and purpose. We didn’t want to take, I don’t want to say the easy way out, but we didn’t want to take the expected route of redeeming this guy because I don’t think he would have showed up at that last fight is the truth.”
He was also pressed on what’ll be the consequences of his choice:
“Some of them are going to forgive him. And I think some of them aren’t. I’ve read of some talk back about, for instance, the decision Sersi makes with Sprite. How can you forgive this woman? She literally stabbed you in the back, which again, we knew was going to be a big deal, but it’s a friend from 7,000 years. You know what I mean? You’re weighing these two things and I don’t know that Sprite or Kingo are villains in that way. I think they make decisions that are counter to what, I would argue, our protagonists want, but they’re not evil.”
So far we haven’t heard any indications about when the Eternals will return, though the post-credits scenes are a strong indicator that the whereabouts of the missing characters will be a key plot point going forward. Plus Kingo was one of the more fun characters in the movie, so I’m betting he’ll be back sooner rather than later.
In the meantime check out Eternals in theaters, as Chloe Zhao’s epic visuals deserve to be seen on the big screen.