As a Marvel villain, Galactus is so terrifying even the MCU has been reluctant to bring him to the big screen. With the exception of a small appearance in ‘2000s movie Fantastic Four 2, we’ve only seen Galactus in the pages of comic books and various animated Marvel series.
But even if he hasn’t had a chance to be a movie villain yet, it’s possible that this doesn’t matter — because a recent discovery by NASA suggests that the planet-eating monster may actually exist, in some form, in the real world.
A new study by NASA astronomers published on May 3 noted the first-ever observation of a star straight up swallowing a planet.
It’s worth noting that the planet this star consumed wasn’t exactly small, either — researchers note that it was the size of Jupiter, which, for context, is 11 times bigger than Earth.
Freaked out yet? Well, it’s about to get worse. Part of the reason this star was able to do this is that it’s in the ‘red giant’ phase of its aging process — a process that NASA predicts our Sun will end up going through in about five billion years. When this happens, the Sun will end up expanding and swallowing up several planets in our Solar System in the process. And yes, Earth is one of them.
So, just to recap, Galactus is a cosmic Marvel villain that consumes nearby planets for sustenance. NASA just discovered an aging star doing pretty much just that, and predicts that our own Sun will do that to Earth in about five billion years. Still, that’s a long time away, and by then, Kevin Feige may have figured out how to bring MCU characters into the real world.
Will we see Galactus in a future Marvel movie? That remains uncertain, but keep an eye on our Fantastic Four MCU release date guide, just in case. Or, cleanse your mind from existential dread entirely by catching a new movie at the cinema or planning your next at-home watch with our guide to the best movies of all time.