How Thor: Love and Thunder’s New Images Connect to Disney+’s Moon Knight

Recent images from the long-awaited follow-up to 2017's Thor: Ragnarok have revealed an up-close look at Tessa Thompson's King Valkyrie, Natalie Portman's beefed-up Mighty Thor and a first look at a character Marvel fans are convinced is the goddess Bastet. While many details about Thor: Love and Thunder have remained under wraps, the recent teaser drop and latest promotional images are helping fans piece together theories surrounding the upcoming Marvel blockbuster. Helmed once again by Taika Waititi (Our Flag Means Death, Thor: Ragnarok, What We Do in the Shadows), the fourth installment of the Thor film franchise promises to pick up with the God of Thunder and the Guardians of the Galaxy following the events of Avengers: Endgame, featuring familiar faces from previous Thor flicks as well as introducing new characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Among these new additions in Love and Thunder are Russell Crowe, confirmed to appear as high Olympian Zeus (which could prove to be an interesting juxtaposition of two different gods of thunder from different cultures) and Christian Bale's Gorr the God Butcher, as well as the new addition of Bastet. While the inclusion of Bastet is not necessarily a surprise to Marvel fans -- as actor Akosia Sabet was confirmed to be playing the role back in February -- the reveal of the goddess, sometimes referred to as Bast, solidifies an already prominent history in the MCU, primarily as the panther goddess responsible for leading the first Wakandan king to the heart-shaped herb from which the Black Panther gets his powers. The imagery of the panther has long been associated with Wakanda and, naturally, the hero Black Panther; however, Bastet's roots actually stem deeper into the mythology and lore of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Bast may also connect to a different MCU property besides Black Panther: Marvel's most recent live-action Disney+ series Moon Knight. Starring Oscar Isaac as both Marc Spector and Steven Grant, two individuals sharing the same body due to Marc suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder, Moon Knight centered heavily around Egyptian lore and mythology, as Marc was not only dealing with a severe mental condition but was also grappling with his reality as the Avatar of Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the moon. There were many moments throughout Moon Knight that connected to the Egyptian gods and how they interwove themselves throughout the history of mankind, something that was also touched upon in Eternals in 2021.

In Egyptian lore, Bastet is part of the Ennead, a core group of the "main" Egyptian gods. While at first glance, this may not mean much, this is, in fact, a direct connection between Moon Knight and Black Panther, revealed in Moon Knight Episode 5, "Asylum," when the hippo goddess Tawaret described that there were multiple versions of the afterlife depending on who was viewing it. In this dialogue, she also briefly mentions the Ancestral Plane, which was first seen in Black Panther in two different iterations from the perspective of T'Challa and Erik Killmonger. While this fleeting moment could just be categorized as an Easter egg that proves all the Marvel titles are carefully interwoven and connected, the physical appearance of Bast in the Thor: Love and Thunder images may hint at what is to come for the future of the MCU.

With Eternals officially entering the timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the concept of other gods aside from Thor and the Asgardians had begun to be explored. It's possible that by introducing titles so enrobed in the history of not only the MCU but the actual world, Marvel is gearing up to make the concept of gods a more central idea as they transition into Phase Five. This can help provide context and backstory for pre-existing titles and establish a new powerhouse in the MCU that's different from just superpowered or supernatural beings that fans are used to seeing.

The concept of gods ruling over the MCU implies that these higher powers may have been at work long before Marvel fans picked up on it, as proven in Moon Knight as well as these new images from Thor. While there are no details about how exactly the goddess Bast will play into Love and Thunder's story, it's clear that Marvel execs want fans to notice their foray into more mythological territory, which can only mean the ever-expansive MCU is gearing up to become even bigger.

To see how the MCU continues to tackle gods, Thor: Love and Thunder arrives in theaters on July 8.

kang the conqueror, celestials and skrulls
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