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'Shang-Chi' official trailer breakdown: Easter Eggs explained, theories, and what to expect

'Shang-Chi' in the trailer. Image via: Marvel Studios/ Disney
'Shang-Chi' in the trailer. Image via: Marvel Studios/ Disney
ANALYST

Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” will come to theaters on September 3rd. Marvel generated momentous hype amongst MCU fans with the new official trailer despite the movie’s arrival being months away. Previously, two months ago, Marvel released a teaser for the movie, which left fans excited for the arrival of the titular character, ‘Shang-Chi,’ in the MCU.

Now, on June 24th, Marvel Studios dropped the official trailer showcasing the titular “ten rings” wielded by Sang-Chi’s father, Wen-Wu (also known as the “Mandarin”). Wen-Wu, played by Tony Leung (of the "Mood for Love (2000)" fame), is also expected to be the primary antagonist in the movie.

Furthermore, the 'Shang-Chi' trailer also had insane moments that hyped up the movie. These moments included glimpses of how the "ten rings" worked, a fight scene inspired from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in the flashback, “the great protector dragon,” as well as unexpected cameos from ‘Wong (from Doctor Strange)’ and “The Abomination (from the Incredible Hulk).”


Marvel released the “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” trailer on June 24 packing several Easter Eggs about the ten rings’ origin in the MCU.

The 'ten rings' weilded by Wen-Wu A.K.A. The Mandarin. Image Via: Marvel Studios / Disney.
The 'ten rings' weilded by Wen-Wu A.K.A. The Mandarin. Image Via: Marvel Studios / Disney.

The trailer, which showcased glimpses of the Mandarin’s backstory, also gave fans some hints about how he acquired the "ten rings," which are expected to be cosmic artifacts like in the 'Shang-Chi' comics.

Here are all the things that the ‘Shang-Chi’ trailer teased and the theories those spawned:

Ten Rings Organization.

Wen-Wu in ancient times as head of the "Ten-rings" organization. Image via: Marvel Studios / Disney
Wen-Wu in ancient times as head of the "Ten-rings" organization. Image via: Marvel Studios / Disney

Fans' first introduction to the "Ten Rings" organization founded by Wen-Wu (also known as "the Mandarin") was back in the first MCU film, Iron Man (2008). In the film, Tony Stark was captured by a branched cell of the alleged terrorist organization in Afghanistan.

A fake version of "Mandarin," played by Ben Kingsley (of 1982’s Gandhi biopic fame) was also seen in Iron Man 3 (2013). In a ‘Marvel One-Shot’ short film released in 2014, Kingsley again reprised the role of the actor who impersonated Mandarin in the MCU, Trevor.

In the short film, Trevor is seen to be visited by a documentarian who tries to murder him on behalf of the actual Mandarin (whom we now know as Wen-Wu). This was the first time where Marvel established that the real Mandarin exists in the MCU.

The 'Shang-Chi' trailer showcases that the film will certainly include some backstory of the organization.


Battle in the “Valley of the Sleeping Dragons.”

Wen-Wu in the ancient battle. Image via: Marvel Studios/ Disney
Wen-Wu in the ancient battle. Image via: Marvel Studios/ Disney

The trailer showcases some glimpses of Wen-Wu fighting several opponents in an ancient land. There were also separate shots of a large-scale battle in the ancient setting with several warriors and ‘Foo dogs (lion dogs)’ from Chinese mythic origins. This could be “the Valley of the Sleeping Dragons,” where the battle is taking place.

K'un-Lun in the comics. Image via: Marvel Comics
K'un-Lun in the comics. Image via: Marvel Comics

Furthermore, some fans have also speculated that the place could also be “K’un-Lun” from the "Iron Fist" comics. K’un-Lun is supposed to be a mythical city in a pocket dimension, one of heaven’s seven capital cities.

It has been theorized that Marvel may have combined the places, which will not be surprising, as the Marvel-Netflix series "Iron Fist," which portrayed K’un-Lun first, is not canonized in the MCU.


MCU’ Ten Rings’ changes from the comics.

Mandarin's rings from the comics. Image via: Marvel Comics
Mandarin's rings from the comics. Image via: Marvel Comics

The “ten rings of power” shown in the trailer for the movie are more like bracelets for the arm, while in the comics, they always have been finger-rings.

The rings are of alien origins in the comics, and each ring has individual powers that are color-coded accordingly, like the Phase 4 paper-weights, ‘infinity stones.’ However, from the teaser and the official trailer of "Shang-Chi", it is clear that the MCU will be changing the aspects of the “ten rings of power.”

From the official trailer of 'Shang-Chi', it can be seen that the ten rings have purple energy when wielded by the Mandarin (Wen-Wu) and Red energy when wielded by ‘Shang-Chi.’ However, it is not clear whether the ten rings will have different color energy according to the utilization of the powers.

In the trailer, we also see that Wen-Wu using the ten-rings in a chained projectile blast kind of way. Moreover, it is evident from the teaser and trailer footage that "Wen-Wu" is from ancient times, and the ten rings that he wields enables him to stay young or even enjoy immortality.


“Enter The Dragon” and “Mortal Kombat” esque tournament.

The tournament from the trailer. Image via: Marvel Studios/ Disney
The tournament from the trailer. Image via: Marvel Studios/ Disney

"Shang-Chi" was created in the 1970s inspired by the martial arts craze and the popularity of martial-arts legend Bruce Lee. Hence, the movie is also rumored to have been inspired by martial arts movies like “Enter The Dragon” and “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.”

The trailer showcases a tournament where ‘Shang-Chi’ fights her presumed half-sister, Xialing (played by Meng’er Zhang).


“The Great Protector.”

Potentially the "Great Protector" in the trailer. Image via: Marvel Comics / Disney
Potentially the "Great Protector" in the trailer. Image via: Marvel Comics / Disney

The trailer showcases a dragon that Shang-Chi meets underwater. Many fans assumed that this is “Fin Fang Foom,” the villainous dragon from the comics. However, in a recent interview with NBC, Simu Liu mentioned that “Fin Fang Foom” will not show up in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

This makes it extremely plausible that the dragon shown in the trailer is “the Great Protector.”


Makluan Origins:

Fin Fang Foom in the comics. Image via: Marvel Comics / Disney
Fin Fang Foom in the comics. Image via: Marvel Comics / Disney

With Simu Liu confirming that “Fin Fang Foom,” the dragon, will not be showing up in the movie, this begs some question about how Marvel would portray the origin of the rings.

In the comics, the “ten rings of power” are Makluan pieces of technology. Makluan is a cosmic “Space dragon” race who made the rings that contain the powers of ten legendary Makluan warriors.


Michelle Yeoh’s character.

Michelle Yeoh's character in 'Shang-Chi'. Image via: Marvel Studios/ Disney
Michelle Yeoh's character in 'Shang-Chi'. Image via: Marvel Studios/ Disney

The official trailer showed us the first glimpse of the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)” and the “Crazy Rich Asians (2018)” star’s character in the movie. Yeoh will portray ‘Jiang Nan’ in the movie. From the trailer, Jiang Nan is expected to play a motherly figure (likely an aunt) to Shiang-Chi, whose own mother dies in the past.

However, we theorize that she could also play the human form of the ‘Great Protector’ dragon.


“Abomination” vs. ‘Wong.’

Abomination vs Wong (potentially) in 'Shang-Chi'. Image via: Marvel Studios/ Disney
Abomination vs Wong (potentially) in 'Shang-Chi'. Image via: Marvel Studios/ Disney

MCU fans could not believe it when they saw this moment at the end of the 'Shang-Chi' trailer. This is truly an unexpected cameo from “The Incredible Hulk (2008)” antagonist, Abomination (also known as Emil Blonsky), who was confirmed to be in the upcoming “She-Hulk” Disney+ series.

Furthermore, the trailer footage showed that Abomination was fighting with what seemed like ‘Wong’ (from Doctor Strange (2016)). Some fans speculate that this might not be Wong but some other sorcerer from Kamar Taj, who merely looks like Wong. However, this photograph of Benedict Wong (the actor who portrays ‘Wong’) and Simu Liu and ‘Shang-Chi’ director Destin Daniel Cretton, in Australia, where the film was being shot, makes it highly likely that it was ‘Wong’ in the trailer.


The trailer packed references to “The Valley of the Sleeping Dragon” and showcased a potential glimpse of the legendary dragon of Marvel Comics, “the great protector.” These easter eggs, combined with the remarkable cinematography and fight sequences, further elevated fans’ expectations from ‘Shang-Chi.’


Edited by Nikhil Vinod
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