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New Shang-Chi Trailer Gives a Deeper Look at the Father/Son Issues That Drive the Movie

Simu Liu in Shang-Chi

The new trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings dropped last night, and we were gifted with more lore surrounding the ten rings that Shang-Chi seemingly gives up. In the first trailer, Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi was battling between the life he left behind and the one he made for himself in San Francisco. This trailer gives us a deeper look into his history and the reasoning behind him leaving his home and training behind.

What’s interesting to me about this is Shang-Chi’s admission to Awkwafina’s Katy that he tried to change his name and escape—that his journey to San Francisco wasn’t as much a “break” as it seemed in the first trailer but more like Shang-Chi trying to leave behind the world his father tried to bring him into.

In the comics, his father is a “renowned criminal sired a child who he raised as his heir to an insidious secret society and named him Shang-Chi, the ‘rising and advancing of the spirit.’ In a hidden, ancient fortress in China, the boy became adept at both a multitude of martial arts and philosophical disciplines, completely unaware of his father’s evil pursuits.”

From what we see in the trailer, that may still be Shang-Chi’s origin story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is exciting! Marvel does a relatively good job of bringing in the history of these characters to their live-action counterparts, but sometimes, things change. But this trailer seems pretty comic-accurate (at least at its most basic level), and that’s a wonderful thing for fans of Shang-Chi, as well as the MCU overall.

I’m excited for Shang-Chi, not only to learn more about this incarnation as a hero, but also to see how Marvel handles an origin story like this. We haven’t really gotten the “reluctant” hero, if you could call Shang-Chi that. He’s more reluctant in accepting the powers given to him by his father. The closest is probably Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home, and even then, he’s still Spider-Man. He just wants to also be a kid.

But as Michelle Yeoh’s Jiang Nan points out: He’s just as much his mother’s son as he is his father’s, despite what he wants. Shang-Chi is the first that I can think of who has this power and this ability but doesn’t want to be the “hero” his father wants him to be. I say “hero” because as Shang-Chi says in the trailer, he’s a criminal—one that Shang-Chi clearly faces off against. Marvel loves a father and son working through their problems together, and getting to see Simu Liu tackle that with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is going to be an exciting adventure for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and this new introduction to the character.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters September 3, and we can’t wait to see what Simu Liu, Marvel, and everyone has in store!

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.