Should you stick around the theater once the credits get going?
Photo credit; Disney/Marvel Studios
Even with the COVID-19 pandemic raging on in the U.S., the Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to have its busiest year ever with four movies and a half-dozen TV seasons. Next up is “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” the first new origin movie for the MCU in the post-“Avengers: Endgame” phase.
While this is an all-new character in an all-new story, it’s certainly got its share of pretty clear connections to the rest of the MCU, with Wong from “Doctor Strange” playing a part, alongside a beefy callback to “Iron Man 3.” But for the most part what we’re getting here is a lot of new wrinkles for the greater franchise. Most of which we don’t really know the significance of just yet.
But the nature of the MCU is such that, while we don’t know what it all means just yet, we know there’s some forward-looking stuff here. Often, as pretty much everyone knows by now, these films will save those teases for bonus scenes in the middle and/or after the credits.
“Shang-Chi” is not an outlier in that regard. Marvel has saved a couple extra bits for us at the end of this one in the same way they usual do, with two extra scenes.
There are spoilers for the mid-credits and post-credits scenes ahead.
The first scene comes in the middle of the credits, and it shows us the conversation that Shaun (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) have with Wong (Benedict Wong) after that scene at the end of the movie in the restaurant. Except they don’t just chat with Wong — Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) are there — Bruce is in his human form, not his Professor Hulk form, and his arm is in a sling.
The group is discussing the Ten Rings — the actual arm rings, not the organization — and none of them have any idea what to make of them. Everybody just knows they’re very old, but they can’t figure anything beyond that.
While it’s a very short scene, there’s a lot to parse there. We’ve got the full breakdown here — you’re gonna wanna read it.
The second scene comes at the end of the credits, and it’s more likely a tease for the next “Shang-Chi” movie. It sees Shaun’s sister Xialing return to their father’s compound and take over the Ten Rings organization. I doubt she’ll be fully villainous or anything — with Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina going around assembling her Grey Avengers, and Sharon Carter doing whatever she does as the Power Broker, grey is in season right now in the MCU. So if Xialing and the Ten Rings group show up again before a “Shang-Chi” sequel, my guess is it’ll be in that context.
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