The Two Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings<\/em> Credits Scenes, Explained
The following story contains spoilers for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings.
In the first post-Avengers: Endgame movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Nick Fury (or, possibly Talos the Skrull pretending to be Nick Fury) makes it clear to Peter Parker: earth is low on heroes. Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are gone. Dr. Strange is busy. Thor isn’t here. Don’t even mention Captain Marvel. So Spider-Man had a job to do. But we can’t let all the work fall on that teenager’s shoulders, right? The MCU’s first origin story since then comes in the form of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, a movie with roots that go as far back as the very first Iron Man. And just as we get to know this new hero (played by Simu Liu) throughout the movie, the credits scenes that come after the movie go to great lengths to set him up with a potentially lengthy future of his own.
Shang-Chi introduces us to its titular character in a way that makes him relatable in a way that someone like Tony Stark (billionaire, tech genius) or Steve Rogers (filled with super soldier serum, born in like 1915?) never could be. Shang-Chi is a regular guy; he works a low-key job parking cars at a fancy hotel, he likes going for dinner, and drinks, and hanging out (and singing karaoke) with his friend Katy (Awkwafina). And he just happens to be one of the best hand-to-hand fighters we’ve seen in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The movie takes us on an epic familiar journey that explores not only the origin of Shang-Chi’s fighting skills, but the history of his quasi-immortal and fairly evil father (Tony Leung, playing the actual Mandarin that Ben Kinglsey’s Trevor Slattery was impersonating in Iron Man 3), his late mother, and his equally skilled sister (Meng’er Zhang).
It’s important before we go any further to note that the titular rings of the title have multiple meanings. There’s the Ten Rings, the criminal syndicate that kidnapped Tony Stark in Iron Man and run by Wenwu (Leung), and then there are literal rings worn by Wenwu, which make him endlessly powerful and seemingly immortal. By the end of the movie, Shang-Chi (now in possession of the rings that made his father so powerful for so long) is back at dinner with Katy and their friends, and telling the story of…their entire adventure.
Their friends don’t believe the story at all…until a portal opens up right in the restaurant, and Shang-Chi and Katy decide to dip and go hang out with Wong (Benedict Wong) right then and there. Peace out.
We get not only one but two credits scenes before all is said and done with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Here’s what we make of all that happens in them.
There’s a lot going on in the first Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings credits scene, which takes place immediately after the ending of the actual movie. In the scene, we see Shang-Chi and Katy with Wong in a Sanctum Santorum, where they’re talking to Bruce Banner (played, of course, by Mark Ruffalo) back in human form—so much for Professor Hulk?—and with his arm in a sling, permanently damaged from snapping Tony’s nano-gauntlet with the Infinity Stones in it, and Carol Danvers (a long-haired Brie Larson) via the same video-projection technology that Black Widow/Natasha used with Rhodey and others in Avengers: Endgame.
The group examine Shang-Chi’s rings, and they let him know that they could feel them being used from far away. He explains that his dad has just had them for about 1000 years, and he just got them; they look into them and see a Mind stone looking flicker. It’s referred to as a “beacon” for other life. What does this mean? Most likely, it’s the signal calling for the Eternals (Eternals, directed by reigning Academy Award winner for Best Director Chloé Zhao, is the next MCU movie out, set to be released in November) to emerge from their rest.
In fact, the “beacon” we see in the credits scene looks pretty similar to the outfits we see the Eternals wearing in their new Entertainment Weekly covers.
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