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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — out now in cinemas worldwide — introduces the new titular Chinese superhero, played by Kim’s Convenience star Simu Liu, to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Shang-Chi might be a standalone adventure in itself, even as it invariably has a couple of cameos from The Incredible Hulk and Doctor Strange that were revealed in trailers, Marvel naturally has bigger plans for the film’s new characters. Hence inevitably, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings comes with two post-credits scenes that do just that: tease the future of Liu and Co.
Warning: major spoilers ahead for Shang-Chi. Proceed at your own risk.
Shang-Chi ending, explained
The new Marvel movie ends in a restaurant with Shang-Chi (Liu) and his best friend Katy (Awkwafina) describing their incredible adventures to their San Francisco friends — their high-school bud Soo (Stephanie Hsu) and her husband John (Kunal Dudheker) — who had asked them to live up to their potential earlier in the film. Given the craziness of what they went through (dragons and stuff), Soo thinks they are mocking her. Can you blame her? Shang-Chi‘s events are so fantastical after all. But just then, to prove Shang-Chi and Katy’s point, a magical portal opens up behind Soo and John.
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Standing there is the sorcerer Wong (Benedict Wong) who appeared earlier in the film during the Macau fight club sequences. Wong is looking for Shang-Chi, who puts his hand up and says “Present.” Wong then walks up to their table and says that Shang-Chi needs to come with him. He then points towards Katy too, hinting that there’s something special about Katy. There better be, otherwise Shang-Chi has a lot of explaining to do on how Katy essentially turned into Legolas (from The Lord of the Rings) midway through the climactic battle in Ta Lo.
Wong then walks through the portal back into the New York Sanctum, before Katy and Shang-Chi follow him through, waving goodbye to a stunned Soo and John.
Shang-Chi mid-credits scene, explained
That’s where the movie ends, with the Shang-Chi mid-credits scene picking up right where we left off — except on the other side of the portal. Wong is studying the Ten Rings, and says he has never seen an object like that before. But he’s not alone. Shang-Chi and Katy are in the room yes, but Bruce Banner/ Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Carol Danvers/ Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) are there too — not in person but via those holographic machines first seen in Avengers: Endgame. Interestingly, Bruce is back in human form, though he still has the sling from using the Infinity Gauntlet as Smart Hulk.
Bruce wonders if the rings are Chitauri in origin, a reference to The Avengers, but Carol says she hasn’t seen any alien tech like it. They then wonder how long Shang-Chi’s father Wenwu (Tony Leung) had the Ten Rings before they came into his possession. Shang-Chi says that he must have had it for a thousand years, but Bruce notes that they are a lot older going by their “thermal luminescence.” Wong adds that the first time Shang-Chi used the Ten Rings, they felt it in Kamar-Taj. He then zooms into the rings’ visual representation, where they discover that there’s a beacon inside it.
It’s sending a message, prompting Shang-Chi to go: “A message to where?” Could this ancient weapon that’s thousands of years old and is communicating with someone be somehow tied to a group of immortal beings that have lived in secret on Earth for thousands of years? I mean, that is the next Marvel movie: Eternals, due November 5 in cinemas globally. We will have to wait a couple of months to find out, I suppose.
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Just then, Carol gets a notification and excuses herself because she has to go take care of it. She tells Shang-Chi and Katy to get her number from Bruce. As she leaves, Bruce says she does that a lot — and that he doesn’t actually have her number. Bruce too then departs with a parting note, “Welcome to the circus.” Wong reiterates that, noting that the trajectory of their new life will be like nothing they have witnessed before. And hence, they should get some rest.
“That’s a good idea,” Katy says, but as she looks at Shang-Chi, it’s clear they have other ideas too. Cut to all three karaoke singing Eagles’ “Hotel California,” a callback to two earlier moments: Katy once sang “Hotel California” in high school to confuse a bully who was about to beat Shang-Chi. And Shang-Chi previously showed us how Katy and Shang-Chi choose fun (also a karaoke night then) over their very adult responsibilities, which they are doing here again.
Shang-Chi post-credits scene, explained
The actual post-credits scene in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the one that arrives after all the credits have actually rolled, is briefer than the Shang-Chi mid-credits scene. It centres on Shang-Chi’s sister Xialing (Meng’er Zhang), whom Shang-Chi mentioned at the end is off to tear down their father’s operations. But she doesn’t seem to be actually doing that. By the looks of it, Xialing seems to be just taking over the Ten Rings, with a bit of transformation.
She’s recruited her fight club organiser and announcer Jon Jon (Ronny Chieng) though the blades-for-arms mercenary Razor Fist (Florian Munteanu) is still the head of the army. The biggest change is that women have an equal place in the Ten Rings now, in response to her father who always overlooked his daughter. Plus, there’s modern-style graffiti on the walls, for some added cool factor. The Ten Rings are a 21st-century operation, except they don’t have any rings (LOL).
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Still, Xialing has a lot of manpower and firepower at her disposal, which I’m sure will come handy for the MCU’s future villains. Shang-Chi‘s post-credits scene ends by saying “The Ten Rings will return,” which I suppose works for both Xialing’s outfit and Shang-Chi’s actual ten rings. It’s not clear where we will see either of them next — Marvel has yet to announce a sequel. All Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has said on the topic is that “there is a direct line of where he heads to next.”
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now playing in cinemas worldwide. In India, Shang-Chi is available in English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu.