Looks like our patience has paid off. For all my fellow Mortal Kombat fans out there, the trailer for the upcoming 2021 movie has finally arrived. I remember checking it out on my phone in the break room at work and trying not to lose my mind. Boy, oh boy, it was a bloody roller coaster. There were fatalities, slow-motion, character introductions, and lots of fighting. It was pretty much everything you would expect to see in a Mortal Kombat trailer. Now, granted, the movie can still be bad, but as a Mortal Kombat fan, I was immensely pleased with this trailer. I can tell the director respects the source material and that he wants to give us a fun ride.
Look, we all know video games and movies don’t mix well, but after the trailer, I do have faith. Just give me a bloody action movie with great music and I’ll take it. Seriously, I really hope the movie includes the theme from the first movie. Whenever I hear it, I feel the need to do some kind of workout. That song has become a part of Mortal Kombat.
Anyhow, speaking of the trailer, I feel like we have to talk about the newest member of the Mortal Kombat roster. His name is Cole Young. Okay, first of all, that doesn’t sound like a guy who belongs in Mortal Kombat. If you look at the newer additions to the franchise, like Geras, The Collector, Takeda, Kotal Kahn, these guys look like and have the names that fit the Mortal Kombat roster. What’s so special about this Cole Young guy?
This guy has a regular name, a generic look, and an uninteresting backstory. The only interesting thing about him is that he has a marking on his chest that resembles the dragon symbol of the franchise. It may-or-may not be a birthmark, but the trailer revealed that it means something for him. Basically, the symbol on his chest means he was chosen for the Mortal Kombat tournament. Okay, that sounds cool, but why would he be chosen for the tournament? I suspect that Cole Young might be more significant than we originally thought.
First of all, the idea of having new characters join the franchise is nothing new. Ed Boon has been experiencing with new characters since the beginning and they’ve always been hit-and-miss. The ones who people liked (Sub-Zero, Mileena) are the ones who have stuck with us, while the ones people didn’t like (Kobra, Darrius) appear to be no-shows in current games. It’s a typical process, but we fans tend to get skeptical when new characters are introduced. This new guy seems like he’s the new main protagonist of this movie, so he must be important. If that’s the case, there has to be more to him than being a washed up mixed martial artist.
With the case of Cole Young, I just don’t completely buy that he’s a completely original character. When I heard that he is, I actually think of the Arkham Knight situation. For those of you who have played the game, remember when Rocksteady told us the Arkham Knight was a totally original character created just for the game? Yeah, we all remember how that turned out. It’s not that it was bad, it’s just that he wasn’t an original character. Like, not at all. I have a feeling we’re in for a similar twist with Cole Young.
So if Cole Young really isn’t an original character, who can he possibly be? He can either be a character from the roster we’ve played as before, or maybe a character that’s just a part of the lore. Sound weird? Well, let’s go over a little list of candidates who can pass for the potential real identity of Cole Young.
Okay, this sounds like a weird choice, but I think this can work. The villain Rain has been met with mixed fan reactions over the years, mostly due to his name and his outfit. His name is Rain and his outfit is purple. Get it? Anyway, Rain has never had too significant of a role in the games, but he was always fun to play as. He can control the weather, make blades out of water, and has a killer spinning heel kick. It’s awesome, but how could he fit in the story as Cole Young?
Well, what if the symbol means something bigger? What if he was chosen to be more than just a participant in the Mortal Kombat tournament? Rain is a son of Argus, a deity in the franchise. Cole Young’s mysterious past and dragon mark could imply that he’s the son of a god. That means he could be a powerful character among the other combatants. It could also mean that he’s being set up to be the villain that Rain is known for. That would be an interesting turn of events and give Rain more to do.
3. The Great Kung Lao
Big Mortal Kombat nuts would’ve recognized that image of the Great Kung Lao. Yeah, we already have the main Kung Lao, but before him, there was the Great Kung Lao. This Kung Lao defeated Shang Tsung in one of the first Mortal Kombat tournaments, but lost to Goro. The Great Kung Lao was much more humble than the Kung Lao we all know, but our Kung Lao also deeply reveres his ancestor. Cole Young could very well be the reincarnation of The Great Kung Lao. If he is, then he could be out to avenge his death from Goro’s hands. I mean, we know that Goro is in the movie since he was in the trailer, so by all means, give us that battle.
2. Satoshi Hasashi
Now this is a weird one. Satoshi Hasashi is the son of Scorpion. He’s supposed to be dead, but we all know that Mortal Kombat finds a way to bring back the dead. Scorpion’s origins are defined by the death of his wife and son, but the movie could retcon that. What if Satoshi was kidnapped and not killed? He could’ve escaped from his captors and adopted the identity of Cole Young. This could lead to an interesting interaction between him and Scorpion and give us an exciting new take on a character that already existed in the franchise.
1. Kuai Liang
If you know this name, you are a true Mortal Kombat fan. Kuai Liang is the younger brother of Bi-Han, the first Sub-Zero. He is our current Sub-Zero and one of the best characters in the franchise. Now let’s look back at the trailer. We know that the first Sub-Zero has a big role in the movie and that he’s after Cole Young. It looks like he’s going to be one of the chief antagonists of the movie, but why is he after Cole Young? We know he’s an assassin for the Lin Kuei, but it could be more than just a hit. Sub-Zero could have the same symbol as Cole Young and their connection could be much more personal than we think.
What if Cole Young is actually Kuai Liang? Okay, now that’s setting up for an awesome fight. This would be an interesting new take on the character and expand his character beyond the cryomancer ninja. Cole Young is a family man in the movie, so this would give him more relatable motivations. Personally, I wouldn’t mind having my favorite character be the main protagonist of the movie.