Joe Taslim Explains Why Sub-Zero Wears A Mask In Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat

This year’s Mortal Kombat reboot may have nailed the gratuitous violence synonymous with NetherRealm Studios’ source material, but one area that many fans believe was skimped out on was narrative.

Having spent more than two decades developing the franchise’s central cast and the world in which they live, series creators Ed Boon and John Tobias have written surprisingly deep backstories for the likes of Liu Kang, Shang Tsung, Johnny Cage and countless others in an attempt to make them feel like a natural fit in an exceptional universe. Poster boys Scorpion and Sub-Zero have arguably received the lion’s share of this attention, though Simon McQuoid’s 2021 adaptation only very briefly touches on both warriors’ origins.

That being the case, non-fans are unlikely to understand exactly why some of the movie’s stars do what they do, including Bi-Han, who somehow manages to not age a day in the 400 years since he murdered poor Hisashi Hanzo. While the jury’s still out on that one, actor Joe Taslim, who plays Sub-Zero in the film, recently revealed in an interview with USA Today why he thinks the Lin Kuei ninja wears a mask besides the aesthetic appeal.

For me, it’s not just for the sake of coolness. After Bi-Han killed Hanzo and his family, that’s probably the first time he killed a little kid. So every time he looks at himself in a mirror, the nightmare just pops out. So that’s why the mask, to hide the pain and all the guilt.

While certainly a sound explanation, it’s worth noting that Taslim’s theory is exactly that. Chances are, Boon and Tobias simply decided during the initial creation process that all of Earthrealm and Outworld’s ninjas would look more appealing wearing a face mask, at least in the original games. These designs eventually started to diverge in later installments, of course, with Reptile most notably undergoing several drastic changes over the years.

Got your own theory as to why so many characters in Mortal Kombat wear face coverings? Sound off in the usual place below!