An intriguing new fan theory suggests that there’s a deeper connection between Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi and his best friend, Awkwafina’s Katy Chen.
As far as viewers were aware, Katy first befriended Shang-Chi, then known as Shaun, when he was being harassed by a bully as a student who recently emigrated from China to San Francisco and who was still learning English. To distract the bully, Katy sings “Hotel California” by the Eagles then swipes his Ford Mustang keys. Katy and Shaun’s joyride in the bully’s car, which they did alongside Katy’s friend Soo (Stephanie Hsu), cemented the duo as best friends. But was there more to the story than that?
As we learn later on in the film, Shaun actually has a dark past, with his true moniker being Shang-Chi, the son of a legendary crime boss who has trained him in deadly martial arts.
Tony Chiu Wai Leung’s Xu Wenwu AKA the Mandarin turned out to be Shang-Chi’s father, the thousand-year-old wielder of a mythical, superhuman-granting set of rings. During Shang-Chi’s upbringing, he is trained as an assassin to help Wenwu’s quest for repaying the “blood debt” against his wife being killed by the rival Iron Gang.
A new fan theory on Reddit is suggesting Shang-Chi originally moved to the U.S. not to “start a new life,” as the character tells Katy, but to take out one of the Iron Gang members hiding out from Wenwu’s vast grip.
Shang-Chi eventually succeeds in assassinating the Iron Gang affiliate, but in doing so succumbs to the guilt of having killed someone with children and grandchildren, of which Katy is one. The real reason Katy and Shang-Chi became friends? So that he could be a supportive presence in her life after nearly tearing apart her family, including becoming close to Katy’s grandmother, to make amends for the damage he caused them.
The theory certainly adds some extra dimension to Shang-Chi and Katy’s friendship and also explains pretty thoroughly why Shang-Chi lied about his past to Katy for so many years, other than just wanting to make a change.
What do you think about this Shang-Chi fan theory? Leave it in the comments below.