You wouldn’t think it at first glance, but Mortal Kombat and Star Wars actually share some common ground. To be more precise, the characters Noob Saibot and Darth Vader are so alike that their origin stories are borderline interchangeable with each other.
As pointed out by Reddit user Large-Wheel-4181, both villains started out their careers as a ninja and Jedi respectively with good intentions, only to ultimately be seduced by a dark power and coerced into committing unspeakable acts. Anakin Skywalker slaughters an entire group of Younglings in Revenge of the Sith, while Sub-Zero, real name Bi-Han, murders a ninja clan after being manipulated by an evil sorcerer. That last detail is omitted from Simon McQuoid’s recent reboot, of course, so if one were to exclude it, the circumstances don’t quite match up.
Either way, fiery justice is served to both (Bi-Han is incinerated by Scorpion; Anakin takes a swim in the lava pits of Mustafar), leaving them in a state of presumed death. The final and most important moment of character development, however, comes in the form of rebirth.
Repaired and interred in a life support suit, Anakin officially becomes Darth Vader, brainwashed to act on the whim of Emperor Palpatine, while Sub-Zero, now undead and a slave to the NetherRealm, is reborn as Noob Saibot, a wraith with the power to control shadows. Did George Lucas’ iconic Sith Lord inspire Ed Boon and John Tobias’ creation? Perhaps, but probably not consciously. The hero’s downfall is a trope that long predates Star Wars, after all, and clearly continues to be one of the most popular plot devices in multiple forms of media.
With any luck, Mortal Kombat fans will eventually get to see Sub-Zero’s origin play out on the big screen, with actor Joe Taslim recently stating that he’d love to bring us exactly that. See here for the full story.