Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings stars the first new superhero introduced to the Marvel pantheon since Black Panther and Captain Marvel in 2018 and 2019. Both of those films were massive blockbusters at the time, with opening weekends that shattered expectations, guaranteeing sequels. (Those sequels are 2022’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and 2023’s The Marvels, respectively.) Though Shang-Chi’s opening weekend was not quite as large as its predecessors, fans still hope for more from Marvel’s first Asian superhero, and Shang-Chi’s post-credits scenes suggest further installments are on the way.
Warning: Spoilers for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings follow. When the film opens, Shang-Chi is introduced as a son on the run from his father, the 1,000-year-old head of the Ten Rings, Wenwu, known in America as The Mandarin. But he wasn’t not the only one in his family trying to escape his father’s grip. His sister, Xialing, also tried to escape their father and his assumptions that her gender made her an unworthy successor. When Shang-Chi found her, she’d set up a gang in Macau; if her father wouldn’t accept her, she’d build her own criminal empire to take him on.
When both siblings were recaptured and brought home to their father, they discovered things are not as black and white as they believed. Their father was still grieving the loss of their mother and genuinely believed his evil actions were in service of bringing her back. But by the film’s end, Wenwu had realized his mistake and sacrificed himself to save their lives.
In the first of the film’s two post-credit scenes, Shang-Chi had returned home to San Francisco with his BFF Katy to regale his college friends with stories of their adventures. He noted in passing that Xialing is back in China, doing the work of shutting down their father’s operations and dismantling his compound.
Meanwhile, he and Katy were trying to learn the secret of the Ten Rings that gave his father such an extraordinarily long life. That included a trip to Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, where he and Katy met with Wong, Bruce Banner, and Carol Danvers and discussed what they’d discovered so far.
But as Shang-Chi, Katy, and Wong hit the local karaoke bar that evening, unbeknownst to them, Xialing was not shutting anything down. In the second post-credits scene, fans got a look at Wenwu’s old compound, now redecorated with fantastical street art. In the compound’s central room, Xialing sat. Her father’s second in command, Razor Fist, stood at her side, while Jon-Jon, who helped her run her old gang in Macau, was at her right hand, watching a new crop of Ten Rings trainees.
But this time, instead of an all-male operation, this new Ten Rings was made up of both women and men, remade to suit Xialing’s philosophy. Interestingly, as the camera pans over the group, one of those women was recognizable as a former Black Widow who Yelena freed from Dreykov’s control.
What does this all mean for a potential sequel? It seems Shang-Chi’s family troubles may not be over. Fans will have to wait and see if Shang-Chi 2 is greenlit for Phase 5. But even if it isn’t, there’s a new antagonist in town, and she’s recruiting.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is currently playing in theaters. Black Widow is also currently playing in theaters and streaming on the Premier Access tier on Disney+. Almost all other MCU films are also streaming on Disney+, except for The Incredible Hulk and the Spider-Man films, which are available as Amazon rentals.