Shang-Chi Movies takes an unintentional shot at Star Wars, calling out one of the franchise’s worst plot holes.
Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Online inadvertently takes a shot at Star Wars, calling out one of the franchise’s most confusing plot holes. In the new MCU film, Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) lives in San Fransisco, hiding from his father, Wenwu (Tony Leung), and his old life as an assassin. However, everything gets turned upside down when members of the Ten Rings, a terrorist organization run by his father, attack him while he’s on a bus. Thinking his sister, Xialing (Meng’er Zhang), is in trouble too, Shang-Chi heads to Macau, where he discovers she’s been running a fight club called the Golden Daggers. The pair soon learn that their father wants help rescuing their mother, Ying Li (Fala Chen), from a village he believes holds her captive. But Ying Li died long ago, so Shang-Chi has doubts.
Shang-Chi Movies brings in several MCU newcomers while also featuring notable returns. In addition to Fala Chen and Tony Leung, Awkwafina makes her MCU debut as Shang-Chi’s best friend, Katy. Additionally, Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) make returns during a meaningful cameo in a Shang-Chi post-credit scene. Finally, Wong (Benedict Wong) also returns in the film, facing off against Abomination (Tim Roth) in Xialing’s fight club.
Though unintentionally, Shang-Chi seemingly calls out a baffling Star Wars plot hole. On the way to Macau, Shang-Chi opens up about his past, telling Katy he lied about his name. He previously told her his name was Shaun. However, “Shaun” and “Shang” have similar pronunciations, and Awkwafina’s comedic Katy can’t let the moment slide. “I wonder how your father found you,” she jokes, adding, “What is your name change logic?” Though the scene provides comic relief in the film, with Katy ripping jokes about Shang-Chi’s terrible name change, it also points out a similar error in Star Wars.
Shang-Chi’s name change repeats an odd Star Wars issue. In the galaxy far, far away, Obi-Wan Kenobi watches over Luke Skywalker while hiding from the Empire under the ill-conceived alias of Ben Kenobi. Additionally, no one changes Luke’s last name from Skywalker, and he even grows up in the same place as his father, Anakin Skywalker, a.k.a. Darth Vader. Despite the apparent issues, the Star Wars universe views the name changes (or lack thereof) as an acceptable way to hide. Like Shang-Chi changing his name to Shaun, the Star Wars name changes for Obi-Wan and Luke are similarly horrible.
The Shang-Chi scene doesn’t even need to mention Star Wars to connect to it. The creators behind MCU films are very familiar with Star Wars, adding several homages to the franchise throughout their movies and shows. So the connection could be intentional. After all, like Luke, Shang-Chi is hiding from his infamous father. But in many ways, Star Wars set a precedent for bad name changes. All other lousy name changes simply live in its shadow. And when it comes to terrible name changes, the Force is strong with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.