Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Cobra Kai's Ralph Macchio Is Keen On The Idea Of A Mr. Miyagi Prequel Series

The Miyagiverse that at one time only encompassed the four original "Karate Kid" movies expanded considerably with the 2018 release of "Cobra Kai." The show takes place in the Valley 34 years after the climactic ending of "The Karate Kid," in which All Valley Karate Tournament newcomer Daniel LaRusso defeats his high school bully Johnny Lawrence in the final match. "Cobra Kai" began its first season largely from the perspective of Lawrence, who is quickly revealed to have peaked in high school and is barely scraping by in life as a day laborer. As the show develops, we see the events of the past and present through the eyes of various major and minor characters, including the protagonist in the film, LaRusso.

LaRusso's life incorporates the lessons he spent decades learning from the man who took him under his wing, Mr. Miyagi. Miyagi's karate teachings came from generations of wisdom, discipline, and carefully honed techniques that LaRusso learned and used to win back-to-back All Valley Karate Tournament titles. LaRusso also used Miyagi's techniques to save the life of his love interest, Kumiko in "The Karate Kid II."

But Miyagi's teachings were about more than just a self-defense form of martial arts. The lessons of balance he instilled in LaRusso serve as motifs throughout "Cobra Kai," with LaRusso using them to be a better sensei, father, and husband.

Some of Miyagi's history was revealed in the films, while additional details about his life are offered in the series. A full look at Miyagi's life before LaRusso met him could potentially be a captivating backstory worthy of a prequel series.

Mr. Miyagi has a fascinating backstory

The "Karate Kid" films and "Cobra Kai" all give insight into Miyagi's fascinating life story, beginning with his life in Okinawa. Miyagi's father was a fisherman by trade and carried on the tradition of teaching Miyagi-do Karate to his son. As was revealed in "The Karate Kid II," Miyagi convinced his father to teach the family skills to his friend. This friendship soon went south, with Miyagi choosing to move to the United States rather than fight him. He met his future wife at a Japanese internment camp, where they wed. He then fought in World War II, earning the Medal of Honor. Upon return from the war, he discovered that his wife and their unborn child died, leaving him alone (per Screen Rant). Not much else is known of Miyagi's life until he meets Daniel LaRusso four decades later.

Ralph Macchio, who plays LaRusso, gave an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, with the publication noting that while some of the gaps in Miyagi's backstory are filled in with "Cobra Kai," there is so much left to the unknown. When the subject of a prequel series came up, the actor said, "How do we not explore the backstory of and the origin of Mr. Miyagi? And what happened? What brought him to that place, working in that apartment in Reseda? What was his life before then? I think that would be fascinating."

So many questions about Mr. Miyagi still remain

At some point, after he returned home from WWII, Miyagi settled in Reseda, California, where "The Karate Kid" films and portions of "Cobra Kai" take place. Ralph Macchio pondered an interesting question in his interview with Screen Rant, wondering what brought his character's sensei to Reseda to begin with. That gap of four decades between Miyagi's days as a celebrated war hero and his employment as a handyman in an apartment building is fertile ground for the character-developing details suitable for a successful prequel. 

Did Miyagi have any students before Daniel LaRusso? Was there more to why he was averse to using karate to compete in tournaments? Is there a story behind any of the classic cars and trucks that he accumulated over the years? Did Miyagi have any rivalries not mentioned in the films or TV series? 

When you take into account that most TV series have a story arc that spans the months or years of the real-time in which it is aired, there is potential for a cinematic lifetime's worth of storyline potential for Miyagi's character. Though no plans for a prequel have been announced, it's a safe bet that fans of the franchise would welcome a series that lets them get to know more intimate details about one of the franchise's major characters.