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Who Is The Dragon In The New Shang-Chi Trailer?

As Marvel's first film with an Asian lead, many fans are extremely excited for the upcoming release of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings." Starring Simu Liu as the title character, the film will adapt the story of the well-known Marvel Comics hero, with some notable differences and additions. Along with Liu, the cast features Awkwafina as Shang-Chi's close friend Katy, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung as his father Wenwu, the "real" Mandarin in the MCU, and Michelle Yeoh as his mother, Jiang Nan. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the movie is expected to hit theaters on September 3, 2021. 

As it gets closer and closer to the release date, more information about "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" is finally coming out, and a new trailer revealed a lot of hints about the movie's story. The short preview shows Shang-Chi as a boy getting trained by his father to be an assassin, an adult Shang-Chi getting chased by the Ten Rings organization, and a first look at the actual Ten Rings in use by Wenwu. But there's one particular character that has fans really excited, and that's the dragon. 

While the trailer only shows a few seconds of the huge dragon as Shang-Chi encounters it under the water, many fans are talking and wondering who the dragon really is.

The Great Protector might be a new character or a hidden villain

According to official merchandise for the upcoming Marvel film, the dragon in question is known as the "Great Protector." In the description for the dragon figurine on Amazon, the Great Protector is a "good luck symbol" that can "help" Shang-Chi in his fight with its "benevolent power." All this is evidence that the dragon will be a positive force on Shang-Chi's side, rather than an enemy he has to fight.

The is sad news for fans who hope to see a comic book character known "Fin Fang Foom" in the movie. In the original Marvel comics, Fin Fang Foom is a Makluan, or a shape-shifting alien, who slumbers in the aptly named Valley of the Sleeping Dragon in China, to be awoken by his fellow Makluans when he is needed. At one point, he is accidentally awoken by the Mandarin, who must in turn team up with Iron Man to defeat Fin Fang Foom (Fandom). While many fans are hoping to see this particular antagonist on screen, the star of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" explicitly told NBC News that Fin Fang Foom would not appear in the film, as they were trying to remove any "questionable elements" from the story in the transition from comic to screen. Particularly with his name, as well as other major characteristics, Fin Fang Foom is believed by many to be a racist depiction of Chinese stereotypes.

Aside from Fin Fang Foom, there is also Shou-Lao the Undying, the dragon related to K'un-Lun and the Iron Fist's power, but it's very unlikely that this dragon will turn out to be him. Considering all of this, it appears that the dragon in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" is a new addition to the story, or an alteration of a familiar character. But who knows? They could ultimately be pulling a fake one on fans and later reveal that the Great Protector is actually a version of Fin Fang Foom after all.