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The First Post-Credits Scene In Shang-Chi Explained

Contains spoilers for "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings"

The newest superhero to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the unstoppable warrior Shang-Chi (Simu Lu) has finally made his way onto the big screen in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings." The mystical and explosive new action film based on the Marvel comic character released Friday, September 3, and already fans are talking about the movie's future impact on the MCU. From hidden worlds to god-like monsters, "Shang-Chi" has added new elements to the Marvel Universe as the franchise enters its fourth phase.

The film has Shang-Chi, AKA Shaun, confronting his dark past as he faces off against his father, Wenwu (Tony Leung), the immortal warlord of the Ten Rings terrorist group. Wenwu possesses the mystical artifacts known as the Ten Rings, which are infused with great powers beyond even his knowledge. Teaming up with his sister, Xialing (Meng'er Zhang), and friend Katy (Awkwafina), Shaun finally accepts his destiny to become a hero and fight against his father — as well as even more powerful forces.

The epic battles and intriguing mysticism of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" are sure to make this latest MCU film a new favorite for fans. The movie opens up many gateways to possible futures for the franchise — ones that we can only speculate as we wait for upcoming projects like "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and "Eternals." The signature Marvel post-credit scenes that can be found in each film are also there to offer hints to the audience. Here is a breakdown of the first post-credit scene in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," and how it might offer us a tease for imminent MCU storylines.

The Shang-Chi post credits scene brings back some familiar faces

"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" ends with Shaun and Katy returning to San Francisco. They meet Wong (Benedict Wong), who opens a portal and takes them to the Sorcerer's Sanctum. In the first post-credits scene, Shaun, Katy, and Wong are joined via hologram by Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), AKA Captain Marvel, and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo).

The first thing that fans may notice is that Bruce is back to his old self — he is now fully human, rather than the half-Hulk, half-Banner form from "Avengers: Endgame." How he came to be that way is anyone's guess. His arm is also still in a sling, which fans may remember was injured as a result of his attempt to wield the Infinity Gauntlet in "Endgame." It seems this meeting was called in order to analyze the enigmatic Ten Rings, and Wong has enlisted Bruce and Carol's help. Yet the other two heroes seem to have no clue about the rings' origins, nor the material that makes up the rings. The only helpful fact that Bruce can offer is that they are far over 1000 years old. Wong also points out that the rings are acting as some kind of beacon, although what that beacon is searching for remains a mystery.

Theories online are already spreading like wildfire, such as the suggestion that the Ten Rings might be connected to the Celestials — godlike beings that will play a big part in the upcoming "Eternals." Others speculate that major Marvel villain Mephisto might come into play, although that may just be wishful thinking. The story in the Marvel comics says that they are Makulan tech — Makulan being the race of cosmic dragons — yet the MCU has already changed quite a bit from the original comics in regards to the rings, so that may not be the case as far as the movies are concerned. 

Whatever the MCU has in store, it looks like "Shaun-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" may be a big turning point for the franchise, and fans can't wait to see where it goes next.