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Why Shang-Chi's Aunt Looks So Familiar

Destin Daniel Cretton's "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" has finally arrived in theaters, introducing audiences to a brand new hero played by "Kim's Convenience" star Simu Liu. The film finds the titular hero years after he leaves his father, Wenwu/The Mandarin (Tony Leung), and his terrorist organization, the Ten Rings. But the martial arts expert is pulled back into his father's arms and Shang-Chi is forced to figure out his place in the world. It's an action-packed adventure that widens the scope of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it features an incredible cast.

Liu is joined by Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Benedict Wong, Fala Chen, and Florian Munteanu. His family is at the core of the story as it introduces a few of Shang-Chi's relatives. Obviously, his father, the Mandarin, is at the center of the plot because he wields the titular Ten Rings that grant him wild abilities that give him the edge in a fight.

Not all of Shang-Chi's relatives are evil terrorist leaders out to rule the world; his Aunt Jiang Nan aids the hero in his fight and is a powerful guardian in her own right. But if you're trying to figure out where you've seen Shang-Chi's Aunt Jiang Nan before, here's why she looks so familiar.

Michelle Yeoh got her Hollywood break in Tomorrow Never Dies

Michelle Yeoh is an incredibly prolific star and she made a huge splash by starring in a multitude of Hong Kong action movies in the late 1980s and all the way through the 1990s. She worked with Jackie Chan on the "Police Story" franchise, where, as inspector Jessica Yang, she went up against a Chinese drug lord. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Yeoh joked that Chan used to think women belong in the kitchen ​​"[u]ntil I kicked his butt."

Yeoh was introduced to international audiences in 1997 when she took a role in Pierce Brosnan's second outing as James Bond, "Tomorrow Never Dies." She plays Colonel Wai Lin, a Chinese agent who is also investigating Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) and his attempts to kickstart World War III. The pair wind up working together to stop the media mad man's nefarious scheme. On the other hand, Wai Lin does become a damsel in distress for Bond to save on more than one occasion in the finale, which is a little disappointing given Michelle Yeoh's prowess for stunts. But then again, the film was released in 1997 and thankfully, times have changed since then.

She later appeared in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha

Although Yeoh's popularity in the west continued to grow thanks to her Bond girl status, she continued to star in martial arts movies like Ang Lee's 2000 epic, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." Yeoh plays Yu Shu Lien, a master martial artist and a deadly fighter. She's one of the main heroes next to Chow Yun Fat's Li Mu Bai, and they have an unspoken love for one another. The pair refuse to take their relationship any further because Shu Lien was engaged to Mu Bai's friend, Meng Sizhao, before his death.

Star-crossed lovers, stunning fight choreography and gorgeous cinematography ... "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" has it all! That said, the crux of the story revolves around a young thief, Jen Yu (Zhang Zhi) who steals a legendary sword from Mu Bai.

In 2005's "Memoirs of a Geisha," Yeoh played Mameha, Sayuri Nitta's (Ziyi Zhang) mentor who trains her to become a geisha. The film itself was criticized at the time for casting Chinese actors in Japanese roles (via The Guardian), but the performances from the stars were praised by critics along with the sets, costumes, and production design. Audiences enjoyed it more than critics, as it has an 83% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

She took to the stars in Star Trek: Discovery and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

In 2017, Michelle Yeoh looked beyond the stars, as she appeared in both "Star Trek: Discovery" and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2." She plays Captain Phillipa Georgiou of the USS Shenzhou, and constantly butts heads with her defiant Number One, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). In fact, it's Burnham's rebellious streak that gets Georgiou killed in Season 1, Episode 2 "The Battle of the Binary Stars." Burnham mutinies against her Captain, attacking her so the junior officer can shoot a Klingon ship unprovoked in an attempt to void a galaxy-wide war. Of course, it has the exact opposite effect.

Unfortunately for Burnham and Georgiou, the Captain is killed in battle on board a Klingon ship towards the end of the episode. But this is "Star Trek," death is not the end, and in Episode 11, "The Wolf Inside," the series introduces Phillipa's Mirror Universe counterpart: Emperor Georgiou. Yeoh clearly had plenty of fun playing Emperor Georgiou, who's much more villainous and violent than the Prime Universe version of the character.

The star also briefly appeared in James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" as one of the many Ravagers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Aleta Ogord. She used to work with Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker) and her ex-husband, Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone). In one of the post-credits scenes of the sequel, she reunites with her ex-teammates following Yondu's death. Whether she'll reprise the role in a future film now that she plays Jing Nan in "Shang-Chi" remains to be seen.

Critics loved Michelle Yeoh's performance in Crazy Rich Asians

2018's "Crazy Rich Asians" is one of those rare romantic comedies that are instantly memorialized in pop culture for being so darn brilliant. It follows Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), who travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend Nick's (Henry Golding) family for the first time, only to discover that they're some of the richest people in the country. One of those family members is Nick's overbearing mother, Eleanor, played by Michelle Yeoh. Her performance was highly praised by critics because she stood out amid the typical comedy tropes of the genre. As BBC 5 Live's Mark Kermode put it, "Michelle Yeoh is terrific not least because... you have [her] character who is very not funny in a way which is kind of impressive in a comedy."

Eleanor's arc in the film is about wanting her son to break up with Rachel after the family discovers her mother had an affair. Because the family is in such high regard in Singapore society, they're terrified of the bad press that would come with the news. Fortunately, the story develops her character to a point where she gives her blessing on the union — leading to a truly emotional proposal on a plane before Rachel can leave back to New York.

Yeoh is a truly brilliant actress who elevates everything she appears in. She'll appear next in Netflix's "The Witcher: Blood Origin" as Scian, the last surviving sword-elf — which just sounds incredibly cool. From there, she's also set to star in the next four "Avatar" sequels from James Cameron as Dr. Karina Mogue, although little else is known about her role.