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Shang-Chi's Director Dishes On Why Katy's Family Is More Important Than You Think - Exclusive

Early on in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," the audience is shown a brief but important moment: Shang-Chi's visit to Katy's family. We meet Katy's siblings, parents, and extended family. We see her parents talking about the business they own, her grandmother mourning her late husband in a (moderately) healthy way by saving him an empty chair, and her siblings just running around being kids.

It's a largely normal environment, where even the family members who don't approve of Katy's run-and-gun lifestyle genuinely want the best for her. Heck, they also want what's best for Shang-Chi, for that matter — he's treated as family to them, as well. 

It turns out that this scene is more important that it appears, especially on the first viewing. Looper recently spoke with "Shang-Chi" director Destin Daniel Cretton, who revealed to us why this scene was so vital — and how it acts as a dark parallel to a similar dinner scene later in the movie.

What Shang-Chi does not have

"It was really important for us to be able to see Shang-Chi and Katy in the context of their families," said Cretton. "We see Shang-Chi interacting with Katy's family. And if you watch the scene closely, you see that Shang-Chi is observing this family and realizing that it's something that he does not have." 

This is even more painful for Shang-Chi, given that Katy's family clearly loves him as well.

This scene was set up in part to contrast the events at the Ten Rings compound. "There is the opposition to that scene much later when we are at a similar dinner table scene with Shang-Chi's family and you see major differences between the two, both culturally, but also just because of the trauma that this family has gone through." 

Adding to the parallels is that Wenwu is also trying to cope with the loss of his wife — although instead of leaving ceremonial empty seats for her, he tries to open a forbidden door.

"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" is in theaters now.