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Where Exactly Is Shang-Chi's Ta Lo In The MCU's Multiverse?

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

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has introduced fans to a number of different dimensions, planets, parallel universes, and alternate timelines. As many fans already know, the ongoing continuity is firmly stepping forward into the multiverse thanks to some of the shows on Disney+ like "What If...?" and "Loki." It's set to grow even bigger through the likes of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." But the latest chapter of the MCU, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" also delivered a brand new realm for fans to explore through the eyes of the titular hero (Simu Liu) and his best friend, Katy (Awkwafina).

The film quickly establishes that Shang-Chi's mother Ying Li (Fala Chen) comes from the mystical realm known as Ta Lo. It's forbidden to people from the outside world and Shang-Chi's father Wenwu/The Mandarin (Tony Leung) is obsessed with gaining access to it. Shang-Chi, Katy, his sister Xialing (Meng'er Zhang), and former impersonator of The Mandarin Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) eventually make their way into Ta Lo just past the midway point of the film, but it's not exactly easy. They use Morris, an adorable faceless DiJiang, to gain entry into Ta Lo via a sentient, carnivorous, bamboo forest.

Once they make their way into Ta Lo, they discover how magical it really is. Ta Lo is packed with a variety of unique creatures and beasts and it's also responsible for keeping the Dweller in Darkness locked away behind a massive gate made of dragon scales. But where does Ta Lo fit within the MCU's multiverse?

A Whole New World

Although the entrance to Ta Lo can be found in China, that doesn't necessarily mean that it exists on our plane of existence. The portal to the mystical realm lies on Earth, but when the gang drives through the waterfall (after their race against the violent bamboo forest) they're clearly transported to another place entirely. Per the Marvel Database on Fandom, in the comics, Ta Lo exists in its own pocket dimension — much like the Quantum Realm or Asgard, before the latter was destroyed in "Thor: Ragnarok."

In the comics, Ta Lo is known as the "Great Canopy Heaven" and is home to a race of humanoid beings called the Xian who are worshipped as Taoist gods. It's not clear if the people living in Ta Lo in "Shang-Chi" are meant to be the Xian since the people are never implied to be gods in the film. Both Ying Li and Jiang Nan (Michelle Yeoh) do have impressive abilities, but those powers are drawn from the Great Protector — the huge dragon which lives in the lake. Ta Lo is also a little similar to K'un-Lun from the "Iron Fist" TV series on Netflix. In "Iron Fist," K-un-Lun is one of the seven cities of heaven and can only be accessed every 15 years in China, much like the path to Ta Lo can only be accessed at certain rare times.

When Gamespot asked director Destin Daniel Cretton about the nature of Ta Lo and where it exists, he explained "That's a great question–and honestly, I think that's something much more fun to debate than to answer right now." He went on to say "The one thing to remember is that Ta Lo is not confined to the little village that we see [in the movie]." The director also added that we might see more from the realm in later movies, saying "Ta Lo is a big world in and of itself, which is a fun place to imagine exploring in the future."