Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has arrived! The latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe premiered this weekend. And it brought gorgeous martial arts, all kinds of lore from the comics, and even a little romance. As with all Marvel movies, Shang-Chi of course had a mid-credits and a post-credits scene. Both have major implications for the MCU. Let’s break down everything you need to know about Shang-Chi‘s post-credits scenes.
Shang-Chi‘s Mid-Credits Scene
The mid-credits scene picks up immediately where the film leaves off. Shang-Chi and Katy followed Wong through the portal Wong made into the Sanctum Sanctorum. They try to determine the origin of the ten rings, but they don’t come up with anything. Wong calls in two experts to help with the research: Captain Marvel and Bruce Banner. And Bruce is human—not Professor Hulk like in Avengers: Endgame.
Captain Marvel says she doesn’t think the ten rings’ origins are alien. Bruce says the rings aren’t made of vibranium or anything else found on Earth. Wong didn’t discover anything from the books in Kamar-Taj either. But something in the ten rings is acting as a beacon, sending a signal off world. Neither Bruce or Carol Danvers have any ideas about the signal or where it’s going.
In the comics, the ten rings do have an alien origin. They remained as artifacts from the Makluans, an alien race of shape-changing space dragons. The Mandarin acquired the rings after discovering a crashed Makluan starship in China’s Valley of the Spirits. The starship had lain dormant for centuries. Murdering their rightful owner, the Makluan explorer Axonn-Karr, the Mandarin took the rings for himself.
Although Carol mentions that the rings don’t have an alien origin, that might just mean that she has never encountered the Makluans. It’s possible that these rings could be sending a signal off world to those aliens. Or maybe another group of to-be-determined aliens that might now put Earth in their sights. However, given that Wenwu spent centuries leading an immortal existence while wearing the ten rings, we think they’re connected to another upcoming MCU entry: Eternals.
In the Eternals trailer, we learn the Celestials sent the Eternals to Earth some 7,000 years ago. Given how old they are, it’s reasonable to assume the ten rings could be a Celestial artifact rather than Makluan. This could perhaps be a version of the cosmic beacon from the very first Eternals comics. They used the beacon to communicate with those vengeful space gods, the Celestials.
In the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, most of the Celestials are either dead or missing. The last known Celestial we saw was Ego the Living Planet, but he shuffled off this immortal coil in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. With Eternals dealing with the emergence of a brand new Celestial, maybe whatever technology is inside of the ten rings reactivated post-blip. When Shang-Chi used them in the way that he used them, they then possibly paged these space gods.
In the comics, the Celestials returned to planet Earth several times for events known as Hosts, tests given to their meaty little science experiments to decide whether they’re worthy of preservation. The emergence of a new Celestial seems like a perfect occasion for any of these other cosmic entities to come home to roost. And it would lend a far greater significance to these all-powerful artifacts that had apparently been on Earth for centuries on end. We’ll find out more about the Celestials when Eternals arrives on November 5. Fingers crossed that means more answers for Shang-Chi’s many mysteries as well.
Shang-Chi‘s Post-Credits Scene
Shang Chi‘s post-credits scene is much more straightforward. We see Xialing in her childhood room at the Ten Rings organization’s compound. Razor Fist arrives and tells her everyone is waiting for her. Walking to the throne room her father once occupied, we see Xialing is now in charge of the Ten Rings. They have an updated color scheme and no longer bar women from training in their unique brand of deadly martial arts and international terrorism.
Even more exciting, we see text on the screen announcing that the Ten Rings organization will return. But when exactly will they return? While a Ten Rings Disney+ series feels like a strange choice, we could see them popping up again in another show like Armor Wars or Ironheart.
Although the Mandarin in Iron Man 3 was fake, the Ten Rings that Tony Stark encountered when building his suit of armor in a cave with a box of scraps was very real. But Tony Stark is out of the. So they might feel more comfortable taking Stark technology and using it for their own purposes. And without Tony Stark, it’s going to be up to the heirs apparent, James Rhodes and Riri Williams, to save the day.
Reporting by Dan Casey.