Why Mortal Kombat Made Cole Young A Scorpion Descendent (& What It Means)

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Why Mortal Kombat Made Cole Young A Scorpion Descendent (& What It Means)

Mortal Kombat introduced a big twist by making Cole Young a descendant of Scorpion. Here’s why, and what the change means for the franchise’s future.

Mortal Kombat 2021 introduced a big twist by making its new protagonist, Cole Young, a descendant of Scorpion but how will this affect the series moving forward? In the months leading up to the reboot’s release, speculation ran wild as to who Cole actually was, with theories ranging from Johnny Cage to a descendant of Sub-Zero and everything in between. Ultimately, Cole wound up being part of Hanzo Hasashi’s bloodline, but there’s more significance to that connection than it might appear at first glance.

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From a strictly narrative standpoint, it makes sense to connect Cole and Scorpion. It’s a way to tie the new character into the preexisting Mortal Kombat lore and the rivalry between Scorpion and Sub-Zero, which is at the center of the story. The prophecy storyline that Cole introduces also makes Scorpion more pivotal to the plot than he was in the early Mortal Kombat video games, adding further justification for his enhanced importance in the movie.

Thematically, the decision to make Cole a descendant of Scorpion is even more significant. The new Mortal Kombat is really a story about family, and the lengths people will go to in order to protect their own. Sub-Zero is the villain because he only really cares about himself and his quest for power. Scorpion is the hero because he fights for something larger – the survival of his bloodline. Cole is the manifestation of that higher purpose, and he carries Hanzo’s mission in his own efforts to protect his family. At the end of the movie, Cole’s Arcana only awakens when his family is in grave danger – a moment that’s only made more meaningful by his connection to the larger Hasashi legacy.

Unfortunately for Cole, his connection to Scorpion may get him in way more trouble in a hypothetical Mortal Kombat 2. After helping Hanzo kill Sub-Zero, Cole’s likely made himself an even greater enemy in the Lin Kuei at large – Sub-Zero’s clan of assassins. There’s also a good chance Bi-Han will rise from the dead in Mortal Kombat 2, transforming from Sub-Zero into the shadow ninja Noob Saibot, just as he does in the games.

Because he’s tied to Scorpion’s prophecy, Cole will always have a target on his back. Whenever the tenth Mortal Kombat tournament actually takes place – likely in MK 2 – he’ll be one of the favorites to win, which means he’ll also be up against the toughest fighters Outworld has to offer. Making Cole a descendant of Scorpion helped tie him into the core story of Mortal Kombat, and that connection will only become more important as the franchise continues.

Rick Stevenson is a writer, editor and performer based in Brooklyn, NY. He’s written on TV, film and games for over six years, in addition to assorted stints in bookselling, carpentry, and TV production. Rick studied writing at the College of William & Mary and Oxford University, and can report with some authority that they are both old. He lives and dies for Avatar: The Last Airbender.

From a strictly narrative standpoint, it makes sense to connect Cole and Scorpion. It’s a way to tie the new character into the preexisting Mortal Kombat lore and the rivalry between Scorpion and Sub-Zero, which is at the center of the story. The prophecy storyline that Cole introduces also makes Scorpion more pivotal to the plot than he was in the early Mortal Kombat video games, adding further justification for his enhanced importance in the movie.

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