After a long wait, the Mortal Kombat trailer has finally released. It gave us a good look at the various iconic characters from gaming history in live-action. Not just that, but the trailer teased introduced us to a new character that is new to the franchise that started in 1992. Lewis Tan is playing a man named Cole Young, who seems to have a relevant role in the story. They don’t give away any real details besides the strange dragon birthmark on his chest. They are making a big deal to include this newcomer to such a degree he even got a motion poster alongside MK legacy characters. Lewis Tan is a great actor and a perfect addition to the franchise. It would make sense they want to highlight his inclusion. Yet, it makes you wonder: is there more to this character that they are teasing?
— Mortal Kombat Movie (@MKMovie) February 17, 2021
Unlike the first film adaptation, the film seems to be taking a unique direction with the story and isn’t jumping straight into the iconic tournament. It got teased briefly with a shot that alludes to the great Kung Lao, who won the last entry, but it seems the main focus is the ongoing conflict with Sub-Zero. He destroyed Jax’s arms, and it looks like there is a personal vendetta. What stands out is that there is a brief mention that Cole shares the same birthmark with their primary suspect, which implies a connection to Sub-Zero. What makes this so interesting is that they hide the iconic blue ninja’s identity in the trailers. Fans of the games will know that there are two that took on the role. Bi-Han was the first to hold the mantle before his younger brother Kuai Liang took over. It seems to imply that Cole might end up being Kuai, who got separated from Bi-Han at a young age. The big fight between Sub-Zero and Scorpion in an icy landscape reveals a third player, who seems to be Cole.
It almost seems like Sub-Zero was after him before Hanzo Hasashi uttered the iconic line to pull him back. We know that these two continue the fight in some manner, so there is a chance that there is a running red herring about who is trying to protect Cole. Scorpion also plays a role in the character’s backstory. Earlier in the trailer, we briefly see Cole staring into the mirror before getting interrupted by a range premonition with Scorpion. It seems to imply that Cole might have some connection to those events. So, as a result of the attack, Cole was cast out from the Lin Kuei, Sub-Zero’s clan. Perhaps Hasashi took his vengeance on the Chinese assassins for killing his family, and Bi-Han tried to hide his brother’s identity so he wouldn’t get targeted. The conflict between the two iconic ninjas may be at the center of this film’s story.
It would explain why the story moved away from focusing on Liu Kang, who usually is the stories’ protagonist. They want to switch it up and explore Cole to uncover his history. Perhaps he even learns to master his abilities. If they follow the game’s, Bi-Han’s fate may also be the motivation why Cole will enter the Mortal Kombat tournament. The battle between Scorpion and Sub-Zero has become a staple for the franchise, so they will probably continue fighting in future sequels. Sub-Zero’s introduction as a villain could lead to his potential downfall and future as a specter of darkness. His rivalry with Scorpion and his brother is one of the most iconic storylines of the franchise. It would make sense to try something new and focus on that development instead of going the usual destined warrior route with Liu Kang. I am excited to see which direction they are heading with this franchise once the reboot premieres in April.