Mortal Kombat’s trailer features a subtle hint tying Lewis Tan’s mysterious Cole Young to legendary MK warrior Scorpion. Could blood link them?
Lewis Tan’s Mortal Kombat character Cole Young might secretly be the spirit of Scorpion reborn. The Mortal Kombat reboot trailer poses some interesting questions on the movie’s characters and how different it is to the game series, but none is more pressing than the identity of Lewis Tan’s Cole Young. What scant synopsis exists so far suggests Young’s lineage is a mystery and the trailer seems to hint that he is linked both to Sub-Zero and to Scorpion.
Before the trailer landed, the official plot release for Mortal Kombat suggested the loaded secret of Young’s family history was made him special and also confirmed that he was being hunted by Sub-Zero for reasons he didn’t understand. The trailer marks Young out as even more special thanks to the dragon insignia “birthmark” on his chest, which marks him out as a future Mortal Kombat tournament entrant, despite his failed MMA career. But there’s even more to the trailer’s hints too and Mortal Kombat‘s marketing has leaned hard into the mystery of his true identity inspiring that he is a version of other original MK characters like Johnny Cage or Sub-Zero’s brother Kuai Liang.
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While there is enough evidence – or at least enough vagueness – to feed into each of the theories, but the first belated trailer for Mortal Kombat has now added further elements to the mix. Most compelling of all, on the back of the reveal of Scorpion and Sub-Zero’s shared history, is that Cole Young is the key player in that triumvirate of characters. And there’s one moment in particular in the trailer that suggests that Young is, in fact, not only tied to Scorpion but his likely replacement, tied through blood and legacy.
Cole Young’s Identity Is Hidden On Purpose
In contrast to all of the other Mortal Kombat characters revealed so far, Lewis Tan’s Cole Young has seemingly no overt link to an existing franchise character. That has led to the rounds of speculation around his true identity, which the marketing has absolutely leaned into so far. Revealing just enough information to inspire even more speculation, the film-makers have talked up Young’s links to Mortal Kombat lore and how he fits with the logic of the games. He is, crucially, the protagonist, tied to the plot by his mysterious “birthmark” of the franchise’s logo and the official synopsis speaks of the secret of his lineage. In short, everything about Cole Young from the casting of Lewis Tan through to his positioning in all of the released marketing materials is carefully crafted to hide his identity while insisting of its importance. He is at the heart of the trailer even with a lot of action and character reveals and it’s all purposefully targeted at inspiring engagement.
Cole Young Is Linked To BOTH Scorpion & Sub-Zero
Even before the release of the Mortal Kombat trailer, the official synopsis of Mortal Kombat was early confirmation that Cole Young would be tied to Sub-Zero as the legendary MK fighter (and early MVP of the marketing) is sent to “hunt down” Young by the Outworld emperor. That inspires the MMA fighter to seek out the truth of his lineage and his strange “tattoo” by seeking out Sonya Blade and Jax, who hold the key to Sub-Zero’s identity. The suggestion there is that Sub-Zero makes himself known to Young, leading to his encounters with Jax and Sonya Blade and the revelation of his ties to the legendary tournament. But it is very much key that Sub-Zero is the entry point for Young.
And then, with the release of the first trailer came the briefest of moments showing Scorpion appearing to Lewis Tan’s mysterious protagonist in what appears to be a haunting vision. Even without digging into what that vision meant, the narrative intent of the trailer is clearly to establish a link between the two. Audiences can reasonably be expected to draw meaning from the fact that Cole sees the unmasked, undead warrior in the mirror. The subsequent revelation that Sub-Zero is the main villain of the movie, rather than Mortal Kombat tournament host Shang Tsung and the trailer’s confirmation of Scorpion and Sub-Zero’s visceral rivalry seemingly forces Scorpion and Cole Young to the same end of the moral spectrum. Could it be that Sub-Zero’s mission is to further continue destroying Scorpion’s family, which pulls his enemy out of the world of the dead?
Why Cole Young Has A Scorpion Vision In The Mortal Kombat Trailer
There are two major possibilities on why Scorpion is seen in a vision that terrifies Cole Young. The more nefarious suggestion is that he is Scorpion’s target as part of the legendary undead warrior’s revenge after Sub-Zero murdered him and his family in the distant past. It’s possible, but that would require Sub-Zero to be hunting for Cole to recruit him and that wouldn’t require Shang Tsung to send him. That could, of course, end up being the twist (aided by a further twist, perhaps, that Scorpion and Sub-Zero are in fact brothers), but it feels more likely that Scorpion’s vision is a message of allegiance.
The brief shot in the trailer shows Scorpion appearing to Cole in a mirror, not only leaning into the symbolism tying Young to his possible ancestor – in that he literally “sees himself” in the vision – but also leaning into an indicator of familiarity. After all, Scorpion is not wearing a mask in the vision, which suggests he is not seeking to scare Cole or to kill him. This feels more like an appeal, and there is compelling logic to the idea that Scorpion is appearing to his bloodline, confirming the true mystery of Cole’s lineage. Not only was he chosen for the Mortal Kombat tournament, but he could be chosen as Scorpion’s means to continue his bloodline.
Going a little further, Scorpion’s backstory could reveal that he was one of the chosen Earthrealm champions for an earlier tournament and Sub-Zero’s human forebear was sent by Shang Tsung to kill him to try and ensure Outworld’s victory. If Cole is the heir to his bloodline and the next Scorpion, that would explain why he was born marked for combat in the tournament. And while he may not pull on the mask in Mortal Kombat, there could even be an exciting set-up at the end that establishes him as Scorpion’s replacement in possible sequels. That would certainly be a better pay-off than him being the new version of Johnny Cage.
Next: Mortal Kombat Trailer Breakdown: All 27 Story Reveals, Secrets & Fatalities
- Mortal Kombat (2021)Release date: Apr 16, 2021
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