6 Things Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings Has Gotten Right So Far

Shang-Chi is already shaping up to be a great movie.

It’s only the first teaser trailer, but Shang-Chi is showing promising signs that Marvel’s first-ever Asian led superhero movie knows exactly what it’s doing.

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most popular movie franchise in modern movie history. Ever since the first Iron Man came out in 2008, each entry in the MCU has gotten bigger and better while breaking records along the way. Yet, there is something Marvel has been lacking, and that is with Asian representation. But after 24 movies in the MCU, the time has come for an Asian-led Marvel movie and we got our first look at it with the release of Shang-Chi’s teaser trailer on Monday. It’s only the first look but we’re already excited for the movie. Here are 6 things Shang-Chi has gotten right so far.

It has an Asian lead

While this is quite obvious, it still is amazing to see an Asian be the lead of an MCU film. 24 films have been released in the MCU before Shang-Chi, and not a single one featured an Asian lead. At best, they are relegated to side characters. But now, Asians finally have an Asian superhero to look up to with Simu Liu playing Shang-Chi.

It has a stacked Asian cast

The movie just doesn’t have an Asian lead, it also has a stacked Asian supporting cast. Awkwafina is going to play Katy, Shang-Chi’s best friend in America, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung is playing Wenwu, Shang-Chi’s father, and Michelle Yeoh is going to be Jiang Nah. As we get closer to the movie’s release date of September 2021, we will get more details of the Asian cast.

It has Asian representation behind the camera as well

The Asian representation also extends behind the camera. Shang-Chi’s director is Destin Daniel Cretton, who is of Japanese descent. His previous work includes Just Mercy (2019) and the underrated Short Term 12 (2013). One of the film’s scriptwriters is Dave Callaham who is of Chinese descent. His previous writing credits include Godzilla (2014), Zombieland: Double Tap (2019), and Wonder Woman 1984 (2020).

It has Asians playing Asian characters


If you are wondering why this is here, it is important to know that Hollywood has a long history of non-Asian actors playing Asian characters like in Breakfast at Tiffany’s when a white actor played a Japanese man. The MCU is guilty of this as well. In the lore of Doctor Strange, The Ancient One is a Tibetan monk, but in the movies, the character is played by Tilda Swinton, a white British actress.

It aims to tell a more accurate story of the Asian experience

When the Shang-Chi comics first started in the 70s, they were filled with racists stereotypes of Asians. So, for the movie, the filmmakers decided to update the story for a more accurate portrayal of Asians. Speaking to EW, Simu Liu said that “…when we first started to map out who this character was and what his journey was going to be over the course of the film, we were all very sensitive to not have it go into stereotypical territory.” The movie’s director adds that he “wanted to tell a story about Asian identity that felt as lived-in and authentic as possible.”

It features Asian artists in the soundtrack

While not many details have been confirmed about Shang-Chi’s soundtrack, the teaser trailer offers a glimpse of what songs could be featured in the movie. If you pay close attention, you can hear the voice of GOT7 member Jackson Wang in the track that accompanies the trailer. 88 Rising also shared the trailer on their Instagram, possibly hinting at more things to come. In any case, we can’t wait to see which other Asian artists will be on the soundtrack.

Continue Reading: This Controversial Filipino Rap By Shanti Dope Was Heard On The Falcon And The Winter Soldier

5 Stories That Accurately Portray Asians In Mainstream Media…Plus The Ones We’re Rooting For

Are we finally being seen beyond stereotypes?

While there’s still the issue of Asians being interchangeable in Hollywood, we’re finally seeing some progress when it comes to how we are being represented in mainstream media.

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It’s enlightening to see that we are no longer a mere foil to white protagonists in stories. We have Crazy Rich Asians and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before being hit movies that have Asian leads. It’s comforting to see that it isn’t solely East Asians being represented anymore. As a kid, seeing people who looked like me in my favorite movie and TV shows made me feel seen. What more now that they have actual story arcs that we can relate to?

Disney and Nickelodeon were two of my go-to channels while growing up. I remember getting excited to watch Vanessa Hudgens (aka Gabriella Montez) and Kathleen from Hi-5 because they were both Filipino. But that representation only ended in their looks. Now, we’re seeing major streaming platforms and mainstream media delve deeper into diverse Asian cultures. And though there’s still a long way to go, we’re hopeful for the future as these companies are answering the call for POC representation and expand its exclusiveness.


Set to release in March 2021, Raya and the Last Dragon is advertised as a new original animation, heavily influenced by Southeast Asian lore and cultures through their re-imagined kingdom, Kumandra. Vietnamese American actress Kelly Marie Tran is the new star of Disney’s animated original fantasy film. The film follows Raya—part princess, part warrior — and her journey to find the last dragon to save Kumandra from evil forces. Kelly makes history and becomes the first actress of Southeast Asian descent to lead a Walt Disney Animation Studios movie.

While we definitely have some reservations about the movie blanketing 11 countries and the hundreds of distinguished cultures in one generalized culture, we remain hopeful that kids who are watching will feel represented and that POC stories will be shown more in mainstream media from the success of this film.


Blue’s Clues & You! stars Joshua Dela Cruz, a Filipino-American actor that filled the shoes of our childhood friends, Steve and Joe. Last November 20, the Nick Jr. star introduced his lola in the show, showing more of his Filipino roots by one simple gesture to show respect: the mano po. Much to the delight of Filipino-Americans watching the show, the episode also featured Bibingka, a Filipino rice delicacy.


The 2019 short film FLOAT is the first-ever all-Filipino CGI animated movie from Disney’s Pixar. Filipino-American Bobby Rubio created, produced, and directed the project. In FLOAT, a father discovers that his son is different from other kids in the most unusual way. To keep them both safe from judgement, the Dad covers him and keeps him out of sight—but when his son’s ability becomes public, the Dad must decide whether to run and hide or to accept his son as he is. The short film is a heartwarming metaphor of what ADHD children and their parents go through amidst societal pressure.


We were no short of tears upon watching the Disney UK Christmas advert when it first came out. We’re sure we weren’t the only family with groupchats from abroad that were packing with notifications to reminisce the good days with their grandmothers. Because respect and love for the elderly is a big part of Filipino culture, the short film perfectly encapsulated the sentiment of Filipinos. And it’s undeniable that the Christmas spirit in the Philippines is unlike any other.

It all started with the short film re-imagining what the Philippines looked like on Christmas Day in the year 1940. Kalesas, parols, and jeepneys were portrayed within the first few seconds of the film. Later on, the little girl does the mano po gesture to her lola. As the granddaughter grows up, she loses connection with her lola, but one look at the beloved Mickey Mouse doll prompts a heartfelt reunion between the two.


Netflix’s comedy-drama Never Have I Ever from Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher dropped last April. Inspired in part by Mindy’s own upbringing, Never Have I Ever is a coming-of-age story of a South Asian girl, Devi Vishwakumar, who is Indian-American. It’s awkward, funny, and at times, hard-hitting at best. One of the aspects of the show that I enjoyed most is the way it embraces the beauty and challenges of being true to one’s self and the culture in which one is raised. It’s refreshing enough to binge-watch, but has substance enough to understand trauma, grief, and cultural barriers.