(Warning: Major spoilers ahead for “Mortal Kombat.” Read on at your own risk)
There are a LOT of fighters in “Mortal Kombat,” each with their own unique ability that proves useful in saving Earth. But we need to talk about the ending for one in particular: Hanzo Hasashi, better known as Scorpion.
“Mortal Kombat” is centered on Cole Young, an MMA fighter who finds himself thrust into a supernatural fight to save the world. He bears an ancient dragon-shaped marked, signifying his role as one of Earthrealm’s champions in an ancient tournament known as Mortal Kombat.
The thing about Cole’s mark though, is that he was born with it. Every other fighter he encounters — Jax, Kano, Sonya Blade — has taken the mark from someone else by killing that person. Why is Cole different? Because his mark was passed down through his bloodline.
Cole is the descendant of Hanzo Hasashi, an incredible ancient warrior. We meet Hanzo briefly at the start of “Mortal Kombat” and see just how skilled a fighter he is, after his family is murdered by Sub-Zero (who goes by his actual name of Bi-Han at that point). Unfortunately, Sub-Zero ultimately ends up murdering Hanzo as well.
But, as it turns out, Hanzo didn’t totally die. According to Lord Raiden, “The moment he died, Hanzo descended into the Netherrealm, the farthest reaches of Hell, endlessly searching for revenge.”
It took centuries, but eventually, Hanzo returned from hell to get his revenge against Sub-Zero near the end of “Mortal Kombat.” Just when it looked like the ice ninja was about to give Cole a fatality, Hanzo showed up with brand new costume — a yellow ninja outfit that looks a lot like Sub-Zero’s blue one — and a brand new name: Scorpion. He and Cole then team up to kick Sub-Zero’s ass.
“You hoped that I would burn in the fires of Hell,” Scorpion tells Sub-Zero menacingly. “But instead I learned to control them.” He then proceeds to literally breathe fire, burning Sub-Zero to a crisp, and achieving his lifelong — or rather, after-lifelong — mission.
He then turns to Cole. “You have freed me. Take care of my bloodline,” he says, before disappearing in a swirl of flames.
So, um, where did he go? While we’ll no doubt find out for sure in the next “Mortal Kombat” movie, we might as well speculate about it now.
The first possibility that springs to mind, which is arguably the most obvious, is that Scorpion simply returned to Hell, as that’s his realm now. He was technically killed after all. And for all we know, Scorpion Hanzo couldn’t even continue living in Earthrealm.
But he did say he’d been freed. Perhaps he was trapped in the Nether Realm because of Sub-Zero, and his death allowed Scorpion to walk free. As we saw with the Earthrealm champions, the arcanas clearly work at all times. So maybe Scorpion simply portaled himself out of there, but to a different place on Earth. It doesn’t seem all that likely, but it’s certainly a possibility.
Of course, it’s entirely plausible that Scorpion simply meant he had been freed in a metaphorical sense. Spending centuries trying to exact revenge on a cryomancing ninja is probably draining. It weighs heavy on the body, mind and soul. So, in saying that Cole freed him, Scorpion very well could’ve meant that he can simply rest easy now, with his family.
But that’s not super likely, at least not if we’re going by the “Mortal Kombat” game lore. The thing about Scorpion is that he’s not a good guy or a bad guy. He’s only ever got one thing on his mind: Revenge for his slain family and clan, who were murdered by Sub-Zero. Just like in the game story, he gets his vengeance.
But that’s not the end of that story. In the “Mortal Kombat” games, there was an invisible hand guiding his actions: that of Quan Chi, a demon from Netherrealm we did not meet in this movie. Like Shang Tsung, the film’s villain, Quan Chi has his sights set on dominating Earth, and he hatches all sorts of schemes to try to take it.
It’s important to keep in mind that it does seem that Scorpion in the movie believes his quest for vengeance is over, so we don’t expect that he took off into Netherrealm at the end of the movie to immediately hunt down Quan Chi. But there’s one more thing we haven’t mentioned. When Scorpion kills Sub-Zero in the game story, Sub-Zero himself ends up in Netherrealm — and Quan Chi resurrects him.
But this movie being an adaptation means they have no real reason to skew so closely to the game storylines. Considering that Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays Scorpion, is the biggest name in the “Mortal Kombat” cast, we expect Warner Bros would wanna keep the spotlight on him and have him around in each of these things.
Plus, you know, Scorpion and Sub-Zero are mainstays of the franchise — they’re two of the seven playable characters from the original game. Their story will almost certainly be a major part of the next movie if they make a sequel.
As for the immediate question that we posed in this article, the answer almost certainly is the most obvious one we mentioned above: that he went back to hell. The Netherrealm is where he belongs — he wasn’t actually resurrected in the traditional sense when he came after Sub-Zero.
But these things are subject to the whims of the creatives involved. Right now, there’s only one thing we really know for sure about a potential “Mortal Kombat” sequel: it’ll have Johnny Cage. Everything else is just guesswork. Educated guesswork, but guesswork nonetheless.