The following contains spoilers for Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
One of the most anticipated titles to debut in the MCU's Phase Four is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The story of how the movie came to be created is almost as interesting as the intellectual property that the flick is based on. Canadian-Asian actor Simu Liu was pretty vocal about going after a major role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on social media long before he got the gig (talk about manifest destiny).
A big question Marvel fans have for the Shang-Chi flick, however, is where does it fit in the MCU timeline?
Where does 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' fit into the MCU timeline?
When it comes to piecing together all of Marvel's intellectual properties into a single universe where all films and characters sporadically pop in and out of one another's standalone and "group" movies, it can be a little difficult to ascertain just what happened when within that greater timeline.
While it seems like a huge, nerdy undertaking to reconcile these timelines, you know there are tons of folks out there who don't even work for Marvel who get a real kick out of mapping all of that out.
Which gets a bit complicated due to some of the finer points of the film.
There are major parts of Shang-Chi's plot that fit precisely into a Post-Endgame world that Marvel fans would expect. The film indicates Shang-Chi was born around 1996 and decided to leave the Ten Rings group when he was 14. Katy and Shang-Chi end up becoming pals right when he moves to the states, where he's lived for 10 years.
This puts the flick's timeline at the year 2020, which is two years after Thanos snapped the world into utter chaos and three years before Endgame's "blip." Shang-Chi doesn't directly discuss whether or not he was a victim of "The Snap" but if that's the case, then Shang-Chi would need to take place in the year 2026.
However, as some have pointed out, Shang-Chi was called "Gangnam Style" when he first came to America, which doesn't really make sense because the track was released in 2013, well after Shang-Chi's 2010 arrival to the U.S. (It also doesn't make sense because "Gangnam Style" is a Korean track, and Simu Liu is Chinese-Canadian.)
Although producer Kevin Feige has confirmed that Shang-Chi indeed does take place after the events of Endgame, exactly when is a different issue entirely.
There's one other "timeline" theory that pushes Shang-Chi's birthday up by about three or four years and that the events of the flick took place in 2023 or 2024, which is closer to when Endgame happened.
But by following this specific theory, that makes Carol Danvers' long hair appearance in the post-credits scene seem a bit out of place. Remember, she was rocking a short 'do during the majority of Endgame. These are nerdy, pedantic details. If she can carry spaceships throughout different solar systems and blow energy beams out of her hands, I'm pretty sure she can figure out a way to regrow her hair at a quicker rate.
How many post-credits scenes are in 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings'?
There are two separate scenes at the end of the movie. In one of them, Shang-Chi and Katy head over to the New York Sanctum with Wong to analyze the Ten Rings, but can't find out where they've come from, so they enlist the help of Bruce Banner (who is able to get back into human form!). Carol Danvers reveals that the rings weren't put here by aliens, but can't provide any other info.
Bruce determines that the Rings are old and super powerful and they may be putting out a beacon/signal of some sort. Which could portend the arrival of another MCU villain, perhaps?
The second post-credits scene shows Xialing take over her dad's army. This time, there aren't any Ten Rings, but it does queue up a "power grab" of sorts that occurred in the wake of the events of Endgame, something that was a big theme of Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Have you seen Shang-Chi? What do you think? Are you excited about what the film sets up for the rest of the MCU? Or are you just more concerned with checking out Love and Thunder for some Pratt and Hemsworth action?