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When Is Shang-Chi Set In The MCU Timeline?

- By mistrettaraeann
Publish Date : 2021-04-20 13:13:57
When Is Shang-Chi Set In The MCU Timeline?

When is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline? For the majority of the MCU's run, it became an unspoken rule that each movie was set in the year they came out in theaters. This included obvious outliers like Captain America: The First Avenger, but it was in Phase 3 that the timeline became extra complicated. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was set in 2014, Captain Marvel took place in 1995, and then Avengers: Endgame jumped five years into the future to 2023 - only to see Spider-Man: Far From Home progress the timeline to 2024.

This has put the MCU slightly in the future of the real world, but delays to Phase 4 and properties set almost immediately after Avengers: Endgame has allowed the gap to slowly close. WandaVision takes place only a few weeks after Thanos' snap was reversed, and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is set six months after Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes said goodbye to Steve Rogers. The MCU timeline will continue to be somewhat out of order, with Black Widow set before Avengers: Infinity War, Eternals spanning 7,000 years, and Loki taking place in alternate timelines. So where does that leave Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings?

Marvel Studios has kept specific details about their first Asian-led superhero movie to a minimum so far, even after debuting the first Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings trailer. The footage focuses on Shang-Chi reuniting with his father Wenwu aka the Mandarin and returning to the Ten Rings organization. However, there aren't any clear references made to when the film is set. In a general sense, the world appears to be in a relatively good place, which could discount the theory that the movie is set during the Blip. The MCU's brief glimpses at life after Thanos' snap have shown a world in mourning and chaos, but that isn't what life in the MCU looks like during Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. As a result, it could be set after Avengers: Endgame in either 2023 or 2024.

Setting Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings sometime in 2023 or 2024 would make the most sense with how Phase 4 is largely playing out. It allows Marvel Studios to introduce a new MCU hero at a fresh entry point to the larger narrative with minimal hoops to jump through. Marvel can avoid needing to address why Shang-Chi didn't lend a hand in fighting Thanos at the end of Avengers: Endgame or make him yet another snap victim to explain where he was during a turbulent moment in the MCU. Plus, it puts him in a position to be the hero of his story without the Avengers or a devastating global event overshadowing him.

Even if Marvel Studios primarily explores Shang-Chi's story after Avengers: Endgame, his solo movie can still expand the MCU's past. The Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings trailer showed the Master of Kung Fu at various points in his life. The Mandarin even mentions that he's been on his own for ten years. Flashbacks to Shang-Chi's younger days or the origins of the Ten Rings' dominance can enrich the MCU history and let Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings travel to different points in the timeline.

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