Marvel Studios is deep into its Phase 4 release schedule.
The franchise has delivered multiple projects on both the silver and streaming screens. The MCU's latest theatrical release, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, introduced fans to a new leading hero for the first time since 2019's Captain Marvel.
A big part of Shang-Chi focused on the idea of family, whether it was the leading hero's biological bloodline or the people he grew close to along his journey towards becoming an Avenger.
This came with noticeable struggles, as Shang-Chi faced his criminal father and the dark past that came alongside the actual legend of the powerful Ten Rings. Shang-Chi also spent considerable time rediscovering ties to aunt Jiang Nan and sister Xialing.
Traveling across the globe with Shang-Chi, Katy followed the titular hero to the hidden land of Ta Lo, where she learned how to become a warrior and helped defeat The Mandarin's army and the Soul Eaters. Some of the skills she learned there proved valuable, which was a key turning point in her character development, according to two key behind-the-scenes professionals.
Shang-Chi Crew Talks Katy's Character Development
Speaking with Empire Magazine, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings screenwriter Dave Callaham explored the character development for Awkwafina's Katy. Specifically, he looked back to the moment in the film when she fired an arrow perfectly at the enemies in front of her during the battle in Ta Lo.
Callaham explained how Katy is a somewhat "aimless" individual early in the film before she figures out "the one thing she's meant to do" in her journey, although she "plays it off" with those closest to her through most of the plot. The writer wanted to emphasize how her moment in battle made "her eyes open to her value to the world" and help her realize her true value:
"If you step back from the movie and look at all of the characters' arcs, she is the one who is talking about how she doesn't know what the one thing she's meant to do is. She's a bit aimless, she's kind of a slacker. At the beginning of the movie, she plays it off with her friends – she knows it about herself, but she's not that concerned. You hear it again with her mom, it comes up with Trevor in the car, and there are multiple conversations that relate to finding your way once she gets to Ta Lo. So it made a lot of sense to pay her arc off in a way where she would finally have her eyes open to her value to the world, and to discover what it is that she's here to do, at least in this moment in time."
Katy's Archery Skills Provide A Key Plot Moment
Awkwafina brought her expected round of comedy into the MCU upon her first appearance, but she also got the chance to go through her own hero's journey to boot.
When fans first see her alongside her friend "Shaun," Katy shows off her energetic nature as she tries to live her own life without the constraints of her family's expectations. That all changes for her when she goes off on a cross-country adventure alongside Shang-Chi.
Upon her arrival to Ta Lo, Katy trained with the natives, learning archery ahead of the film's imminent, climatic fight. Understandably struggling after living the normal MCU civilian life, her experience turned into something truly life-changing as she held her own during the big battle.
The screenwriters wanted to give Katy her own moment to shine alongside so many major players, and Shang-Chi's best friend took it and ran as she fired arrows high into the sky. Whether she continues developing these skills in any future MCU appearances is a mystery, but after meeting two of the Avengers, she may have inspiration to stay in training.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is currently playing in theaters.