When Hanzo Hasashi is killed at the beginning of the film, the clouds rumble, and thunder strike the ground. A mysterious man in white and blue robes and a metallic conical hat materializes. His eyes are milky white and glow like thunder, and instantly, we are drawn to this enigmatic figure.
Centuries later, we see him again at a temple, where he is introduced as Lord Raiden. But who is Lord Raiden, and what role does he play in the Mortal Kombat universe?
Lord Raiden is an ethereal being, a thunder god, and the protector of the Earth realm. His arcana and superpowers are summoning and manipulating lightning and electricity, and teleportation. The film hasn’t revealed anything else, but we could expect to see more if there comes a sequel!
1. Lord Raiden’s Purpose
Lord Raiden, the thunder god, was chosen as a protector of the Earth realm by the elder gods. He doesn’t have a human form but chooses it while he is in the human dimension.
Since he is the protector, he is also responsible for finding the champions and training them for the Mortal Kombat tournament to emerge victorious.
In this film, we know that the Outworld had won nine consecutive tournaments of Mortal Kombat, and if they win the tenth one, they could invade the Earth realm.
This makes it a do-or-die situation for the protector Lord Raiden. However, he cannot meddle with the tournament because of the rules that the elder gods have set.
So Lord Raiden tasks Liu Kang to find him his champions so that they can be trained. So, when the champions end up at Lord Raiden’s temple, the temple’s history is revealed.
Lord Raiden had been there for centuries, which indicates that he could be immortal, but it hasn’t been explicitly told in the film. As a protector, he had preserved Hanzo Hasashi’s bloodline by bringing his baby daughter to the temple.
After a few centuries, Hanzo’s descendant, Cole Young, is destined to be a champion, just like Hanzo was.
But things turn awry for the Earth realm champions when Shang Tsung tries to kill the champions by breaking the tournament’s rules.
Lord Raiden, whose hands are tied by the elder gods, decides to help the champions by first teleporting them to the void and later banishing Shang Tsung to the Outworld.
2. What Other Superpowers Can He Have?
Throughout the film, Lord Raiden is seen summoning thunder at will, projecting electricity from his hands, and teleporting through space and realms. However, considering that he is a god, there could be more to him.
In the games, he has a plethora of powers. The most notable ones are that he can fly and has foresight into the future.
The question is, will we see all this in a sequel? (I pray to the elder gods there should be one!)
3. Will There Be a Raiden Vs Shang Tsung Showdown?
Speaking of questions, I have one more. Can we see Shang Tsung and Raiden battle it out?
They are gods who are technically not supposed to participate in the tournaments, and neither should they help the champions.
So, a tournament match is impossible. But considering Shang Tsung’s actions, he won’t stop being nosy and will again try to meddle with everything to win the final tournament.
If that’s the case, we just might see some classic ass-kicking by Lord Raiden, and I’m sure Shang Tsung wouldn’t enjoy that even one bit.
4. About Mortal Kombat (2021)
Mortal Kombat (2021) is an American martial arts action fantasy film directed by Simon McQuoid. It is based on the video game franchise of the same name and serves as a reboot.
Hunted by the fearsome warrior Sub-Zero, MMA fighter Cole Young finds sanctuary at the temple of Lord Raiden. Training with experienced fighters Liu Kang, Kung Lao, and the rogue mercenary Kano, Cole prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions to take on the enemies from Outworld in a high-stakes battle for the universe.
The film stars actors like Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han, Joe Taslim, and Hiroyuki Sanada in various roles. It was released on HBO Max on April 23, 2021. A sequel is currently in development.