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Villain Overview
So, Oogway, this was the one destined to stop me? I will have his chi, and then all of theirs! (*looks at Po*) And you.... you really thought you could send me back to the Spirit Realm? You are just a stupid mortal.
~ Kai gloating to Po and the pandas.

Kai is the main antagonist of DreamWorks's 32nd full-length animated feature film, Kung Fu Panda 3.

He is a supernatural bull and the former brother-in-arms of Master Oogway and (upon his return to the mortal realm) later becomes a powerful evil Spirit Warrior. Thus, he can steal chi from Kung Fu warriors and turn them into Jade Zombies. His scheme is to defeat every Kung Fu master.

He was voiced by the famous actor, J.K. Simmons, who also played Terence Fletcher.

Personality

Long ago, Kai is the fearsome, traitorous, destructive, temperamental, manipulative, egotistical, and power-hungry warrior who found a way to take chi from others, until he was banished to the Spirit Realm for all eternity. Now, Kai has returned to Earth, where his appetite for power and revenge leads to an incredible showdown and battle with Po. There is currently little known about Kai's personality, though he is described as being an "evil spirit". He does not like to be interrupted when he is talking, as seen when he got very annoyed when Po wasn't willing to listen and continuously butted in with "chit-chat".

Kai's voice actor, J.K. Simmons, has said that Kai will be "not happy about life in general", but will have a sense of humor, "even if it is a little bit dark". He added that Kai is also extremely vengeful and treacherous, and a "bitter, bitter guy".

Kai holds great hatred for his former friend, Oogway, stating that he "loved him like a brother", and believes that Oogway betrayed him. It is implied that he holds the Pandas responsible for turning Oogway against him from teaching him the ways of chi.

Appearance

Kai is a light gray anthropomorphic bull with glowing green eyes, long black hair, a helmet, two enormous horns shaped like flames and very thick, a green pendant of collected chi, a brown loincloth made of leather, and muscular arms with brown bracers.

Fighting Styles and Abilities

Kai fights primarily with a set of jade swords attached to long chains. He has also been seen wielding axe-like blades, indicating that he is extremely competent and skillful with multiple weapons. Kai is ancient, thus is one of the oldest veterans of Kung Fu, thus having skills that are far greater than the likes of almost every Kung Fu master in history. The use of one of his chain blade swords takes an average warrior decades to fully master, whereas he has mastered the use of two blades without any flaws, thus providing proof of his superior combat abilities.

Kai is described as a "supernatural villain", which indicates that he possesses supernatural powers. It was later revealed that Kai possesses the ability to "steal the powers from every kung fu master he defeats", particularly their chi. After absorbing the chi of someone, the victim in question is transformed into a small jade ornament that Kai wears on his belt, and when needed, he can summon these figures, turning them into jade, statue-like creatures, and see through their eyes. Since he is a "Spirit Warrior", he cannot die by natural means nor by most Kung Fu Techniques, because he is not alive, in essence at least. However, this does not mean he cannot be destroyed. He also has an advanced amount of supernatural strength, speed, stamina, and durability, as well as enhanced healing powers.

Weaknesses

Despite Kai being a seemingly unstoppable force, he is not completely invincible nor fully immortal. Kai is completely invulnerable to age, illness, and even Shen's super-cannons. However, as a supernatural being, a supernatural force must be utilized to harm him. An example would be how Tigress's chi-infused kick broke through his invulnerability and momentarily stunned him. Another example is how Oogway used Chi to harm Kai, even though Oogway willingly lost the fight. Po utilized a chi-constructed dragon to cause major damage to Kai. Even though Kai is not alive in essence, he is detrimental. When Po gave Kai all the Chi Kai ever wanted, Kai became seemingly authoritative and all-powerful for a few seconds, before "dying" due to an excessive amount of Chi injected into his body.

Quotes

Kai: With your chi, I will finally be able to return to the mortal world, and this time...you won't be there to stop me.
Oogway: Ah, it was never my destiny to stop you. I have set another on that path.
(Oogway petrifies into a green disc which Kai catches)
Kai: Then I will find him and take his chi too.
~ Kai defeats Oogway in the spirit relam.
Look at you pathetic fools. Groveling at the feet of Oogway the Magnificent!
~ Kai to Shifu, Tigress, Monkey, and Viper.
Shifu: Oogway, forgive me.
Kai: (*laughs*) What do you say, Oogway? Do you forgive him?
Shifu: You have destroyed the Jade Palace, but you will NEVER succeed! There will always be someone to stop you!
Kai: Who? The panda? His chi is strong, but it won't be enough. He will meet the same fate as you.
Shifu: No!
Kai: And so will every panda in that village.
~ Kai mocks Shifu and takes his chi.
Kai: You must be the Dragon Warrior!
Po: And you must be Kai...Beast of Vengeance, Maker of Widows!
Kai: YES!! FINALLY!! Thank you! Almost makes me wanna spare your life!
Po: Oh, you wanna spare me. How about you spare the Chit-Chat. Let's do this.
Kai: I'm going to take your chi and then the chi of every panda in the-
Po: Oh, Chit Chat!
Kai: In the-
Po: Chitty, Chitty, Chat, Chat, Chat, Chat, Chat.
Kai: In The-
Po: Chit Chat.
~ Kai meeting Po.
Oh no! It's working! No, no! (gags, but later chuckles) No, it's not. Did Oogway teach you that little trick? Too bad, it only works on mortals, and I...am a spirit warrior.
~ Kai mocking Po when the latter tried to use the Wuxi Finger Hold on him.
Kai: It took me 500 years too take Oogway's chi. I will have yours if it takes me 500 MORE!
Po: Chitty, Chitty, Chat Chat. Chit, Chat.
*Kai jumps at Po*
Po: You want my chi so bad? Then TAKE IT!
*Po infuses his chi directly into Kai*
Kai: YES!!! The power.... is MINE!! (*notices something wrong*) Wait! No! It's too much! It's TOO MUCH!! NO! UGH!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
~ Kai's last words as Po's powerful chi overwhelms to his defeat.

Trivia

  • Kai shares at least two similarities with Tai Lung and Lord Shen, the main antagonists of the first two Kung Fu Panda films: they are all traitorous, manipulative, calculating, heartless, vengeful, greedy, and evil from the past, so they don't see Po as a threat until the end of the film which make them mocking and underestimating Po, which led to their final deaths. However, Kai is more powerful and dangerous than Tai Lung and Shen combined, due to his immortality and chi-stealing powers. Plus, both Tai Lung and Kai don't meet Po till the climax of the movie, and both Shen and Kai threatened Po's kind.
    • Coincidentally, Kai has Tai Lung as an amulet.
  • In Chinese, the name "Kai" most often translates to "victory" (traditional Chinese: 凱 simplified Chinese: 凯; pinyin: kǎi) or "open" (traditional Chinese: 開; simplified Chinese: 开; pinyin: kāi).
  • Kai was previously going to be voiced by Mads Mikkelsen. However, he dropped from the film due to unknown scheduling issues.
  • His design is similar to Drago Bludvist from the 2014 DreamWorks film How to Train Your Dragon 2. Coincidentally, Drago played Kai in the parody Dragons video on the Kung Fu Panda 3 trailer.
  • He is one of the few demonic villains who appeared in the Kung Fu Panda franchise, alongside Ke-Pa and his demon army, Jiang Shi and the Mongolian Fist Demon.
  • Kai uses swords on chains like Kratos (the anti-hero from the God of War series).
  • When Kai says that after "500 years in the spirit realm, you pick up a thing of two", The line "A thing of two" is the reference to the farmers commercials that his voice actor appeared in.
  • Kai's theme music incorporates a Chinese remix of the Imagine Dragons song "I'm So Sorry".
  • Kai is similar to the following villains outside the Kung Fu Panda franchise:
    • Tirek from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, as they both steal power from enemies they encounter (Tirek stealing magic from ponies around the world of Equestria (including Discord and the Gormiti's magic) to try to be ever powerful and to rule Equestria. And Kai defeats many Kung Fu masters and steals their chi and to use them to attack more Kung Fu masters across China to steal more chi to try to destroy Po and all other pandas).
      • Both were also banished to an afterlife area many years before the story's beginning, though on opposite sides (Kai was imprisoned in the spirit realm, which appears to be heaven, and Tirek was imprisoned in Tartarus, which appears to be hell).
    • Lots-O' Huggin' Bear from the 2010 Disney/Pixar film, Toy Story 3.
      • Both first appeared in the third film of a computer animated film series, excluding Lotso's cameo in Up, the last Pixar film released before Toy Story 3.
      • Both are the main antagonist of the third film they debuted in.
      • Both were once good later turned evil and became villains.
      • Both were once a friend to a hero (Kai; Oogway, Lotso; Chuckles).
      • Both have a odd gang of henchman (Kai has his Jombies, Lotso has his Gang).
      • Both brainwashed the protagonist's friends and became the masters of those heroes (Kai turned Po's friends into Jombies; Lotso reset Buzz lightyear).
    • Armando Salazar from the 2017 Disney film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
      • Both are undead spirits who command an undead army.
      • Both are revenge seekers.
      • Both debuted in a sequel to a film released in 2011.
      • Both are the main antagonist of the sequel they appear in.
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