|“||So, Oogway, this was the one destined to stop me? I will have his chi, and then all of theirs! 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, also known as The Collector, is the main antagonist of DreamWorks's 32nd full-length animated feature film, Kung Fu Panda 3.
He is the former brother-in-arms of Oogway and (upon his return to the mortal realm) he becomes a Spirit Warrior. Thus, he can steal chi from Kung Fu warriors and his scheme is to defeat every Kung Fu master and turn them into Jombies in order to take over China.
Long ago, Kai is the fearsome, traitorous, destructive, 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 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 vengeful and traitorous, 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.
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.
Many years ago, Kai and Oogway fought together as brothers-in-arms, and were close friends. During an ambush, Oogway was badly wounded, and Kai carried him for days, searching for help, until they came upon a secret panda village, where the pandas used their knowledge of chi to heal Oogway. Fascinated by the power, Oogway was taught by the pandas on how to utilize it. However, Kai was extremely jealous and wanted the power all to himself, using the panda's chi techniques to develop the power to take chi from others rather than give it. Seeing the damage Kai's plan would cause, Oogway confronted his former friend and the two fought fiercely, until finally Oogway triumphed, banishing Kai's body and soul to the Spirit realm.
Kung Fu Panda 3
Return to the Mortal World
500 years after his banishment to the Spirit realm, Kai is now a cruel, savage, ruthless, vengeful, manipulative, and power-hungry warrior who challenges Oogway to a rematch, and though the two are nearly equal in skill and power, Oogway soon realizes he can't defeat Kai and willingly allows his chi to be taken, but not before telling Kai that he has set another on the path to defeat him. Kai vows to defeat this warrior and uses Oogway's chi to return to the mortal world. After re-emerging back in the mortal world, Kai sends out several of his jades minions to scout for him and find Oogway's students. The jade statues attack the Valley of Peace and fight against Po, Shifu and the Furious Five. Po notices that some of the jade statues resemble past Kung Fu masters before they retreat. The team then learn Oogway's history with Kai through research, and that in order to defeat Kai, Po must learn to channel chi himself, which Li offers to teach him in exchange for going to the secret panda village where Li came from.
Attacking the Furious Five and Shifu
After learning that many Kung Fu masters are missing by Kai, Shifu sends Crane and Mantis to find Kai but avoid engaging him. Crane and Mantis join with Master Bear, Master Croc and Master Chicken to confront Kai, but one by one they are all easily defeated and have their chi stolen. Kai then arrives at the Jade Palace and destroys it, but not before stealing the chi of Monkey, Viper and Shifu. Tigress escapes to find Po and warns him about Kai.
The Final Battle with Po and Death
Kai arrives and confronts Po, who had been waiting for him. Kai sends his minions to capture Po, but they are held off by the pandas, distracting Kai. The plan works at first, but ultimately fails when Po tries to use the Wuxi finger hold on Kai, who reveals that it can only work on mortals, which he is not. Kai gains the upper hand in their fight, but Po grabs Oogway's chi around Kai's neck and uses the Wuxi finger hold again, this time on himself and sending them both to the spirit realm.
Angered to have been returned to the Spirit Realm, Kai fought Po and gained the upper hand over him again. He was able to grab Po in his chains and began to steal his chi, but before the process could be completed, Li, Tigress, Mr. Ping, and all the pandas were able to use their own chi to save Po. Po then formed his own chi in the shape of a dragon and fought against Kai, gaining the upper hand and destroying one of his swords. Undaunted, Kai swore to take Po's chi even if it took him another 500 years. Po then willingly surrendered his chi to Kai who was ecstatic to receive the power, but quickly discovered that it was overloading him with chi. Unable to stop it, the abundance of energy became so great that Kai is obliterated into a bright light, being destroyed by the same power he sought to obtain.
Kai's death also allowed all the kung fu masters' chi to return back to the mortal world, much to their delight.
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 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.
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 not beneficial. When Po gave Kai all the Chi Kai ever wanted, Kai became seemingly all powerful for a few seconds, before "dying" due to an excessive amount of Chi injected into his body.
|“||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) Then I will find him, and take his chi too.||„|
|~ Kai after defeating Oogway in the battle in the spirit relam.|
|“||Kai has RETURNED!!||„|
|~ Kai gloating about his return to the mortal world.|
|“||KAI IS COMING!!||„|
|“||It's not them talking, idiots! It's me talking through them! Me, Kai!||„|
|~ Kai, talking through his Jade Zombies|
|“||Look at you pathetic fools. Groveling at the feet of Oogway the Magnificent!||„|
|~ Kai to Shifu, Tigress, Monkey, and Viper.|
|“||I fought by his side! I loved him like a brother! And he...betrayed me. Well, now I will destroy...EVERYTHING HE HAS CREATED!!!||„|
|~ Kai on Oogway.|
|“||I will show you the true power of chi, brother!||„|
|~ Kai before destroying the Jade Palace.|
|“||(Shifu: Oogway, forgive me.) 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!) Who? The panda? His chi is strong, but it won't be enough. He will meet the same fate as you. (Shifu: No!) And so will every panda in that village.||„|
|~ Kai mocks Shifu for asking Oogway for forgiveness before he takes his chi.|
|“||You must be the Dragon Warrior! (Po: And you must be Kai.... Beast of Vengeance, Maker of Widows!) YES!! FINALLY!! Thank you! Almost makes me wanna spare your life!||„|
|~ Kai after meeting with Po for the first time and complimenting him for knowing his aliases.|
|“||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.|
|“||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 into 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 overwhelmed him.|
- 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.
- 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).
- Kai's leitmotif incorporates a Chinese remix of Imagine Dragons' "I'm So Sorry".
- He shares the same goal with 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'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 and to conquer all of China).
- 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).