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Villain Overview
(Soothsayer: Goodbye, Shen. I wish you happiness) Happiness must be taken, and I will take mine.
~ Lord Shen talking to the Soothsayer as she leaves.

Lord Shen (simply known as Shen) is the main antagonist of DreamWorks' 22nd full-length animated feature film, Kung Fu Panda 2. He is an evil, disowned, and manipulative peacock prince who wanted to take over China and destroy Kung Fu with his cannons. He is the Soothsayer's former master and the Wolves' leader.

He was voiced by the Academy Award nominated actor, Gary Oldman, who also played Baron Ruber, DreyfusMason Verger, Norman Stansfield, General Grawl, Egor Korshunov, Drexl Spivey, Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, Carnegie, Vladislav Dukhovich, and Count Dracula.

Personality

Shen is shown to be smart, ambitious, intellectual, and supremely lethal. His past forged in him the notion that he had been wronged, and that the world owed him something, and he sought to do everything in his power to take it. This included inventing a powerful weapon unlike anyone had ever seen before. Shen was intent on using this weapon to wipe out kung fu and take over China.

Shen is shown to be unspeakably ruthless and diabolical, willing to commit a genocide of China's pandas in order to smite any chances that one would someday defeat him, as described in a fortune-telling he overheard. Raised as royalty, Shen largely preferred to let his weapons and his henchmen do the hard work rather than dealing with such obstacles himself. His ambition to leave his mark on the world drove him to find a dark and destructive potential in his family's celebrated invention of fireworks, and when cast out by his parents for his massacre of the pandas, he swore revenge and aimed to conquer all of China to prove himself. Shen had little or no regard for the life or well-being of others, as he blasted a bridge without hesitation, despite there being innocent bystanders on it, and was willing to sacrifice his own troops, which put him in conflict with his most trusted subordinate Boss Wolf. The wolf refused to kill his own warriors, and for this disobedience, Shen struck him down without a second thought.

Shen is also an idealistic perfectionist, which was shown when he took over the Tower of the Sacred Flame and fussed over the position of his cannon, saying that he envisioned the moment he would retake Gongmen City for years and that everything had to be exactly as he envisioned it, and when he was rehearsing intimidating lines for his confrontation with his destined foe (which went to waste due to Po's offhanded nature). He also demonstrated a fondness of expensive materials and luxury, as shown when he became infuriated when the Soothsayer chewed off the hem of his robes, which he claimed to be made of "the finest silk in the province".

Shen is also shown to be rather short-tempered, argumentative, and cantankerous. When Po and the Furious Five escaped from the collapsing Tower of the Sacred Flame, he became furious and kicked one of his gorilla followers in the nose. Additionally, when he ordered Boss Wolf to gather the wolves shortly after the incident, he screamed at him repetitively to do the task even after the wolf hurried away to do so.

Shen also seems to have a low tolerance for pain (despite being a seasoned master of kung fu and swordsmanship), such as when Soothsayer plucked out one of his smallest down feathers. He yelped loudly and pulled his wing back, acting as if he were badly injured. He also didn't care about tradition and ancestry, as he ordered his minions to bring down the Tower of the Sacred Flame despite the fact that it had been his family's ancestral home for over twenty years.

Prideful and possibly deranged, Shen seemed to carry little to no remorse for his crimes, and would often boast of his accomplishments. He is also shown to be sadistic and manipulative. When confronting the Kung Fu Council, he gleefully stated that his cannon was a "parting gift" that would literally part them: "part of you here, part of you there, part of you way over there staining the wall!" showing that he was rather bloodthirsty and egotistical. He also takes pleasure in cruelly lying Po that his parents didn't love him and taking advantage of the panda's pain. This cruelty likely stemmed from Shen's conviction that his own parents hated him, forged in his mind when they banished him years ago. Shen's bitterness against his parents went as far as to insult his father's memory by throwing his throne out the window and replacing it with his cannon, despite just commenting that he had fond memories of playing around it as a child.

However, the Soothsayer opposes his plans. She tried to reason with Shen to change his ways, and, even while being his prisoner and showing occasional mockery towards him, displayed her concern for the reckless decisions he made. Despite his conviction that his parents had wronged and hated him, she related that his parents had actually loved him so much that they died of grief after they had to banish him. Although he paused in thoughtful silence upon hearing this, Shen hardened his heart, freeing and dismissing the Soothsayer, and proceeded with his conquest.

Shen chose to accept success, seen when he furiously struck one of his followers for failing to kill Po and the Five when they escaped the Tower, stating that "nothing stands in my way." After Po defeated Shen's unstoppable weapons, Shen tried his best to kill the panda, but accidentally sealed his own fate by slicing through the ropes that held up his cannon. At the very end of his life, Shen finally accepted that he had been beaten and did not attempt to save himself when his own cannon crushed him.

Appearance

Shen wore a long, white robe held with a black-colored belt. According to him, the robe is made from "the finest silk in the province." Sewn along the edges of the robe is silver silk patterned with flame-like designs, and it has a flying bird, possibly a peacock, placed on the back. He also wore metal talons that served to protect his feet, light his cannons, and act as formidable weapons.

Trivia

  • He has a similar color pattern to Lord Vireka (white and red).
  • His tail consisted of 92 feathers.
  • Lord Shen was originally cast as a devious mayor for the first Kung Fu Panda movie.
  • In the Mad episodes "Kung Fu Blander" (in which his new army were the Angry Birds) and "Destroy Bob the Builder Destroyer", he was defeated by Master Po, and then by Black and White Spies.
  • Lord Shen has more fans than Tai Lung (the main antagonist of the first Kung Fu Panda movie), whom he shares many personality traits with.
  • Lord Shen is the only Kung Fu Panda character to have artificial body parts.
  • Lord Shen has a bit of a comparison to Darth Traya as they share a common goal: to destroy the thing that they rely on (even though she uses the force, Traya intends to destroy since, in the hopes of understanding it, she will learn the way to kill it and failed) and even though Shen is a Kung Fu warrior, he intends to destroy Kung Fu.
  • Shen is often regarded as one of the (if not the) darkest Kung Fu Panda villains.
    • As a matter of fact, Shen is the only Kung Fu Panda villain so far who committed mass genocide upon a certain group of animals.
  • Shen is the only villain in the Kung Fu Panda films who has not met Shifu or Oogway.
  • Shen is the first main villain of Kung Fu Panda movies who has an army, being followed by Kai as the second, with his army of Jombies.
  • Shen being born white is intentionally symbolic for his character as a villain, as white symbolizes death in Chinese culture.
  • Shen is the most honorable villain in the Kung Fu Panda franchise since he accepts his defeat and death with dignity while both Tai Lung and Kai scream in horror when they meet their demise.
  • Shen didn't appear physically in Kung Fu Panda 3, but he appears in the flashback of Po. However, he isn't mentioned by his name at any moment.
  • Shen is often regarded as one of the most popular DreamWorks villains.

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           Kung Fu Panda Villains

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Kung Fu Panda: Tai Lung
Kung Fu Panda 2: Lord Shen | Boss Wolf | Lord Shen's Wolf Army
Kung Fu Panda 3: Kai the Collector

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Wu Sisters | Imperial Golden Croc Gang | Blackhoof Boar Clan | Great Gorilla | Fai Suan | Kuai Xun | Kai | Mao Ren | Mei Ling