Sonic the Hedgehog 2 brought in more of the franchise’s lore that Sega has been building on over the years; not just in the form of the Blue Blur’s friends Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessy) and Knuckles (Idris Elba), but the Master Emerald that serves as the driving force behind several Sonic games. With a third film and Knuckles spinoff already greenlit, the question among fans has naturally become what other elements from the games will be incorporated into future live-action material. And if you saw the film’s post-credits scenes, you already know that the third film is going to bring in one of the franchise’s biggest players.
Following Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails’ defeat of Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), the military is cleaning up the aftermath of the battle when G.U.N. commander Walters (Tom Butler) is informed of a research facility housing a decades old project. The camera cuts to that facility, where the test subject—Shadow the Hedgehog—is contained. The film ends on Shadow waking up and opening his red, energized eyes. Introduced in 2001's Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow is considered one of Sonic’s greatest rivals and shares many similar traits. But he was designed to be “the Ultimate Lifeform” to protect humanity, and his methods frequently put him at odds with Sonic and company. He’s become a fan favorite, and at one point even headlined his own game that’s a bit of a cult classic and has a killer opening song.
In an recent interview on the Green Hill Zone podcast, the film’s co-writer Pat Casey talked about what to expect from Shadow when he shows up to make trouble for Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles in the next film. When asked, Casey admitted that the primary reason he was the film’s post-credits stinger was primarily because of his popularity, and also because of what he could bring to the films going forward. Casey described him as “driven by anger and revenge,” similar to Knuckles, but the key difference is that Shadow isn’t misunderstood like the red echidna was in the sequel. Shadow was created with the prime goal of protect the world from danger, but it’s the way he goes about that that will put him at odds with Sonic and friends.
Casey also teased that Sonic’s efforts to connect with Shadow wouldn’t be quite as easy as it was with Tails and Knuckles. “Sonic’s never had to deal with someone as emotionally damaged like Shadow...when he sees Shadow, he’s like, ‘Well, I’ll just teach him about the power of friendship, like with Knuckles!’ But that’s not going to work on Shadow.” For fans of the franchise, it’s an interesting thing to say, given that Shadow’s desire to protect humanity stems from witnessing the death of his friend Maria at the hands of G.U.N. With how Sonic 2 makes clear that G.U.N. will be a problem going forward, it sounds like a bit more darker sequel is in the cards for the Blue Blur and company.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is in theaters.
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