During quarantine, my family watched all of the Marvel movies in chronological order. It was one of the few series that both my high schoolers and older elementary children could enjoy together. We are deep into the Marvel world, so it was no surprise that my kids begged me to take them to see Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings at our local drive-in movie theater on opening weekend.
Over the past several months, we have had several deep conversations about superheroes and superpowers. The characters in the older Marvel movies struggle with complex ethical decisions and are forced to deal with the repercussions of their choices. The storylines provide great frameworks for thinking about issues of morality and justice. The newest Marvel movie is no different.
Use the reflection questions below to help children spiritually explore Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Shang-Chi has a superpower, but he hides it even from his best friend. Why do you think he does this? What does he gain by keeping his powers hidden? What does he lose? [These questions help children think about the ethical implications of having a gift or ability.]
What do you think your superpowers are? How would you like to use your superpowers? Would you hide your superpowers? Why or why not? [These questions help children examine unique skills and abilities they might use to make a difference in the world.]
Shang-Chi learns new ways to use his power from his aunt. What do you still have to learn about your powers? Who could help you learn more about your powers? [These questions help children imagine ways they can continue to grow as spiritual and ethical people.]
Every superhero has a team of people who support them. How does Shang-Chi treat his teammates? What does he do well? Where could he improve? Who would you want on your team, and why? How would you treat your team? [These questions help children focus on interdependence and the benefits of building strong and respectful connections with others.]
Superheroes often have to fight many battles. What battles would you choose to fight? How could you use your powers to fight those battles? What could you do to begin that fight today? [These questions help children identify injustices that exist in their communities and specific ways they can work toward a more just and peaceful world.]
All actions have consequences. What did Shang-Chi expect to happen when he began to fight? What were some of the consequences he faced? What could be some unintended results of your battle actions? [These questions help children realize that intentions may yield different results than what they expect]
(Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a PG-13 movie that contains acts of violence, cursing, monsters, and death. Consider whether this is an appropriate movie for children in your care before viewing it together.)