Cobra Kai Star Explains Why Now Was the Right Time for This Karate Kid Favorite’s Return

Cobra Kai continues to expertly mine Karate Kid lore in order to depict the evolution of these beloved 80s characters, with the recently released third season sending Ralph Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso back to Okinawa to explore the origins of the iconic Mr Miyagi. This brings Daniel’s one-time nemesis Chozen Toguchi into the fray, something which could not have come at a better time according the Macchio.

“I think is important for the character, because in The Karate Kid Part II, it was a quote-unquote fight to the death. The first time, it was a tournament, the next time, you’re in a foreign country and only the person who lives at the end wins. So the level of facing a character who seems so unredeemable in Chozen – what it does, and I alluded to this earlier, it kind of informs maybe for LaRusso how he could be doing better on his end with his own life, his own rivalry, the whole Cobra Kai/Miyagi-Do thing. So by having this experience in Okinawa, it will inform him to better himself and be more focused on what he can be doing better. Not only just with the Johnny Lawrence rivalry, but even just how to move forward in all aspects of his life.”

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Much like the rest of Cobra Kai, the creators are not just reaching backwards for nostalgia purposes alone but are instead using familiar faces from the franchise’s past to inform the character’s development. Alongside Chozen, Daniel’s Karate Kid Part II love interest Kumiko also re-enter proceedings, with both characters once again played by Yuji Okumoto and Tamlyn Tomita respectively. While this particular reunion proved to be a huge surprise for audiences, it is far from the most surprising character return in Cobra Kai season 3.

Set 34 years after the first Karate Kid movie, Cobra Kai re-examines the narrative from Daniel’s rival, Johnny Lawrence’s point of view. Now a struggling alcoholic, Johnny decides to reopen the Cobra Kai karate dojo, leading to the rekindling of his old rivalry with Daniel LaRusso. Season 3 picks up with the characters as they struggle to come to terms with the repercussions of the brawl at the high school that closed out the show’s thrilling second season finale. With Miguel (Xolo Maridue&ña) in a coma, both Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) must reassess the extent of their own involvement in the events that put him there and try to figure out how to forge a better path forward for their students.

The drama reaches far and wide in season 3, with Robby (Tanner Buchanan) now locked up for injuring Miguel. Meanwhile Hawk (Jacob Bertrand) is once again tormented by high school bully Kyler (Joe Seo), and John Kreese (Martin Kove) tightens his stranglehold on Cobra Kai, once again instilling his students with a very questionable moral code.

Cobra Kai season 3 is now available stream on Netflix, with a fourth season having already been given the greenlight by the streaming giant. If that weren’t already enough to get you excited, Ralph Macchio recently revealed that there are plans for at least six seasons. “The writers have always felt they had six seasons in their head, where the story arcs can go,” the actor said. “So that should all land when the time is right. You don’t want to overstay your welcome, but the fans are having fun and there’s more story there. As long as we’re allowed to keep doing it, Billy and I are in.” This comes to us from Entertainment Weekly.

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