While Cobra Kai frequently brings back old faces and includes flashbacks in the form of footage from the first movie and its sequels to provide context for what Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) are going through now, it can still feel a little impenetrable to newcomers. Especially when you factor in the personal history of characters like Miyagi, which was never fully depicted onscreen, but informed the choices he made throughout the franchise.
We’re talking MCU-levels of backstory and continuity here.
Fortunately, a new video from the official Netflix Film Club channel on YouTube has broken down the entire Karate Kid and Cobra Kai timeline, starting over 400 years ago in Okinawa, Japan. No, seriously. This historical context is crucial to understanding the origins of the Miyagi family and their unique tradition of karate before you even get to where Daniel enters the story.
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The video takes viewers through Miyagi’s tragic early life, to the rise of villains Kreese and Silver and the start of the Cobra Kai dojo, all the way up to the moment when a troubled kid called Daniel moves from New Jersey to California with his mother and first encounters his nemesis Johnny, and finally to the circumstances that bring these two longtime rivals face to face once again at the outset of the new Cobra Kai series.
And there we have it! Now you’re all caught up in time for Season 3.
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues.
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