This article features spoilers for the mid-credit scene of Sonic the Hedgehog 2!
Fans of all ages were racing to the theater when Sonic the Hedgehog 2 finally made its grand debut. The follow-up to the surprise hit videogame film managed to score even more positive points from old and new fans of the blue blur! But when the credits began to roll, something appeared that nobody was expecting.
That’s right, the infamous Shadow the Hedgehog is canon in the Sonic cinematic universe and is teased to be the next foe for our colorful characters. But who is Shadow? Where did he come from? And what could his inclusion to the movies bring?
Shadow the Hedgehog made his debut in the 2001 game Sonic Adventure 2. The character was created by Takashi Iizuka, who has been working on the Sonic series since 1994’s Sonic 3. Currently, he is vice president of product development for the Sonic the Hedgehog series and the head of Sonic Team. Shadow was created with the intent of introducing a new rival for Sonic, developing the character as they laid out the “good vs evil” plotlines for the game.
In the story of Sonic Adventure 2, we learn about Shadow’s origin. He was genetically created by Professor Gerald Robotnik, grandfather of Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik, in his floating space station headquarters known as the Space Colony ARK. His initial intent was to figure out how to cure his granddaughter, Maria, from a deadly illness. As time goes by, Shadow and Maria form a strong bond, but meanwhile the Guardian Units of Nations (GUN) being to see Robotnik’s experiments as a threat.
In a coup, GUN releases a false story of Project Shadow being too dangerous, and invades the ARK. Their intent was to destroy anyone involved in Project Shadow, but save the Professor as the cause of an “accident”. During the invasion, Maria is shot and critically wounded, but manages to send Shadow in an escape pod before it’s too late. At the beginning of Sonic Adventure 2, Dr. Eggman learns of Shadow and revives him in order to beat Sonic and take over the world. Shadow begins stealing the chaos emeralds and is mistaken for Sonic by GUN soldiers.
With his dark backstory, cocky attitude, and sleek design, Shadow quickly became a favorite among Sonic fans. Despite his open-ended death at the end of Sonic Adventure 2Shadow was soon making appearances in future sonic games. He even starred in his own game, 2005’s Shadow the Hedgehogwhich revealed even more about his mysterious origins and offered multiple routes for players to choose.
Shadow on the Big Screen
So, now that we know Project Shadow is canon in the sonic movies, what does this mean for Sonic the Hedgehog 3? There are already a ton of possibilities and a solid story that could translate easily to a major motion picture. But fans shouldn’t necessarily assume that’s what Paramount is planning to do as faithfully as possible. For one thing, while the sonic movies have a ton of heart, they don’t exactly stay dramatic for too long at a time. Both of the already existing sonic movies are action-adventure comedies, so it’s fair to assume that the third movie will be more of the same. Though, while we probably won’t see Maria clinging to life and sending Shadow to earth, we might get Sonic reaching out to Shadow as he did with Knuckles. The two, having lost someone close to them and longing for a family, could face a similar connection. Maybe, unlike Knuckles, Shadow flat out refuses Sonic’s offer.
Speaking of Maria, there’s no concrete evidence that she would make an appearance. But that doesn’t mean Robotnik will be erased from Project Shadow. During the mid-credit scene of sonic 2, an agent reports to GUN Commander Walters that Project Shadow was revealed when they were erasing Robotnik from their database. Coincidence? Like in the games, it looks like the Robotnik family is most certainly tied to Project Shadow. While Jim Carrey’s hilarious Robotnik is currently in limbo, with no signs yet whether or not he survived that explosive showdown with Sonic, in the very least we might see him in a series of fun flashbacks. As for Professor Gerald Robotnik, his ultimate demise involved a public outcry against humanity and a recorded execution. So it’s probably safe to say his character will most likely be softened up for the big screen as well.
But what could this mean plotwise? With the chaos emeralds out in the world, Shadow will probably awaken and begin the hunt for them. The public will confuse the rival hedgehog with Sonic, and the blue blur will start a race around the world to both clear his name and save the planet once more. Perhaps it’s a safe to bet that fan-favorite Agent Stone, upon learning about Project Shadow, will be the one to awaken the dark hedgehog and strike a bargain with him. Maybe Stone’s plan is to bring Robotnik back with the help of the chaos emeralds and hopes Shadow will do the dirty work for him? He did make an appearance during that very mid-credit scene disguised as a GUN agent, after all.
Whatever the writers behind the sonic movies have planned, one thing is for sure. The next sonic movie is probably going to feature a ton of fun, a ton of references, and a ton of laughs. I, for one, can’t wait to see what they have planned with Sonic’s fan-favorite rival.
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