Netflix's acclaimed Cobra Kai series has made a habit of bringing back beloved characters from the Karate Kid franchise, using them to help tell the ongoing saga of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. Unfortunately, a comeback is impossible for one of the franchise's most important characters. Actor Pat Morita, who played the iconic Mr. Miyagi, died 15 years ago, leading Cobra Kai to acknowledge that Miyagi had died in-universe as well. Daniel's longtime mentor and father figure may be gone, but his spirit still looms large over the character, as well as the series as a whole.
Season 3 of Cobra Kai is arriving on Netflix at the beginning of January, and fans are looking forward to what's to come with the new installment. The trailer for Season 3 revealed that Tamlyn Tomita's Kumiko and Yuji Okumoto's Chozen, both from The Karate Kid Part II, would be returning to to the franchise as Daniel makes his way back to Okinawa, Japan. In a new clip from the season, which you can watch in the video at the top of the page, Kumiko talks to Daniel about how Mr. Miyagi can still impact his life.
Obviously,. there's no way for Miyagi to return outside of flashbacks, but there are certainly ways for his lessons to continue on in Daniel's life. There's no telling exactly how Miyagi will speak to Daniel in this new season, but his spirit has been guiding LaRusso through the entire series to this point.
"It's a constant struggle for [Daniel] to live up to the legacy of his beloved father figure," co-showrunner Jon Hurwitz told Total Film in a recent interview. "We're constantly looking for ways to honour Pat Morita's legacy and make it feel like he's a part of the series, because he's such an important part of the Karate Kid universe."
Hurwitz went on to explain that the journey Daniel takes to Okinawa, Japan in the new season will help the show "honour Mr. Miyagi's spirit and Pat Morita's performance in a whole new way."
"One of the coolest things about season 3 is the Okinawa storyline, and being able to revisit The Karate Kid Part II, which was actually the most successful of all the three original Karate Kid movies," added co-showrunner Hayden Schlossberg. "There's nostalgia there, but there is also a sense of expanding the world of the TV show."
Are you looking forward to checking out the third season of Cobra Kai in January? Let us know in the comments!
Cobra Kai Season 3 arrives on Netflix on January 8th.