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What the movie writer had to say about the end credits scene [Sonic 2 untagged spoilers -> Movie 3 spoilers]


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This is from an interview with Pat Casey (one of the writers).

Seems like Sonic will want to try the friendship route he did with Tails and Knuckles but Shadow is a whole different level of damaged personality. He is revenge driven like in SA2.

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Shadow the Hedgehog in his "purest" form, eh? Sounds quite interesting. I'm hoping they're able to handle things properly. One thing I hope they do is not to give Shadow a redemption arc. Shadow works best, in my opinion, as an anti-hero, someone that secludes himself from most people beyond characters like Rouge. 

I also hope they don't do the whole "killing off only to revive him" thing SEGA did. Either kill him off permanently or keep him around.

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2 hours ago, Jake_LeOFFICIAL said:

Shadow the Hedgehog in his "purest" form, eh? Sounds quite interesting. I'm hoping they're able to handle things properly. One thing I hope they do is not to give Shadow a redemption arc. Shadow works best, in my opinion, as an anti-hero, someone that secludes himself from most people beyond characters like Rouge. 

I also hope they don't do the whole "killing off only to revive him" thing SEGA did. Either kill him off permanently or keep him around.

What are you considering a “redemption arc”? Because the games gave Shadow one, and yet he’s not necessarily all bubbly and buddy buddy with everyone. He’s still introverted and is either alone, or with Rogue and Omega. But he also doesn’t just dislike people but still respects them.

Honestly, I don’t even see him as much of an anti-hero? An anti-hero can usually be not too far from becoming a villain or antagonist. Look at Punisher, or Venom, where they’re either clearly crazy and highlighted as wrong, or possibly one wrong move from heroes coming after them. The closest Shadow had gotten, imo, was in IDW where he wants to end Eggman after everything that happened in Forces, and he had every justification to do so and even Espio agreed. But he and Sonic aren’t on bad terms, and he’s easily persuaded to hold off.

saying “don’t give Shadow a redemption arc” would be more like making Shadow the antagonist/villain, and leaving him like that. He never goes good. He never has that moment in SA2 where he remembers Maria’s true promise and helps save the day. He would either remain active as or die as a villain.

i do hope they don’t go the death fakeout. I want him to stick around without that nagging question. The redemption arc -> death trope feels a bit cliche these days, and seeing these characters commit to willingly atoning for what they did can be compelling as well.

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7 minutes ago, Jake_LeOFFICIAL said:

By "Redemption Arc", I mainly just don't want him to become friends with Sonic, and instead be his own sort of spirit. I guess I should've clarified, my bad.

Ah, I gotcha. I don’t know if I fully agree? I’d be OK if he and Sonic work things out, but he not just do like what Knuckles seemingly did and stay/live with the family, but I could see them saying he has a place if needed but he still go off on his own. Respect, allies, awkward friends cause introvert and extrovert (Sonic would classify as extrovert, yeah?) stuff, but still solo.

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1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

Could you at least post the entire interview and not just a snippet of it.

 

Sorry I found the quote via twitter but yes, there was a link to the full interview which I forgot to post.

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17 hours ago, Jake_LeOFFICIAL said:

Shadow the Hedgehog in his "purest" form, eh? Sounds quite interesting. I'm hoping they're able to handle things properly. One thing I hope they do is not to give Shadow a redemption arc. Shadow works best, in my opinion, as an anti-hero, someone that secludes himself from most people beyond characters like Rouge. 

I also hope they don't do the whole "killing off only to revive him" thing SEGA did. Either kill him off permanently or keep him around.

 

15 hours ago, Zadent said:

What are you considering a “redemption arc”? Because the games gave Shadow one, and yet he’s not necessarily all bubbly and buddy buddy with everyone. He’s still introverted and is either alone, or with Rogue and Omega. But he also doesn’t just dislike people but still respects them.

Honestly, I don’t even see him as much of an anti-hero? An anti-hero can usually be not too far from becoming a villain or antagonist. Look at Punisher, or Venom, where they’re either clearly crazy and highlighted as wrong, or possibly one wrong move from heroes coming after them. The closest Shadow had gotten, imo, was in IDW where he wants to end Eggman after everything that happened in Forces, and he had every justification to do so and even Espio agreed. But he and Sonic aren’t on bad terms, and he’s easily persuaded to hold off.

saying “don’t give Shadow a redemption arc” would be more like making Shadow the antagonist/villain, and leaving him like that. He never goes good. He never has that moment in SA2 where he remembers Maria’s true promise and helps save the day. He would either remain active as or die as a villain.

i do hope they don’t go the death fakeout. I want him to stick around without that nagging question. The redemption arc -> death trope feels a bit cliche these days, and seeing these characters commit to willingly atoning for what they did can be compelling as well.

 

15 hours ago, Jake_LeOFFICIAL said:

By "Redemption Arc", I mainly just don't want him to become friends with Sonic, and instead be his own sort of spirit. I guess I should've clarified, my bad.

 

14 hours ago, Zadent said:

Ah, I gotcha. I don’t know if I fully agree? I’d be OK if he and Sonic work things out, but he not just do like what Knuckles seemingly did and stay/live with the family, but I could see them saying he has a place if needed but he still go off on his own. Respect, allies, awkward friends cause introvert and extrovert (Sonic would classify as extrovert, yeah?) stuff, but still solo.

You know, all of this discussion is making me think back to some things I posted about Shadow in the past, and remember what plot developments turned him from one of the most popular characters to the most hated.  I'd be lying if I denied some trepidation at reading that initial post, because it elicits memories of that bastardized version of Shadow that we got in Sonic Boom and that the main series hasn't really compensated for; that is, hating Sonic specifically because Sonic has friends.  All things considered it's probably an even worse version than in Shadow's self-titled game, and is less despised solely due to Boom not being intended to be taken seriously.

However, in Shadow's better moments, I feel there's actually a lot to work with.  Because unlike so many stereotypical characters who go through a redemption arc of sorts, Shadow's issue isn't that he needs to be taught the power of friendship; Shadow already knows the power of friendship.  It's just that Shadow doesn't get many opportunities to display that and when he does it't s not the way normal people can easily perceive it.  Shadow is an introvert; initially by circumstance but later by choice.  He's not actively seeking friends, and he doesn't seem to be emotionally warmed up by what few friends he does have, but he is incredibly loyal to those friends; even if he met them completely on accident.

Let's not beat around the bush here; everyone jokes about how autistic people are obsessed with Sonic, but if there could be only one character in the series who actually seems autistic, it would likely be Shadow, and since I'm autistic, I always sympathized with the fans who wanted Shadow revived because they liked his character in and of itself and felt that it didn't need a heroic sacrifice to validate it.  That sacrifice displayed a great quality of his, yes, but arguably when the only introvert in the series exists in only one plot that ends with him having an epiphany and then making a heroic sacrifice, there's an unspoken implication that there's something innately wrong with being an introvert/autistic/both, and to be redeemed is to discontinue such personality.  I disagree.  I am such a person and I see myself in Shadow's extreme loyalty to his few accidental friends, and I see such loyalty to one's friends as a direct result of not having too many of them.  When something is scarce, it becomes precious.  As FDR said, when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hold on.

In the better instances of Shadow's character, writing actually reflects that extremely well.  SA2 being an obvious example.  We got to see how Shadow was constantly haunted by watching his only friend get murdered, and as a result even when we knew very little about him, the part with him charging into Prison Island to rescue Rouge made complete sense.  He had known her for only a few days at most, but when you're the sort of person for whom knowing anyone at all seems like a miracle, and you've already lost such a person once, you will fight hard to preserve that.

While the fisting Shadow's characterization got in his own game was inevitably used to validate the faction of people who had argued that Shadow should have stayed dead, in retrospect I think Sonic Heroes and, shockingly, Sonic 06, made a strong case for Shadow being back.  They demonstrated that you actually could do more types of stories with his personality than just "redemption equals death".  Long before anyone hated Sonic 06 they already hated the fact that Shadow was in it, and perhaps nobody looked too closely at his story there until the brass at SEGA proclaimed that "Team Dark aren't friends", but after that, the sheer rage it aroused in so many fans has retroactively made them appreciate what Sonic 06 did to salvage Shadow's character.

And it should, because that sort of proclamation signals more than just an imperfect memory of fictional lore that ultimately doesn't matter; it feels a lot like they don't realize that introverts can, in fact, have meaningful friendships, and that sort of allegation really does hurt.

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1 hour ago, Scritch the Cat said:

 

 

 

You know, all of this discussion is making me think back to some things I posted about Shadow in the past, and remember what plot developments turned him from one of the most popular characters to the most hated.  I'd be lying if I denied some trepidation at reading that initial post, because it elicits memories of that bastardized version of Shadow that we got in Sonic Boom and that the main series hasn't really compensated for; that is, hating Sonic specifically because Sonic has friends.  All things considered it's probably an even worse version than in Shadow's self-titled game, and is less despised solely due to Boom not being intended to be taken seriously.

However, in Shadow's better moments, I feel there's actually a lot to work with.  Because unlike so many stereotypical characters who go through a redemption arc of sorts, Shadow's issue isn't that he needs to be taught the power of friendship; Shadow already knows the power of friendship.  It's just that Shadow doesn't get many opportunities to display that and when he does it'et s not the way normal people can easily perceive it.  Shadow is an introvert; initially by circumstance but later by choice.  He's not actively seeking friends, and he doesn't seem to be emotionally warmed up by what few friends he does have, but he is incredibly loyal to those friends; even if he met them completely on accident.

Let's not beat around the bush here; everyone jokes about how autistic people are obsessed with Sonic, but if there could be only one character in the series who actually seems autistic, it would likely be Shadow, and since I'm autistic, I always sympathized with the fans who wanted Shadow revived because they liked his character in and of itself and felt that it didn't need a heroic sacrifice to validate it.  That sacrifice displayed a great quality of his, yes, but arguably when the only introvert in the series exists in only one plot that ends with him having an epiphany and then making a heroic sacrifice, there's an unspoken implication that there's something innately wrong with being an introvert/autistic/both, and to be redeemed is to discontinue such personality.  I disagree.  I am such a person and I see myself in Shadow's extreme loyalty to his few accidental friends, and I see such loyalty to one's friends as a direct result of not having too many of them.  When something is scarce, it becomes precious.  As FDR said, when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hold on.

In the better instances of Shadow's character, writing actually reflects that extremely well.  SA2 being an obvious example.  We got to see how Shadow was constantly haunted by watching his only friend get murdered, and as a result even when we knew very little about him, the part with him charging into Prison Island to rescue Rouge made complete sense.  He had known her for only a few days at most, but when you're the sort of person for whom knowing anyone at all seems like a miracle, and you've already lost such a person once, you will fight hard to preserve that.

While the fisting Shadow's characterization got in his own game was inevitably used to validate the faction of people who had argued that Shadow should have stayed dead, in retrospect I think Sonic Heroes and, shockingly, Sonic 06, made a strong case for Shadow being back.  They demonstrated that you actually could do more types of stories with his personality than just "redemption equals death".  Long before anyone hated Sonic 06 they already hated the fact that Shadow was in it, and perhaps nobody looked too closely at his story there until the brass at SEGA proclaimed that "Team Dark aren't friends", but after that, the sheer rage it aroused in so many fans has retroactively made them appreciate what Sonic 06 did to salvage Shadow's character.

And it should, because that sort of proclamation signals more than just an imperfect memory of fictional lore that ultimately doesn't matter; it feels a lot like they don't realize that introverts can, in fact, have meaningful friendships, and that sort of allegation really does hurt.

I would mostly agree, though not having autism myself, I wouldn’t have caught that. But I think I can see that a bit. I definitely agree on the introvertedness and friendship angle.

Sonic 06, from what I’ve seen of the story, seems to do well highlighting Shadow’s continued fight and why, as well as his connection to his friends. In terms of working out his redemption, I think I’d probably still put his own game over Heroes. Though the perspective there would highly depend on what path one assumes and the Last Story, because he definitely does work to help the Heroes if following the more hero paths, or the Last Story. Some of it gets muddled due to translation issues and all the other path choices one can make.

I can see..elements of Team Dark connections in the IDW comics, but that is also held up at times with mandates, but at least he still at times will listen and work with Rouge and Omega, and you see their connections, even if they aren’t an official “Team.”

i have hope though, based on how they did Knuckles, and the connections Jeff Fowler has with Shadow, as well as comments that have been already made (I kinda want Jojo to be the one that snaps him out of his revenge state?). Now it’s just a wait and see.

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I think a major point of Shadow and friendship is that the scar here is of Shadow losing his friends in the past, at least in terms of the games.

Interestingly enough, this actually makes Shadow a major kindred spirit to both Sonic and Knuckles in the Movie. In the games, Sonic and Knuckles aren’t really all that affected by loss, but in the Films, both Sonic and Knuckles basically lost family figures close to them similar to Shadow from the games—Sonic lost his mother (Longclaw), Knuckles his father, and assuming they adapt SA2 and his backstory, Shadow lost his sister (Maria).

I don’t know about you guys, but I like this kind of set up of characters dealing with loss and learning how to overcome or cope with that trauma. It gives a sense of connection for all three to relate to and the differences they go about handling them. Sonic doesn’t have any concept of revenge, while Knuckles was misguided. It only a matter of seeing what they do with Shadow, and I actually have high hopes for this incarnation of him than I have since losing what I thought was his best take in Flynn-era Archie Comics.

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So far, I do see why the true super power of friendship won't win over Shadow like it did for Knuckles. Sonic and Knuckles had lots of time to process things and no one has messed with their heads while they were in stasis.

Shadow will pop out of stasis as though Maria died days ago at most. Unlike with Sonic's or Knuckles' clans, Maria was an innocent, defenseless, ill girl, and a lot of thought went into basically green-lighting her death-- and then covered it up. Shadow's going to be angry and out for vengeance with Gerald's influence driving him further.

I wonder if this will be Amy's debut as well? She was the one who reminded Shadow of what Maria truly wanted.

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2 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

I think a major point of Shadow and friendship is that the scar here is of Shadow losing his friends in the past, at least in terms of the games.

Interestingly enough, this actually makes Shadow a major kindred spirit to both Sonic and Knuckles in the Movie. In the games, Sonic and Knuckles aren’t really all that affected by loss, but in the Films, both Sonic and Knuckles basically lost family figures close to them similar to Shadow from the games—Sonic lost his mother (Longclaw), Knuckles his father, and assuming they adapt SA2 and his backstory, Shadow lost his sister (Maria).

I don’t know about you guys, but I like this kind of set up of characters dealing with loss and learning how to overcome or cope with that trauma. It gives a sense of connection for all three to relate to and the differences they go about handling them. Sonic doesn’t have any concept of revenge, while Knuckles was misguided. It only a matter of seeing what they do with Shadow, and I actually have high hopes for this incarnation of him than I have since losing what I thought was his best take in Flynn-era Archie Comics.

Now that you bring it up, it actually makes me more worried given the similarities.  Not only did last movie have two protagonists who bonded over how both of them have lost loved ones, but one of them spent most of the movie as an antagonist because he'd been fooled by a Robotnik.  While maybe being brainwashed into doing evil is more severe than being duped into doing evil, is the process of snapping a character out of that sufficiently different?  I'd say no.  As you said, Knuckles in the games didn't lose a family when he was just a boy (so far as we know), so he was never enraged at Sonic and out for revenge; the only thing he needed to turn him good was to see Eggman nabbing the Master Emerald.  The film made additions to his story, requiring Sonic to give him a pep talk, and that definitely makes the story better, but it also makes the story more like a Sonic game that had dialogue; ie, SA2 ie the next one they're adapting into a movie.

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6 hours ago, Sapphirine Wind said:

So far, I do see why the true super power of friendship won't win over Shadow like it did for Knuckles. Sonic and Knuckles had lots of time to process things and no one has messed with their heads while they were in stasis.

Shadow will pop out of stasis as though Maria died days ago at most. Unlike with Sonic's or Knuckles' clans, Maria was an innocent, defenseless, ill girl, and a lot of thought went into basically green-lighting her death-- and then covered it up. Shadow's going to be angry and out for vengeance with Gerald's influence driving him further.

I wonder if this will be Amy's debut as well? She was the one who reminded Shadow of what Maria truly wanted.

They might. But I’m wondering if Amy is a bit expected? or tough to introduce enough into the film to bring her in alongside. Prior to her doing that in SA2, she had all her other appearances to set her up, notably Adventure. That’s part of the trick with game films, is they don’t have as much time to set some of that up.

I’ve seen a few comments on that interview video that they could either use Tom and Maddie there, or even better, maybe Jojo. Provided they have Shadow with the same backstory/tragedy, Jojo might be close to the right age and kindhearted enough to remind Shadow. I know people want Amy, and she could still be brought in and started here, but I also..kinda like the idea that it’s a human that reminds Shadow of his friend?

 

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2 hours ago, Zadent said:

I’ve seen a few comments on that interview video that they could either use Tom and Maddie there, or even better, maybe Jojo. Provided they have Shadow with the same backstory/tragedy, Jojo might be close to the right age and kindhearted enough to remind Shadow. I know people want Amy, and she could still be brought in and started here, but I also..kinda like the idea that it’s a human that reminds Shadow of his friend?

That is strictly forbidden, we don't wanna give people PTSD flashbacks to Chris Thorndyke

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7 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

Now that you bring it up, it actually makes me more worried given the similarities.  Not only did last movie have two protagonists who bonded over how both of them have lost loved ones, but one of them spent most of the movie as an antagonist because he'd been fooled by a Robotnik.  While maybe being brainwashed into doing evil is more severe than being duped into doing evil, is the process of snapping a character out of that sufficiently different?  I'd say no.  As you said, Knuckles in the games didn't lose a family when he was just a boy (so far as we know), so he was never enraged at Sonic and out for revenge; the only thing he needed to turn him good was to see Eggman nabbing the Master Emerald.  The film made additions to his story, requiring Sonic to give him a pep talk, and that definitely makes the story better, but it also makes the story more like a Sonic game that had dialogue; ie, SA2 ie the next one they're adapting into a movie.

Context and details are important. On a surface level, Sonic, Knuckles and Shadow have all lost someone close to them. The devil is in the details though.

Sonic & Knuckles both had time to process their grief and direct it towards something mostly positive. In Knuckles' case, he just met the worst possible person first and made wrongful assumptions about Sonic. 

Shadow is a completely different beast. He had to watch Maria die and was powerless to stop it and was then sealed away. He never had a chance to process his grief and his anger grew as a result. Combined with Gerald's reprogramming, it just made Shadow into who he is. He's traumatized in a way that Sonic & Knuckles never really had to deal with. So it's gonna take a bit more than a simple heart to heart to get Shadow to back down.

 

In the games, he needed to be reminded of Maria's dying wish and put his anger behind him and put his efforts giving people a chance to be happy.

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2 hours ago, BadBehavior said:

That is strictly forbidden, we don't wanna give people PTSD flashbacks to Chris Thorndyke

Honestly? Writing aside, because at least in the dub, the writing of that sequence feels..weird, idk how the sub is, the idea of a *human* reaching out to Shadow I think is the element I like. It doesn’t need to be Chris (who, imo, was definitely better in season 2 and getting better in season 3 as I rewatch), but like..I feel like it makes..more sense? Especially since we have 3 human characters that he could probably connect to Maria in terms of personality, Jojo most notably, compared to introducing another character who’s main role here would be reaching out to Shadow? Why not use the character we’ve already seen in the films that showed genuine kindheartedness toward an alien creature they met for the first time and gave him shoes so he didn’t hurt his feet?

Maybe it’s just me, but a human reminding him of another human he knew and what she would’ve wanted..just works for me more than Amy (hot take, I do think stuff from Sonic X, and the games around that time might get too much flack). Not that she shouldn’t come in, but storywise, i think that works better?

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To be honest, I'm not that worried about the way they write Shadow. Mainly because I think it is obvious that Sonic 3 will be used to lead into a Shadow TV show, assuming the Knuckles TV show is succesful and the plans for the SCMU continue. With that in mind, obviously you want Shadow to be his own thing, with style and identity. I also think the show makers will be smart enough not to just overload Sonic with a bunch of secondary characters who get demoted and just cheer from the sidelines. Wouldn't be surprised if Shadow gets movie 3 but then just isn't movie 4, instead busy with his TV show.

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I see people talking about Shadow's redemption arc in this topic, and I think people may have missed a part about SA2: Everything about the "Ultimate Life Form," about the purpose that Shadow was created for, is not what he chooses to be. Thanks to Sonic and to Maria, Shadow decides what he wants to be, and even relinquishes the title of "Ultimate Life Form" to Sonic, for being what Shadow strived to be.
In the end credits of SA2, Rouge asks Sonic if Shadow really was just a creation by Gerald Robotnik just to get his revenge on humanity, which was a purpose that Shadow dutifully followed. Sonic replies with what Shadow became: A brave and heroic hedgehog who gave his life to save the planet. His true self was shackled down by Gerald's vengeance, but finally shined through when he remembered Maria.

He's not some dark evil character, he's a tragic puppet controlled by someone else's vengeance, until he breaks free to become a hero. And when he'll appear in the third movie, Sonic wouldn't be able to use the power of friendship to help Shadow, he has to be released from his past by appealing to the hero he really is.

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If there really is gonna be a Shadow tv show, which I could see if the movies keep making big profit, yeah maybe I will finally have that "Agents of GUN" spin-off I wanted for a long time. And if Sonic 3 is already too crowded for Rouge, she and Omega can probably debut in that show. It would make sense.

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