Home CELEBS 'Cobra Kai' season 5 continues the 'Karate Kid' saga on Netflix

‘Cobra Kai’ season 5 continues the ‘Karate Kid’ saga on Netflix

- Advertisement -


It all started so simply. When Netflix hit “Cobra Kai” launched on YouTube in 2018, it was a modest story that looked to examine the difference between affectionate nostalgia and a toxic fixation on the past, using the iconic “Karate Kid” films of the 1980s as its jumping off. point.

Set in the decades-later aftermath of the All Valley Karate Tournament, “Cobra Kai” focuses on Johnny Lawrence, the antagonist of the 1984 Oscar-nominated hit “The Karate Kid,” played once again by William Zabka. Down on his luck, he re-opens the merciless Cobra Kai karate dojo — and in the process reignites a feud with former rival Daniel LaRusso, played by Ralph Macchio.

Four years and eight Emmy nominations later, “Cobra Kai” has returned to Netflix for its fifth season. Written and executive-produced by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg the series has grown in scope and scale with every passing year, to the point where it now spans countries and generations to tell a grand martial arts soap opera.

The series’ ensemble includes a new generation of characters — Daniel’s daughter Samatha (Mary Mouser), Johnny’s son Robby (Tanner Buchanan) and fellow karate students such as Miguel (Xolo Maridueña), Tory (Peyton List), Demitri (Gianni Decenzo) and Hawk (Jacob Bertrand) among them — and also features original trilogy antagonists John Kreese (Martin Kove), Chozen (Yuji Okumoto) and Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith).

“We love the idea that in Season 5 we have all the villains from these ‘Karate Kid’ movies together,” says Schlossberg. “And you see how they’ve changed over the years, and you get to see them interact in ways (you couldn’t when) they were always separated by the movies, and so there’s a lot of hardcore fan wish fulfillment going on for sure.”

Hurwitz says balancing and juggling so many characters and their interconnected plot threads has been the challenge with each passing season.

“As the show has grown, our cast list has grown,” Hurwitz says. “We’ve brought in characters from the past, we’ve continued growing with new students in the Valley, and we have a hard time discarding characters that already exists.”

Take just one plot thread picking up from 2021’s Season 4’s finale, as Johnny and Robby travel to Mexico in search of Miguel, Johnny’s student and surrogate son, and Robby’s karate rival.

Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz, left, and Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene in "Cobra Kai" Season Five.

“That was something that we’d been looking forward to for years now to have on our show, and it’s fun to take a character like Miguel and bring him out of the Valley,” says Hurwitz. “And certainly (the same for) Johnny, who is a fish out of water in most places at this point in his life.”

‘We all are connected to the past’

Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, left, and Yuji Okumoto as Chozen in "Cobra Kai" Season Five.

As the scale of the series has expanded, so have its stakes. With “The Karate Kid Part III” villain Terry Silver in charge of an ever-expanding empire of Cobra Kai dojos, a devoted ally to Daniel and the balance-minded Miyagi-Do school of karate emerges in Chozen, Daniel’s former “The Karate Kid Part II” rival.

When “The Karate Kid Part II” was released in 1986, it out-grossed the first film (earning $115 million after the original’s $91 million, according to Box Office Mojo) and Schlossberg says the series’ masterminds were thinking about Chozen “right from the beginning” before bringing him into the fold in Season 3 and making him a regular cast member for the new season.

“With all these characters (from) the past, we play with ‘How did they adjust over time? Because everyone adjusts differently,” says Schlossberg. “And you start out by seeding how Johnny has held onto these things in the past. And at the end of the day we all are connected to the past.”

Why Mason Alexander Park, Desire of Netflix’s ‘The Sandman,’ is ‘endlessly grateful’

With Chozen, Schlossberg says, “we liked the idea that he looked at the past in a way and felt guilty and felt that he owed something to Daniel. And because in ‘Karate Kid II’ they built the stakes up to life and death… Chozen brings those stakes to the Valley.

“So up until now in ‘Cobra Kai’ it’s just been bullying and getting your (a–) kicked and worst case scenario an accident during a fight. But when you bring Chozen to the Valley with his weapons, you know that somebody could die and that he’s willing to do it. And we also know (with) Terry Silver being in control, anything can happen with him.”

Heald describes one of the biggest north stars that keeps the “Cobra Kai” team on track: “Karate, in the Valley, matters, and it’s really important,” he says. “And you have to believe that or get confused by that or get sucked into that, depending on which character you are and where you come from.”

William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, from left, Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso and Yuji Okumoto as Chozen Toguchi in "Cobra Kai" Season Five.

Likening the dedication to “football in Texas,” Heald describes the drama that comes with aligning with one dojo or another over the course of the series.

“It could be a Scorsese movie at times in terms of, if you’re with Miyagi-Do you have to buy into that defense and that morality,” Heald says. “If you’re in Cobra Kai you have to buy into that aggression and that badassery, and if you’re in Eagle Fang you have to try to find your badassery without being a horrible person. And so there’s different ethos, there’s different mission statements, depending on what team you’re on.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
Must Read

Texas murder suspects out on bond arrested for killing Houston deputy, authorities say

NEWYou can now listen to Acesparks articles! Two men out on bond for serial murder cases have been arrested in connection with...
- Advertisement -

Halle Bailey sings as Ariel in Disney’s trailer

ANAHEIM, Calif. – "The Little Mermaid" is swimming and singing again.Disney unveiled the first teaser trailer for the live-action version of the...

Taylor Swift shows ‘All Too Well,’ launches Oscar campaign in Toronto

TORONTO – Taylor Swift, Oscar nominee?A potential run at an Academy Awards run started for the music superstar Friday when she stopped by...

Florida father, son sought after allegedly beating man unconscious at wedding reception, sheriff says

NEWYou can now listen to Acesparks articles! A Florida man and his son are being sought for beating a man unconscious at...
Related News

Texas murder suspects out on bond arrested for killing Houston deputy, authorities say

NEWYou can now listen to Acesparks articles! Two men out on bond for serial murder cases have been arrested in connection with...

Halle Bailey sings as Ariel in Disney’s trailer

ANAHEIM, Calif. – "The Little Mermaid" is swimming and singing again.Disney unveiled the first teaser trailer for the live-action version of the...

Taylor Swift shows ‘All Too Well,’ launches Oscar campaign in Toronto

TORONTO – Taylor Swift, Oscar nominee?A potential run at an Academy Awards run started for the music superstar Friday when she stopped by...

Florida father, son sought after allegedly beating man unconscious at wedding reception, sheriff says

NEWYou can now listen to Acesparks articles! A Florida man and his son are being sought for beating a man unconscious at...

Illinois mayor ‘unhappy,’ says Chicago officials failed to inform him about migrants sent to town

NEWYou can now listen to Acesparks articles! The mayor of a suburban Chicago town is expressing frustration at both city and state...
- Advertisement -