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|“Only one can remain!”|
|— Master Chen|
Master Chen was the leader of a criminal empire and the former owner of Mr. Chen's Noodle House. A master of deception, Chen was responsible for the Serpentine War, causing him to be exiled to a secluded island when the Serpentine he aligned with lost. Over the years, Chen built up his criminal empire while also making money in Ninjago City through his noodle house. He also had a daughter, Skylor, who wielded the element of Amber.
Shortly after Zane's demise, Chen organized the Tournament of Elements as a guise to steal the powers of the Elemental Masters, so he could perform a spell that would turn his followers into Anacondrai. This plan eventually succeeded, but their mission to destroy Ninjago was thwarted when Chen's former pupil, Garmadon, unleashed the original Anacondrai generals from the Cursed Realm. The generals cursed Chen and his army, before banishing them to the Cursed Realm. Months later, the Preeminent was unleashed into Stiix. When Nya drowned the beast, the Cursed Realm was destroyed, killing Master Chen and all of its inhabitants.
A statue of Chen was later placed in the Ninjago Museum of History. When Cole accidentally opened the Departed Realm, Chen's spirit escaped and possessed the statue in the museum. Chen set off to exact vengeance, in his case allying with Eyezor and Zugu and going after Kai and Nya. After a lengthy chase using the Chenosaurus, Chen fired a missile at Nya, who repelled it with her element and sent it back towards Chen, destroying his statue and vanquishing his spirit.
When he was young, Chen became vain when he was told he would amount to nothing, compared to the Elemental Masters, who were naturally born with unique abilities.
Chen was originally Clouse and Garmadon's master and encouraged them to win at any cost. When a duel broke out one day between his students, he decided to intensify it by declaring that the winner would become his right-hand man and be granted lordship. Garmadon cheated and used Spinjitzu to win, which Chen had forbidden, though the master dismissed it, and even praised Garmadon for his deception while granting him the title of Lord. Later, Chen presented Garmadon with a letter he had intercepted. It was a love letter which was written by Wu and addressed to Misako. Chen convinced Garmadon to sign his own name, further stimulating the young lord's dark impulses.
Meanwhile, tensions were growing between man and Serpentine, and Chen, who was bored with peace, decided to use the unrest to his advantage. He convinced each side that the other was going to attack, thus prompting an all-out war. Chen decided to ally himself with the Serpentine and asked Garmadon to aid him, though his pupil instead left to help his brother, to Chen's irritation.
Chen, however, managed to convince the Elemental Master of Earth to turn against the Elemental Alliance, which caused them to lose a battle against the Anacondrai. Nevertheless, the alliance managed to win the war by subduing the snakes with the Sacred Flutes. For their treason, Chen and Clouse were exiled to a secluded island.
On the island, Chen began to build his criminal empire. He gathered an army of followers and began producing noodle goods in a large factory on his island and sending them to the mainland, where he opened a chain of noodle houses. At some point, he had a daughter with the Master of Amber named Skylor, who inherited her mother's power. Sometime later, Chen heard word that Ray and Maya, the Elemental Masters of Fire and Water, had betrayed Wu and the rest of the Elemental Alliance—an act he attempted to invoke on the two and the others—to work with Acronix and Krux.
After Lloyd unleashed Pythor from the Anacondrai Tomb, Chen later raided the abandoned resting place of the tribe he once worshipped and allied with in order to loot their remains, shamelessly desecrating them by carving several into new Jadeblades for his Tournament of Elements. Later on, while Lloyd attempted to wash Zane's pink gi, Chen succeeded in sending an agent to switch out the robe with an identical one, adding it to his Hall of Fame. Keeping a close eye on the Ninjas' adventures, Chen continued looting from their exploits, salvaging one of The Great Devourer's discarded scales and likewise engaging in conflict with Captain Soto in order to steal the resurrected pirate's peg leg.
The Tournament of Elements
Shortly after the defeat of the Golden Master, Chen started to implement a plan to turn him and his followers into Anacondrai, thus enabling them to take over Ninjago. However, the transformation spell required all of the elements, so Chen organized a Tournament of Elements to lure the current elemental masters to his island. Around the same time, the newly rebuilt Zane was sold to Chen by Ronin, and Chen used the Staff of Elements to take his power of Ice and allowed Skylor to absorb his ability, as well.
On the morning that the Tournament began, Clouse, who had taken the ferry to New Ninjago City to retrieve the contestants, contacted Chen and informed him that Garmadon had also accompanied them. Chen, however, remained confident that he would succeed, encouraged by the Elemental Master whom he had already captured.
When the Masters arrived on the island, Chen welcomed them into his palace and took note of Garmadon's presence. He then explained the rules of the tournament. He then ordered his kabuki servants to show them to their rooms. Later that day, Chen announced the start of the first round of the tournament. At the end of the round, when Karlof had lost, Chen dropped him down a trapdoor and encouraged the remaining fighters not to break any rules.
That night, Chen led a ceremony in the Anacondrai temple, where he brings in a captive Karlof and states "Only one can remain." He uses his staff to take Karlof's element, while doing so it is revealed he already did so to Zane as he used Ice to keep him in place. After gaining the element of Metal, he mockingly told the prisoner he'd let him go as the latter looked hopeful until Chen revealed that he meant that he was sending the defeated master to work in the factory, to his horror.
When impostors are discovered, Chen has his followers capture them but they escape and even elude Anacondrai Serpent.
During breakfast the next morning, Chen announced the second part of the tournament, as well as the six Masters, who would be fighting. Chen observed all three matches and was quite entertained with Kai's match that he prevented Clouse from interfering. He showed a penchant for using trapdoors when he eliminated the losers. Then, to weaken the Ninja, Chen changed the brackets so that Cole and Jay would have to fight next. However, when the Ninja refused to fight each other, Chen was annoyed that it hadn't worked like he'd planned and used his many buttons to make the round more interesting. Cole finally lost, and Chen eliminated him from the tournament.
The next day, Chen watched the fight between Jacob and Skylor. After eliminating Jacob, he announced that Cole and Jay's disobedience the previous day will cost all the Masters their rooms, prompting everyone to sleep in the same room.
During the night, Chen's servants rounded everyone to the rollerskates track, where Chen announced a game of Thunderblade between Chamille and Lloyd. Despite Chen's efforts to eliminate Lloyd—including giving Chamille a Jungle Raider and ordering the scores to be changed—Lloyd still won, forcing him to drop Chamille through the trap door.
During the feast to celebrate the start of the third round, Chen presented the Staff of Elements to the Elemental Masters, claiming that the winner of the tournament will receive it. This action led to the dissolvement of the alliance between the Masters. Later in the day, Clouse informed Chen that someone had stolen the spell from the book, and he ordered the guards to find the spy.
At night, Skylor later informed him that Cole and Zane had escaped. Chen congratulated his daughter for her infiltration of the fighters and told her that soon they wouldn't have to put up the tournament charade too long before they shared a laugh.
As Nya was still loose on the island, Chen decided to use the situation to his advantage. He took control of the D.B. Express and used it as his base of operation for the next round of the tournament. When the blimp the competitors were placed in reached an altitude high above the island, Chen explained the next round; find Nya and the winner would be moved on to the final round. He then released parachutes for them before realizing that Garmadon had come along and was without a parachute. Chen shrugged the issue away and opened the floor of the blimp, sending the contestants plummeting towards the island.
After all the contestants had safely arrived on the island, Chen announced through the loudspeakers that he had left tools throughout the island to help the fighters in their hunt. He was then approached by Clouse who questioned how he thought the fighters would be able to find Nya when his men could not. Chen explained that the purpose of this round was in fact not to hunt the girl but the other remaining masters as the gifts he had given them were tracking their every move. He then dispatched his right hand to round them up.
Clouse soon returned with two of the fighters, presenting the Paleman before Chen, though the master quickly ordered him to be taken away as he was considered too boring. Clouse then informed him that Skylor was with Kai though they didn't know where Lloyd and Garmadon had gone. Angered by this, Chen sent him out to find them and round everyone else up while he was at it.
Chen meanwhile used the power of smoke to appear before Kai and Skylor just as the latter revealed she was his daughter. He then informed the Master of Fire that his time in the tournament was over and though Kai tried to flee, Chen used the power of nature to entrap him in vines. Chen returned to the D.B. Express where he threw Kai in the prison with the other remaining fighters.
Chen has the captured Elemental Master brought before him when Jay mentions Lloyd will come to save them very soon. Chen decides to wait for him but gets bored and drains the remaining masters of their powers and has them sent to the Noodle Factory. He speaks with Skylor, who wishes to have Kai, free and notices she likes him he allows the Red Ninja freedom.
Afterwards, he shows Kai some of his possessions when Kai mentioned that he could take Chen down if he didn't have the staff. Chen noted that Skylor was right about his possessing a fiery attitude without his element and reveals his plan of turning his army into Anacondrai after defeating Lloyd and taking over Ninjago. He noted that Kai had previously wanted to be the Green Ninja and offers him the chance but is denied and instead, offers him information about his parents that Wu hid from him. When a shocked Kai questions this, Chen tells him to think about his offer while he prepares to fight Lloyd.
Very soon, Kai apparently considered Chen's offer and helped him in luring Lloyd to him. Chen overwhelms Lloyd with the various elements and defeats the struggling Green Ninja while stating "only one can remain."
He then visits the capture Nya and Garmadon with Clouse, Skylor, and Kai revealing his victory over Lloyd and taunting them over turning Kai to his side. He states he will take Lloyd's power while telling Garmadon that he can't witness it as he is still a little hurt at his desertion. Chen and Clouse then laugh when Garmadon threatens Skylor, stating they know he can't do it as he is now a good guy. He leaves as Clouse states that his pet serpent will feast on Nya and Garmadon.
Chen soon has Clouse tell the henchmen he wants noodles for the ceremony. He makes it to the temple where he steals Lloyd's element and has Clouse prepare the spell to transform him and the others. However, Kai reveals he lied about accepting Chen's offer and has turned Skylor against him, which angers him.
When Kai takes control of the Staff of Elements, the power begins to corrupt him as Chen tells him to embrace the power but the Elemental Masters flying a roto jet break in. Chen notices that Kai dropped his staff and runs to retrieve it but the Red Ninja grabs it and destroys the crystal, returning all the stolen elements back to their masters, allowing them to defeat the Anacondrai Cultists.
During the chaos, Chen, Clouse, and a select few henchmen then take Skylor hostage before retreating with Chen complaining about his plans being ruined.
While the Blade-Copter was being repaired, Clouse and Chen returned to serpent's feeding room only to find the beast dead. Clouse quickly realized that they can perform the ritual, thanks to the powers copied by Skylor. Chen hurried to the cave where his daughter was imprisoned and ordered her release. Skylor, however, quickly realized that her father's intentions and fled. Chen ordered his remaining forces to catch her, and he gave himself chase in the Blade-Copter.
Chen eventually caught up to his daughter, but soon lost the trail. When Skylor and Kai were caught, Chen had them taken to the crystal caves by Chope and Kapau, who were able to finish the ritual and turn into Anacondrai. After a brief confrontation with Kai and Skylor, Chen returned before his palace, and stole the Roto Jet to fly to Ninjago.
Shortly after arriving in Ninjago, the transformation spell slowly ceased working. Chop'rai and Kapau'rai quickly learn that in order for the spell to be permanent, they must obtain the essence of a true Anacondrai. Chen sent his army out to find if there were any Anacondrai remaining and they soon returned with Pythor. Placing him in a hamster wheel with a swamp rat, the little snake quickly released enough sweat to turn the army into Anacondrai, thus making the spell permanent.
With that problem out of the way, Chen moved on to striking fear among the Elemental Masters and split them apart by sending empty noodle trucks to different regions of Ninjago. Meanwhile Chen and his army attacked the Jamanakai Village and with the Ninja out of the way, took it over with ease.
His army advancing, Chen soon took over more villages laughing at how the people are defenseless without the Ninja or the Elemental Masters protecting them from danger.
Later on, he took over the airwaves and contacted those aboard the Destiny's Bounty 2.0. He offered a truce but ended up revealing to Misako and Wu the truth about Garmadon's letter and thus turning them against one another. He laughed that he caused Garmadon much grief as revenge for leaving his services decades ago.
Before long, Chen had taken over the entire east coast and began moving inland. The next day, his forces passed through Echo Canyons and arrived at the Corridor of Elders, where he was attacked by the inhabitants of Ninjago. Chen himself was attacked by Skylor. When the spirits of the Anacondrai Generals were released, they cursed the Cultists. He tried to plead to Arcturus that they were on the same side but was told he would never be one of them as he was "a liar, a cheat, and an imposter" before they cursed him. As he was imprisoned, Chen called out to Skylor for aid but she ignored his pleas and Chen was sent to the Cursed Realm, ending the war.
Sometime after his imprisonment in the Cursed Realm, Chen eventually transformed from his Anacondrai form back to his normal self, due to the fact that the spell to turn the Cultists into Anacondrai was never permanent. He was then imprisoned in a cell, where he was to remain for the rest of eternity.
When Lloyd was banished to the Cursed Realm, he ran past several aisles of cells after seeing a group of Ghost Warriors on the move. One of the cells he ran by was Chen's, who was startled by the Green Ninja running by. He alerted this sight to Clouse, who was in the cell in the left of him, though his loyal right hand assured him that he was seeing things again as he was secretly cutting his cell to escape.
When Morro and his army of ghosts freed The Preeminent (who was revealed to be the embodiment of the Cursed Realm), they attacked Stiix and its civilians. Eventually, the Preeminent headed out into the Endless Sea but was knocked over by a massive tidal wave created by Nya, killing the beast. As a result, the Cursed Realm was destroyed and all its inhabitants were killed, excluding Clouse, who managed to escape before the realm's collapse.
Shortly after his demise, Skylor took over his noodle industry since he was gone, and also ran Chen's Noodle House in Ninjago City. In addition, Dr. Saunders had a statue of Chen placed in the Ninjago Museum of History's Hall of Villainy exhibit.
On the Day of the Departed, Wu and the Ninja went to the museum, where Dr. Saunders introduced them to the Hall of Villainy. While viewing the statues of the villains, Nya looked at Chen's statue, remarking that it brings back memories.
After Cole accidentally opened the Departed Realm using the Yin Blade, the spirits of the Ninjas' old adversaries were released, traveling from Yang's Temple to the Ninjago Museum of History. There, the spirits of the villains possessed the statues in the Hall of Villainy, with Chen being revived along with Samukai, Kozu, Cryptor, and Morro.
As the villains met each other, Chen wondered how they returned before playing with his new chair. In doing so, he partially activated its Chenosaurus function, causing two robotic legs to eject from the bottom. Chen's mech stumbled around the museum before he joined the other villains, who were looking at a painting of Master Yang for answers.
Using the painting as a way to communicate, Yang explained how he brought the villains back from the Departed Realm, but that they would only remain in Ninjago for the duration of the lunar eclipse unless they kill one of the Ninja who killed them, and take their place among the living. As the villains cheer over this prospect, Pythor arrives to join them, before he sees Chen and they greet each other in disdain. The group tries choosing who they'll go after, with Chen choosing Kai and Nya, although Pythor is aggravated that he chooses two targets. Yang orders the villains to work it out amongst themselves. Chen is the first to pick, claiming Kai and Nya, the latter of whom he has a score to settle with. Pythor proposes that they gather reinforcements from the Hall of Sidekicks. While there, Chen allies with his revived generals, Eyezor and Zugu. As they set off to find Kai and Nya, the other villains go and confront their enemies.
Chen arrives at Four Weapons Blacksmith, where Kai and Nya are commemorating their parents while wondering if they'll find out what happened to them. Chen says he would tell them, but they have bigger problems to face. As Eyezor and Zugu roll up on Condrai Crushers, Chen struggles to activate the Chenosaurus' bazooka function. When he does, Kai and Nya flee on their Raider Bikes, and a chase breaks out. After Eyezor and Zugu are vanquished, Chen continued the fight, eventually shooting a missile at Kai and Nya.
Using her element, Nya turns the missile around and it strikes Chen, destroying his statue and sending his spirit back to the Departed Realm, killing the manipulator once again.
A statue of Chen was seen being brought into the Ninjago Museum of History by Lloyd. Since the original statue was destroyed by Nya, it's assumed Lloyd was carrying a new statue to supplant it.
In Shadow of Ronin (non-canon)
Chen is a playable character in LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin. He can be purchased for 500,000 studs after collecting his character token in Level 27: Chen's Palace. He is armed with the Staff of Elements which allows him to shoot elemental blasts, but he possesses no special abilities.
In LEGO Dimensions (non-canon)
Chen serves as a boss in the Ninjago level, "Elements of Surprise." In the level, he watches Eyezor defeat Jacob and motions for the thug to finish off the Master of Sound. Before Eyezor can do this however, Wyldstyle, Gandalf, and Batman drop out of a vortex and crush him. Chen inquires to Clouse if he arranged these surprise competitors.
Chen wears an Anacondrai skull atop his head, which itself sports a large purple snake around its own head, with skeletal rims attached to it. He has a mustache-goatee, thick eyebrows, and thick sideburns and hair, all of which are black in color, though in his younger years they were apparently red. He sports dark red robes with golden and black markings, along with purple rims along the midlines.
Before his banishment from Ninjago, Chen was an intellectually self-serving man who was able to manipulate both Garmadon to crave power, and the Elemental Master of Earth (in addition to others unmentioned) to fight against the Elemental Alliance. This manipulation served him in keeping a balanced rift between the Elemental Alliance and the Serpentine in the Serpentine War. At this time, he also proved to be a master strategist, twisting moves on both sides in such a way to keep his involvement in the dark—an aspect that grew stronger in the years to come, with the newer generation of Elemental Masters.
After his banishment, however, Chen became more childish, spoiled, and impatient (all of which he expressed while supervising the Tournament of Elements), but still devious and greedy. He also has a quirk, which is his love for buttons and trap doors (which is a combination of his need for power and childish nature). During the Second Serpentine war, Chen started to complain how difficult and time consuming it was to take over Ninjago.
However it would appear that Chen did love his daughter, and gave her special treatment (he provided her with a tournament suit similar to those of the Ninja, and he allowed her to keep Kai around after he had drained him of his power). After she betrayed him, though, he no longer cared for her safety, and his greed took over.
He is also shown to be culturally insensitive, as he used the symbolism of the Anacondrai, even after betraying both human and serpentine by igniting the war that drove both sides to near extinction. He even violated their remains by using them as decorations and clothing, while espousing their ideology of "only one can remain," adding insult to injury. He is also shameless in this, as he begged the spirits of the Anacondrai generals to spare him even though he was the one who instigated both wars, which caused them to be banished to the cursed realm, and then used elemental power to transform himself into a pseudo-Anacondrai while claiming to be on the same side.
Chen is also shown to be temperamental, sadistic, and possibly psychotic. This is shown in his previously mentioned duplicity, hot temper, and tendency to believe his own lies. He also showed great enjoyment and schadenfreude when he revealed to Wu and Misako that Garmadon had signed the love letter that Wu had written for Misako that caused her to fall for Garmadon in their youth. Chen's perverse glee is quite evident in this action, and only further showcases his psychosis.
Chen is also shown to be quite cowardly, and is seemingly incapable of owning up to his own mistakes and misdeeds, claiming that his use of magic to become an Anacondrai meant that he was on their side in a futile attempt to be spared by the unleashed spirits of Arcturus and his comrades.
- In the three sets he appeared in, Chen wields a wolverine claw—which he has not utilized in the show. It is unknown as to why these sets feature him brandishing this weapon.
- Chen, like Garmadon, Clouse, and Skylor, are the only Anacondrai who keeps their minifigure heads, instead of gaining a snake heads like the other Anacondrai Cultists (likely because they lack tattoos on their heads).
- An animatronic of Chen was part of the exhibit about the Ninja at the Ninjago Museum of History.
- The history museum has a portrait of Chen hanging in one of their rooms.
- Although he claimed to have a score to settle with Nya upon his revival in "Day of the Departed," he also chose her sibling Kai as a rival. His unspoken reason may have been due to a personal vendetta regarding his daughter Skylor harboring strong affections for the Fire Ninja, which led to her turning against her father.
- Chen hates Kai and Nya the most out of the Ninja.
- Taking this into account, his personal mission to get Lloyd out of the Tournament as fast as possible was most likely out of acknowledgement of his power, not necessarily a personal hatred.
- Chen may have been responsible for the betrayals of Krux and Acronix by manipulating them into turning against the Elemental Alliance.
- Tommy Andreason said that that idea was scrapped in Hands of Time
- Despite having been his master, Chen is actually far younger than his former pupil, Garmadon, whom is several centuries old.
- Chen appears as a boss in The LEGO Ninjago Movie Videogame in the training dojo "The Deadly Arena" and can be unlocked as a playable character by achieving gold medal status in said dojo, which requires the player to accumulate at least 220,000 studs.
- Chen was inspired by the character Lo Pan from Big Trouble Little China.
- Chen was voiced by Ian James Corlett, who also voiced Skales, the leader of the Serpentine.
- ↑ https://twitter.com/TommyAndreasen/status/783559505921642496
- ↑ https://twitter.com/brothershageman/status/955268991882182656