|“I am Samukai, Skulkin general, fearsome master of the ax.”|
|— Samukai, "Day of the Departed"|
Samukai was a fearsome Skulkin general with four arms. After he fought against Wu and Garmadon, Samukai was banished to the Underworld, where he united an army of the undead and became their king. Upon Garmadon's banishment, he took over the Underworld and became the realm's new ruler. Nonetheless, Samukai retained a position high on the Underworld hierarchy as Garmadon's lieutenant and the Skulkin general of Fire, carrying out his superior's will.
Samukai and the Skulkin fought against the Ninja and claimed the Golden Weapons. When Samukai confronted Wu, he took hold of all four weapons, but their immense powers incinerated him and created a portal. Garmadon then escaped the Underworld and wreaked havoc in Ninjago.
A statue of Samukai was later placed in the Ninjago Museum of History. When Cole accidentally opened the Departed Realm, Samukai's spirit escaped and possessed the statue in the museum. Samukai set off to exact vengeance, in his case going after Jay with help from Krazi and Frakjaw. Samukai fought Jay at his parents' junkyard before his statue was shattered to pieces by Jay's nunchucks. As a result, his spirit was sent back to the Departed Realm.
At an unknown point in time, Samukai came into conflict with Master Wu and Garmadon, only to be defeated by the two brothers. Either as a result of this defeat, or events prior or afterward, he died, and unable to come to terms with his death, was reborn as a Skulkin in the Underworld, where he proceeded to become its king.
An Underworldly Takeover (Flashback)
After Garmadon was banished to the Underworld, Samukai promptly proceeded to confront his nemesis alongside several Skulkin, gloating over his predictions of the former's banishment turning true. Declaring revenge on Garmadon through plans to subject him to an afterlife of pain and suffering, Samukai clashed with his old foe. However, he was ultimately defeated when Garmadon used Spinjitzu and watched in humiliation as his victorious opponent donned the helmet that had once signified his own authority. As a result, he was demoted back to only the Skulkin General of Fire.
The Last Voyage (Flashback)
In order to prepare for the upcoming hunt for the Golden Weapons, Samukai tracked down Dr. Julien alongside his lieutenants Nuckal and Kruncha to his workshop in Birchwood Forest. Resurrecting the inventor with his elixir, Samukai forced Julien to build war machines for him, holding his Nindroid son, Zane, hostage. After imprisoning Julien at the Lighthouse Prison and chaining the Leviathan to the island as a guard, Samukai proceeded to drop Zane off at a nearby village before the Nindroid could activate.
Once his vehicles were created, Samukai led an attack on Ignacia Village alongside several Skulkin in search of the Map of the Golden Weapons. In response to Kai and Nya managing to defend themselves, he personally confronted the former and easily defeated Kai within seconds. Before Samukai could finish Kai off, however, Master Wu knocked him aside with a Spinjitzu vortex. Casually conversing with his old nemesis, Samukai, realizing his lieutenants had already found the map and that Nya was vulnerable, proceeded to throw his daggers at a nearby water tower, causing it to collapse and forcing Wu to save Kai. Taking advantage of the distraction, Samukai ordered Kruncha to capture Nya, and with her hostage, the Skulkin fled the village to return to the Underworld.
Arriving at the Caves of Despair, the ninja found their nemesis to have already set up camp there in search of the Scythe of Quakes. Sneaking into his watchtower, the Ninja stole the Map of the Golden Weapons and proceeded from there, unbeknownst to him. However, when Jay accidentally revealed their location, Samukai promptly led his forces to ambush the ninja while they retrieved the Golden Weapon for him. Upon their arrival, Samukai attacked the group, only for the ninja to learn Spinjitzu and fight back long enough for the Earth Dragon to arrive, forcing him to call a retreat. Later on, he reported to Lord Garmadon under a fearful guise, only to finally be informed of the latter's plan.
While the Ninja went after the Nunchucks of Lightning, Samukai attempted to ambush them from behind, only for Zane to alert his fellow teammates of the latter's presence. Even as the Ninja proceeded to escape with the Golden Weapon in hand, Samukai secretly gloated to himself over the plan's approaching success.
Later, with Kai and Master Wu at the Fire Temple to confront Garmadon, Samukai confronted the sleeping Zane, Jay, and Cole alongside his army and tied the three of them up. Gloating over his success, he promptly claimed the three Golden Weapons they had been guarding and declared their ascent to the Fire Temple, only for Garmadon to warn him that Wu had taken the Sword of Fire to the Underworld. Changing plans, Samukai led his forces on their vehicles to an entrance to their home realm, only to be pursued by Jay, Cole, and Zane. However, after witnessing them hold off his minions, Samukai proceeded to take command of the Skull Truck, throwing the ninja off and finally making his trip to the Underworld.
As Master Wu confronted his brother within the Dark Fortress, Samukai, on the latter's behest, challenged his old foe to a final rematch, with Master Wu armed with the Sword of Fire while he himself wielded the remaining Golden Weapons. Despite Wu's best efforts, he was ultimately reigned victorious and proceeded to claim the Sword of Fire, even as the ninja arrived to witness Garmadon's triumph.
However, upon Garmadon's order to be given the Golden Weapons, Samukai revealed his own plans to betray the Dark Lord. Before he could exact his long-awaited revenge, however, the Golden Weapons began to overload Samukai with their power. Even as Garmadon gloated that it was just as he had planned, the resulting explosion created a tear through space and time, vaporizing Samukai in the process. Upon his disintegration, a portal to the Realm of Madness was all that remained, allowing Garmadon to escape the Underworld after a decade of imprisonment. Likewise, due to being destroyed in a realm of the undead, Samukai's lost soul was sent to the Departed Realm instead, finding its new and ultimate resting place.
After the ninja and Garmadon went back in time, the latter proceeded to infiltrate Samukai's army under the disguise of a generic Skulkin. Afterward, he continued his attack on Ignacia Village as normal, only for the timeline to be altered when his command for Nya's kidnapping was sabotaged by Garmadon. Consequently, he called a retreat and with his army intact and the Map of the Golden Weapons fled.
During their journey to a portal to the Underworld, Samukai angrily yelled at his subordinates over their failure, in the process prompting Nuckal to accidentally reveal the presence of the future ninja to an eavesdropping Garmadon. Afterward, he again lectured his minions at a campfire, only for Kruncha to return with a kidnapped Nya in tow. After gloating to the past Garmadon over their success, he left.
As a result of the destruction of the Mega Weapon, the events of the alternate timeline were erased.
As part of a television program directed by Dareth, a stuntman dressed up as Samukai.
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, Jay looked at Samukai's statue and believed he was looking at him.
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 possessed the statues in the Hall of Villainy, with Samukai being revived through along with Kozu, Cryptor, Chen, and Morro - none of whom he had met before. Samukai was the first to speak, confronting Morro and asking who he is, to which Morro asked him the same question. As Chen tested out his new chair, Samukai wondered how they were alive once more, to which Morro pointed at the painting of Master Yang, believing he could explain what was happening.
Samukai and the revived villains gathered around the painting, which Yang used to send them a message. He explained how he brought the villains back from the Departed Realm, but that they would only remain in Ninjago for the duration of the rare lunar eclipse unless they exact vengeance on the adversary who destroyed them. The villains cheer, eager to have revenge, but they start to fight when faced with the decision of who to go after. Samukai wants to go after Zane, but Cryptor argues that he's his clone, and he wants to go after him. Yang orders the villains to work it out amongst themselves. All the villains choose who to go after, with Samukai and Kozu having to choose over Jay. Samukai does rock-paper-scissors with Kozu to determine who will go after Jay, but Kozu intends to pursue Dareth instead, leaving Samukai to face Jay. Pythor, who arrived in the middle of the scene, proposes they gather reinforcements from the Hall of Sidekicks. While there, Samukai allies with Krazi and Frakjaw. As they set off to find Jay, the other villains go and confront their enemies.
Samukai arrives at Ed & Edna's Scrap N Junk, where Jay is spending time with his mom and dad. Samukai threatens Jay's mom while Jay takes out the two Skulkin mechs used by Krazi and Frakjaw. As Ed goes to help Edna, Samukai begins fighting Jay, while Krazi and Frakjaw apprehend Jay's parents. Samukai manages to overwhelm Jay, beating him in the fight and preparing to kill him so that he can be fully resurrected. At that moment, Ronin arrives in his Salvage M.E.C., saving Jay's parents and kicking Samukai with the mech's foot. Jay and Ronin confronted the Skulkin; with Samukai briefly confronting the mech before Jay crushed Krazi and Frakjaw with a magnetic crane. Afterward, Jay threw his lightning nunchucks at Samukai, shattering the Skulkin general to pieces and sending his spirit back to the Departed Realm.
Jay can be seen holding the mannequin head of Samukai, trying to use it to entertain himself while helping clean up the damage caused during their battles on the Day of the Departed at the Ninjago Museum of History.
- Main article: Samukai (Relationships)
As The King of the Underworld, Samukai is a completely merciless sociopath, incapable of feeling several human emotions such as empathy, compassion, mercy, etc., Described as a brilliant military leader, he resorts to fear in order to keep his army in line and holds deep grudges towards several of his enemies, as well as an instinctive hatred towards all living things. Despite this, he also knew when to not make things personal and not form grudges needlessly.
Ruthless and unwilling to give up in his pursuit of power, he likewise managed to keep the guise of a meek subordinate around his nemesis Garmadon, only to reveal his true colors upon claiming the Golden Weapons. Additionally, Samukai is not unwilling to resort to taking hostages, and even outright lying to get what he wants, taking advantage of unsuspecting beings such as the Leviathan and Dr. Julien to achieve his goals.
However, despite his merciless, unfeeling determination and lack of morality, Samukai's greatest weakness lies in his lack of empathy and understanding of human emotion; This ultimately shone when, upon discovering Zane's planned visit to his home village, he was unable to comprehend the sentimentality of the former's visit and instead decided that Zane must've been seeking to acquire some material, such as treasure, thus leading him to perform a wholly pointless scheme that resulted in the loss of weapons, a few vehicles, and the wasting of precious time that could've been used to get a head start on the ninja.
On a lesser note, Samukai seemed somewhat sensitive about his deformity of four arms, often avoiding answering the reason for his additional limbs by claiming his refusal to have six arms, and likewise finding it convenient that he no longer needed to find shirts that could accommodate his limbs upon becoming a Skulkin.
Powers and Abilities
As the King of the Underworld, Samukai wielded multiple abilities. Being a Skulkin, he had a near-indestructibility granted to him due to his undead status, though this was unable to protect him from the Golden Weapons. Nevertheless, Samukai could also make all of his bones operate independently from the rest, and was able to resurrect the dead using Resurrectea, an elixir of his own creation.
Additionally, Samukai wielded great strength and battle prowess, especially thanks to his additional set of arms, and was reputed for his skill in wielding daggers or a double-bladed ax. He could also travel through entrances to the Underworld without the assistance of a Skulkin vehicle, though when carrying cargo such as the Golden Weapons, he had to rely on the help of his army's transportation. At the same time, he was also described as being a brilliant leader and tactical genius in the eyes of Master Wu, who had countless years of experience.
Samukai had four arms and a large head. He also had two scars above his eyes and a big brown backbone. He wore the standard chest plate of a fire-based General of the Skeleton Army. He also once wore the helmet Lord Garmadon wore in 2011, as it seems this helmet goes to the ruler of the Underworld, symbolizing/ensuring their control over the skeleton army.
In battle, Samukai generally wielded four daggers with small skulls on the hilts. Apart from general melee combat, he could also twirl the blades in his hands, enhancing their cutting power, or throw them with impressive accuracy at enemies or objects, and was also a master at wielding a double-bladed ax.
After attacking the Ninja in the Forest of Tranquility, Samukai gained three of the four Golden Weapons; the Scythe of Quakes, the Shurikens of Ice, and the Nunchucks of Lightning. He used them all to great effect against Master Wu, overwhelming him with the combined elements of Ice, Lightning, and Earth.
However, when he picked up the Sword of Fire and attempted to use all four Golden Weapons against Lord Garmadon, he was destroyed, as their combined power would overwhelm anyone apart from the First Spinjitzu Master. In fact, Lord Garmadon had counted on Samukai's betrayal giving him the means of making himself powerful enough to possess all four Golden Weapons at once.
During his return in the Day of the Departed, Samukai wielded a Departed Blade styled to resemble his old double-bladed bone ax.
- Of all the Skulkin minifigures, Samukai appears the least in the sets, only being released in 2505 Garmadon's Dark Fortress and 2507 Fire Temple. Because of this, he is the most desired Skulkin minifigure, and most valuable.
- Samukai's name is a pun on of the word "Samurai," and possibly "Kai" as well, hinting that he is the Fire general.
- In a twist of irony, his original name was "Grim" as a reference to the Grim Reaper. Fitting, as he used to be the ruler of the Underworld before Garmadon took over.
- Samukai is the only Skulkin that doesn't have a spinner or a Character Card. This was due to his unique minifigure design making the spinner less stable (a problem that would later prevent the Serpentine Generals from appearing in spinner sets), or because his four arms would give players more options on weapon placement, making Samukai a potential game-breaker against other "normal" characters.
- In the sets, Samukai's armor is black and his spine is white, yet in the pilot episodes, both have a brown coloration. This was later fixed in the mini-movie "An Underworldly Takeover," and later in "Wrong Place, Wrong Time," where all scenes he appeared in, even repeats, had his armor recolored to black and his spine to white. In "Day of the Departed," they're both black.
- His appearance and role in the series are reminiscent of General Grievous (from Star Wars). Notably, both Samukai and Grievous are four-armed generals who are predominantly white in coloration and who act as the second-in-command of the evil forces. In "Way of the Ninja," Samukai even used a similar technique to General Grievous, rapidly spinning his weapons in his hands to act as shields and saws. Both were also deceived by their "masters" as part of a larger plot and were unaware that they were mere pawns. However, Samukai differs from Grievous in rebelling against his master, and in being made aware of his master's intent to betray him before meeting his demise.
- The LEGO: Ninjago website indicated that the skull on the table holding Clouse's Book of Spells was that of Samukai.
- Samukai is a playable character in LEGO Ninjago: Tournament.
- He was mentioned in Shadow of Ronin, despite ironically being one of the few characters, alongside the Overlord and Clouse, to not be playable.
- He was the first Ninjago character to have four arms. However, in the timeline of Ninjago, Kozu was the first character to have four arms.
- In chapter 11 of "Way of the Departed," Clouse contemplates that "Samukai had been a mighty warlord early in his career, but he had quickly lost his way in his greedy conquest for riches, land and power. Yet there were no records of desertions or mutinites despite all the atrocities he and his merciless armies caused."
- In a comic book, Samukai was shown to have fought Garmadon and lost to him when Garmadon first arrived in the Underworld.
- His Lego.com description states ￼him to be a board tennis player, but it is unknown weather this is true or not.