|“Hah! Too bad, thought I'd find something special here.”|
|— Master Wu to Kai|
|"Way of the Ninja"|
|Season Pilot, Episode 1|
|Air date||January 14, 2011|
|Written by||Dan & Kevin Hageman|
|Directed by||Michael Hegner and Justin Murphy|
"The Golden Weapon"
At Four Weapons Blacksmith, Kai and his sister Nya are hard at work crafting weapons when Master Wu comes by. The old man explains that he knew Kai and Nya's father, but Kai then drives him off after an exchange of insults.
Moments later, a dark cloud appears over Ignacia, which signals that the arrival of the Skulkin. Atop the Skull Truck, Nuckal begs to lead the attack, claiming that he's "dying to go down there"—beside him, his fellow General Kruncha irritably reminds him that they're already dead. Nevertheless, the Skulkin commander, Samukai, orders his troops to attack, and the Skull Truck races towards the blacksmith shop, surrounded by skeletal motorcycles.
Seeing the approaching skeletons, Nya wonders what's going on, but Kai simply tells her to stay in the shop while he confronts the invaders. Donning armor and taking up a sword, he challenges the Skulkin forces, doing surprisingly well despite the undead warriors' physical and numerical advantages. Wielding a bamboo staff, Nya joins in—despite Kai's warnings—and the two of them manage to fend off the Skulkin soldiers. Unnoticed, Kruncha and Nuckal sneak into the store, searching for something. After a scuffle with each other, the Generals find what they seek on the back of the shop's sign—a large piece of parchment.
With the soldiers defeated, Kai challenges Samukai himself, but the four-armed skeleton quickly overwhelms him. Kai is eventually knocked down and disarmed, but Master Wu intervenes before Samukai can deliver the finishing blow, knocking the Skulkin General around with a strange golden tornado of energy. After exchanging a few taunts, Samukai throws his daggers at a nearby water tower, forcing Master Wu to save Kai before the structure collapses. Retreating to the Skull Truck with his fellow Generals, Samukai tells Kruncha to "take the girl!" In response, Kruncha fires the truck's bone hand, snatching Nya as the skeletons retreat to the Underworld.
Kai thanks Master Wu for saving him, but demands to know what just happened. Master Wu explains that the Skulkin were acting on the orders of Lord Garmadon, the evil older brother of Master Wu himself. They have been battling for most of their lives, with Garmadon constantly seeking a means of escaping his prison in the Underworld. Wu then tells Kai that he sensed the "Fire" within him, which will allow Kai to save Nya—but first, he must train to become a Ninja. Confused but determined to save his sister, Kai agrees.
At the Monastery of Spinjitzu, Master Wu immediately puts Kai through the training course in the courtyard. After a few tries, Kai successfully completes the course, prompting Master Wu to tell him that his final test will be tomorrow. Satisfied with his progress, Kai prepares for bed, only to be ambushed by three mysterious black ninja.
- Cole - Kirby Morrow
- Garmadon - Mark Oliver
- Jay - Michael Adamthwaite
- Kai - Vincent Tong
- Kruncha - Brian Drummond
- Nuckal - Brian Drummond
- Nya - Kelly Metzger
- Samukai - Michael Kopsa
- Wu - Paul Dobson
- Zane - Brent Miller
For the transcript of this episode, click here.
- Parts of this episode—along with parts of "The Golden Weapon" and "King of Shadows"—appeared in the Season 2 episode, "Wrong Place, Wrong Time."
- In Master Wu's story, the First Spinjitzu Master's hair is different than its appearance in the episode "Tick Tock," and a few other flashback episodes. The designs of the young Garmadon and Wu are also different.
- Vincent Tong released an image of the first page of this episode's script on Twitter on January 14, 2016 to celebrate the five year anniversary of Ninjago.
- Some versions of the episode place it and "The Golden Weapon" together as a single episode, due to the combined time length being 20 minutes, the normal length of an episode.
- Although it is the first episode of the series, numerically Episode 1 Rise of the Snakes is the first episode of the series
- When Master Wu corrects Kai when he failed to say "Spinjitzu," his staff shortens in length.