How Cobra Kai Season 3 Will Honor Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi

cobra kai season 3 mr. miyagi

Cobra Kai Season 3 is coming to Netflix very soon, and the official trailer revealed a plethora of new details that are helping to hold viewers over until the drama premieres. One of the biggest ways the trailer ramped up anticipation for Season 3 was by revealing that Chozen, Daniel’s Karate Kid II rival from Okinawa, would be returning for the TV show. Considering that the location will actually be used in the show, Cobra Kai co-creator Jon Hurwitz recently explained that filming in Okinawa gave the creative team the chance to honor the late Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi.

There is a lot to appreciate about Cobra Kai, including the way that it pays homage to the original Karate Kid movies. The Netflix series expands on what has already been established, adding in more layers and character development for each of these beloved warriors and their squads. That also happens to include Mr. Miyagi. While Daniel already went so far as to open a dojo named in Mr. Miyagi’s honor, Jon Hurwitz says Cobra Kai’s third season is set to explore even more regarding Mr. Miyagi’s history in Okinawa. Here’s what he told Collider:

One of the things that we love about Season 3 is it’s the first time that Ralph Macchio was actually filming in Okinawa, because they shot Karate Kid II in Hawaii. So we get to know a little bit more about Mr. Miyagi. We should take a moment and just talk a little bit more about Pat Morita’s amazing performance, as the layers in that performance, that’s one of those things that you watch the movie as a kid and then you watch it as you get older and you realize just how special that performance was. Mr. Miyagi was a character who was troubled, who was flawed, who had issues, who wasn’t eager to train Daniel LaRusso in karate. The memories you have are that warm relationship that Daniel and Miyagi have but, in a sense, if you rewatch The Karate Kid and then you watch early episodes of Cobra Kai, there’s sort of a similarity between Johnny’s attitude about Miguel and Miyagi’s attitude about Daniel in certain ways. Those characters actually overlap in quite a few ways. One of the things that we love about Season 3 is to be able to dig a little bit more into the past of Miyagi's karate and Mr. Miyagi himself.

That certainly sounds interesting. It’ll be exciting for viewers to learn more about Mr. Miyagi’s past. The late Pat Morita played the character so well throughout the original films, but there is still so much left to learn about his character. In the first teaser, Ralph Macchio's Daniel shares his belief that Mr. Miyagi would not have kept secrets from him because they were so close. However, it would seem that Daniel may discover a thing or two more about Miyagi’s personal past and his relationship with karate.

Meanwhile, co-creator Hayden Schlossberg added that more information on Miyagi’s past isn’t the only thing viewers should expect from Cobra Kai Season 3. Ultimately, Schlossberg wanted to “give greater insight and depth” into the characters of The Karate Kid franchise so that fans of the movies can go back and watch them in an entirely new light.

Cobra Kai Season 3 will premiere on Netflix on Friday, January 8. The series has already been renewed for a fourth season as well. For more on what to watch in the coming months, be sure to check out our 2021 winter and spring TV premiere schedule.

Mae Abdulbaki