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Po: What's the deal with the green guys?
Tigress:  [She punches a jombie and pulls her paw back, wincing.] Some kind of jade zombies.
PoJade zombies?
Po and MonkeyJombies! [They point at each other.] Jinx!
  —While fighting the jombies, Kung Fu Panda 3  

The jade zombies, or "jombies",[1] are the secondary antagonists of Kung Fu Panda 3. They are the legion of jade minions controlled by Kai, who stole the chi of their respective kung fu masters and used it to do his bidding.

Membership

These are all kung fu masters who had their chi stolen by Kai, and then was later used as a jombie. While every master that Kai encountered was enslaved to become one of his minions, not all masters were used as a jombie. According to messages sent to the Jade Palace, every master in China had become enslaved before Kai's arrival.[2] Eventually all Jade Palace masters were enslaved as well, with the exception of Masters Tigress and Po.

Description

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The jombies are created from the chi of kung fu masters that Kai has collected, and are utilized by him in "as both a physical force and his extended realm of vision," and can even be used as a form of communication, seen when Kai speaks through them to threaten the Jade Palace masters. Essentially they are animated statues which while identical to the masters absorbed by Kai are formed from solid jade. The imprisoned chi of the jombie can be seen in their glowing green eyes. While a zombie still retains their formidable fighting skills, their stiff jade forms and loss of free will can restrict their ability to fully utilize it. While they feel no pain they appear to be capable of limited emotion, judging from the transformed Mantis' reaction to Po telling him he was still green and thus no different from his original self. When Kai has no need for a particular master's chi, he transforms it into a jade amulet that he hangs on his belt as a trophy.[1] Additionally, masters that were once jombies do appear to have some recollection of it, as Mantis claimed it didn’t work because he was still green after returning to normal.

History

In Kung Fu Panda 3

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KFP3-jade-soldiers

Jombies of the Badger Twins

After returning to the mortal world to begin his quest to destroy Oogway's legacy, Kai sent the jombie forms of Master Porcupine and the Badger Twins to seek out Oogway's successor, the Dragon Warrior, and bring him back to their master. The jombies managed to track Po down to the Valley of Peace, instigating a battle with him, Master Shifu and the Furious Five. Though the Jade Palace masters succeed in subduing the jombies, Kai takes to opportunity to threaten them, speaking through the jombies, before summoning them back to their master. The jombies dissolve into glowing green balls of chi and fly away.

In response to the threat, Masters Crane and Mantis are sent to investigate, only to be defeated and turned along with Masters Bear, Chicken and Croc. When Kai reaches the Jade Palace, the jombified forms of Crane and Mantis are subsequently used against their former friends. in the ensuing battle Crane and Mantis are able to successfully capture Viper and Monkey respectively, dragging them back to Kai to be absorbed. Shifu suffers the same fate soon after, with only Tigress escaping to warn Po.

Jade-soldiers-battle

Jombies fighting Shifu and the Furious Five

Later, when Kai arrives at the secret panda village with intent to absorb the chi of Po, Tigress and every panda living at that village, he summons a small army of minions to attack and capture the Dragon Warrior. Thanks to Tigress's warning, the panda were prepared and managed to fend off and distract the jombies in a village-wide battle while their master commanded them from a nearby frozen lake. It was here that utilizing so many jombies at once began to work to Kai's detriment, as the accumulation of different perspectives and physical blows from the pandas disorientated Kai long enough for Po to ambush the spirit warrior and utilize the Wuxi Finger Hold to send him back to the Spirit Realm.

It turned out, however, that the Wuxi Finger Hold had no effect on spirits. Feeling confident of his victory, Kai effortlessly defeated Po and recalled the jombies with the intention of personally absorbing everyone in the village, only for Po to grab Kai and use the finger hold on himself, forcibly taking Kai back to the Spirit Realm. After a lengthy battle in which Kai subdued Po and attempted to slowly transform him into a jombie himself, Po was able to use his newfound mastery of chi to defeat the spirit warrior once and for all by overloading him with the spirit energy. As Kai lost control over the massive amount of chi in his body, the jade amulets broke free and floated away from their former master as he was ultimately obliterated by the very power he'd sought to wield.

The chi of the living were sent back to the mortal realm and reverted back to their original selves, while the chi of the deceased presumably remained behind in the spiritual realm.

In Showdown of Legendary Legends

Jombie versions of the playable characters are available as bonus downloadable content. Those included are Shifu (PlayStation only), Oogway, Monkey, Crane, Croc, Chicken (PlayStation only), Bear, and Porcupine (jombie only).

Fighting style and abilities

As they are created from the chi of kung fu masters, each jombie battles with their own fighting style and techniques. As a whole, their movement is staggered due to their stone bodies, which alongiside their loss of free will can restrict them from fully utilising their skills, relying only on physical force to take down their opponents. To compensate for this weakness jombies are indestructible and seemingly incapable of feeling pain. Another drawback is Kai is able to feel any damage that is inflicted on his jombies, which is a major flaw when utilizing a large number of jombies at once. As Kai can see whatever the jombies see, increasing the number of jombies will also increase the number of perspectives and subsequently confuse their master. Essentially the more jombies he uses, the less control he has over the situation.

Trivia

  • Character designer Nico Marlet had designed scarab jombies to act as sidekicks to Kai, "some with flame designs and ribbons like Chinese dancers," in addition to some other creatures that eventually did not end up in the final film.[1]
  • Chinese jade has been traditionally associated with heavenly properties and indestructibility.[3] These qualities later caused it to be associated with Chinese conceptions of the soul and immortality.
  • "They zip from one side to another around their opponents in a disorienting way," says film animation supervisor/fight choreographer Rodolphe Guenoden. Animation-wise, frames are skipped while they move and fight to create a rigid feeling that directly contrasts the Furious Five's natural fluid movements.[1]

Gallery

Images

Videos

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Miller-Zarneke, Tracey. The Art of Kung Fu Panda 3, p. 73. ISBN: 9781608874941.
  2. Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016). Written by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger & directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Alessandro Carloni. Distributed by 20th Century Fox.
  3. Encyclopedia Brittanica - "Chinese jade" by Jerome Silbergeld and Michael Sullivan. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
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