Today, we look at an interesting retcon that Cobra Kai made to the Karate Kid mythos.
In Abandoned an’ Forsaked, we examine stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent) with a retcon (retcon stands for “retroactive continuity,” but we’re specifically talking about retcons that contradict earlier stories).
This is one of those retcons where I absolutely understand the logic behind it, but it’s still a retcon.
In The Karate Kid, when Johnny Lawrence is introduced for his final match against Daniel LaRusso, Johnny is described as the defending champion and “two time winner of the Under-18 All Valley Karate Tournament trophy.” In other words, Johnny clearly did not win back-to-back titles, or else he would have been introduced as the “Two-time defending champion.”
This is made even more evident in The Karate Kid Part III, when Daniel defends his title and the announcer specifically says that Daniel is the first back-to-back winner of the tournament.
However, in Cobra Kai, John Kreese is explaining to Miguel Johnny’s past in the tournament and explains how Johnny lost in 1981, but gave a spirited defense before then winning in 1982 and 1983 (he later easily defeated the 1981 winner in the 1984 tournament before losing to Daniel). It makes sense to suggest that Johnny lost at first and then fought back and won two years in a row before losing to Daniel in 1984. So it’s a totally logical retcon, but it’s a retcon nevertheless.
In Cobra Kai Season 4, Daniel makes sure that the announcers correctly credit Johnny for also being a two-time winner like Daniel is, but only Daniel was a back-to-back winner in the original films.
If anyone else has a suggestion for Abandoned an’ Forsaked, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!