Snake Eyes Sets Up a New GI Joe Cinematic Universe - Here's How
Warning: The following contains major spoilers for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, now in theaters.
Eight years after the G.I. Joe franchise's initial attempt to build a live-action film series came to a screeching halt with 2013's G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the franchise has been completely rebooted with its new movie Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins. As the title would suggest, the film explores the backstory of the team's resident ninja warrior Snake Eyes, offering a look at the man behind the mask as he trains in ninjitsu in Japan and develops his own code of honor. And while the focus is aptly on Snake Eyes for much of the film, the story does weave in major elements of the wider G.I. Joe franchise and set a course for potential sequels to follow moving forward.
As Snake Eyes becomes embroiled with the yakuza as part of his lifelong search to find the man who murdered his father before his eyes as a child, he meets Tommy Arashikage, the heir to the Arashikage ninja clan. Recruited by the clan after he saves Tommy's life, Snake Eyes is secretly still working with the yakuza that wants revenge on the Arashikage. Unbeknownst to Snake Eyes when he begins this infiltration mission, however, the yakuza syndicate he is working for made a deal with a far more sinister organization operating from the shadows: Cobra.
Tommy and the Arashikage Clan's chief of security Akiko reveal to Snake Eyes that they are being targeted by the yakuza and Cobra, explaining that Cobra is a shadow organization that performs and supports criminal and terrorist activities around the world. One of Cobra's most notorious and feared operatives is Baroness, who is working directly with the yakuza to obtain a secret weapon protected by the Arashikage Clan. And just as Cobra has operated from the shadows in service of evil, Snake Eyes learns the Arashikage Clan has quietly been working with G.I. Joe, an elite squad that combats Cobra around the world.
While G.I. founder and leader General Joe Colton is only mentioned in passing, the team's formidable trooper Scarlett arrives in Japan to work with the Arashikage and continue her pursuit of Baroness. This leads to the unexpected development of the two temporarily calling a truce to confront a mutual threat in an out-of-control yakuza after the syndicate's leader Kenta seizes the Arashikage weapon for himself. After Kenta is defeated, Baroness and Scarlett resume their vendetta while Snake Eyes politely declines to join G.I. Joe in order to focus on reconciling with Tommy. Unknown to Snake Eyes, however, Tommy has decided to become his greatest enemy.
Snake Eyes' greatest enemy has always been the white-clad ninja warrior Storm Shadow, and the origin of the two men's feud is revealed. Having disgraced himself by using the Arashikage's ancient weapon against Kenta, Tommy is cast out of inheriting the Arashikage Clan. Vowing revenge against the man who lied to him and helped this dishonor come to pass, Tommy is recruited by Baroness to join Cobra and takes on the moniker of Storm Shadow, with the namesake's inspiration being his family's nickname for his uncontrollable temper. And while Cobra and G.I. Joe continue to wage their war from the shadows around the world, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow's feud is now front and center for the film series moving forward.