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Origin Story: Mortal Kombat's Sonya Blade!

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
Sonya has been in the series since day 1. She may have sat out Mortal Kombat 2, but that doesn't stop her from being the series' leading lady (sorry Kitana). Sonya can throw it down against ninjas and outworld villains alike so join MojoPlays as we cover her complete origin story.
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Origins: Sonya Blade

Released in 1992, "Mortal Kombat" quickly established itself as a mainstay of the arcade scene. Launching with seven playable fighters, Sonya Blade served as the roster's token female member. Originally, Stryker was slated for the final slot; however, Midway realized "Mortal Kombat's" roster lacked diversity, so, Sonya earned a promotion to the big leagues.

Born and raised in Austin, Texas; Sonya joined the United States Special Forces, eventually rising to the status of Lieutenant. Not much is known regarding the officer's early years as a Green Beret, but Sonya acquires a burning hatred for a criminal organization known as the Black Dragon, with the group's leader – Kano – drawing most of the soldier's contempt.

While 1992's game keeps the duo's history vague, the animated TV series "Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm" reveals that Kano took out Sonya's former partner. Other adaptations tend to support this version of events.

Backed by a highly trained military unit, Sonya tracks Kano to a remote island where Shang Tsung happens to be staging a Mortal Kombat contest. Sonya agrees to compete in the hope of Tsung sparing the Lieutenant's comrades, a dream that proves to be somewhat naive. With nobody else to depend on, Sonya teams up with Kano and the shallow Johnny Cage to fight against the seemingly invincible Goro. Following Shang Tsung's defeat at Liu Kang's hands, the island begins to fall apart, allowing the villain to kidnap both Sonya and Kano. Prior to being dragged to another realm called the Outworld, Sonya succeeds in sending a distress signal to her partner, Jax. To make matters even worse, Tsung offers the solider as a gift to the Outworld’s ruler, Shao Kahn.

Due to ranking among the first game's least popular fighters, the sequel relegates Sonya to a non-playable background character. The Lieutenant spends most of the story watching Jax participate in the tournament. Ultimately, Jax apprehends Kano and liberates Sonya, before escaping through a portal. Kano manages to instantly escape, but Sonya is slightly more preoccupied with Kahn's imminent attack on Earth.

Sonya truly starts to come into her own in "Mortal Kombat III." Overwhelmed by the Outworld's power, Earth is partially dragged into the alternate realm, an act that sucks dry most of the population's souls. Luckily, Raiden protects a couple of chosen warriors, including Sonya. After staving off Kahn's encroaching forces, the heroes journey to the Outworld to challenge the big dog himself.

Sonya crosses paths with Kano, who joined Kahn's team after escaping custody. Finally, the Black Dragon's leader and the Special Forces officer decide to settle the score, culminating in Sonya using a leg grab to throw Kano off a tower. With Shao Kahn and Kano defeated, the Earthrealm warriors leave the Outworld. Along with Jax, Sonya joins the Outworld Investigation Agency.

"Mortal Kombat 4" finds Sonya hunting another Black Dragon member: Jarek. After failing to apprehend the criminal, Sonya follows Jarek to a Netherworld realm called Edenia, which conveniently houses the game's central villain, Shinnok. Partnering up with Raiden, Liu Kang, and Jax; Sonya plays a crucial role in halting another potential invasion of Earth. Jarek basically shares the same fate as Kano, just with Jax performing the final throw instead of Sonya.

A couple of years later, Shung Tsung forms a deadly alliance with Quan Chi. To commemorate their unholy union, the pair decimates the Outworld Investigation Agency. Hoping to locate some unaccounted for members, Sonya accompanies the Earthrealm warriors to the place where it all began: Shang Tsung's island. In order to gain permission to enter the Outworld, Sonya battles a member of the newly introduced Red Dragon organization. "Deadly Alliance" concludes with the villains actually killing most of the heroes, including Sonya, and seemingly winning.

"Mortal Kombat: Deception" arguably coincides with the character's darkest hour, as a revived Sonya is reduced to the Dragon King's slave. Eventually, Ermac and Liu Kang succeed in breaking the spell. Once back on Earth, Sonya supervises a special task force to eliminate a faction of robot ninjas. Sonya awesomely infiltrates the organization's headquarters, but this conflict paled in comparison to a much larger sinister event transpiring at the time. Culminating in a battle between the Forces of Light and Darkness, "Mortal Kombat: Armageddon" pulled the curtain on the series' original timeline. Along with anyone else not named Shao Kahn or Raiden, Sonya meets a fairly gruesome end. The game closes with Raiden sending a warning to his past self about this catastrophic battle.

Following "Armageddon," NetherRealm Studios rebooted the franchise. Set in an alternate timeline, 2011's "Mortal Kombat" retells the events of the original trilogy, with some minor alterations along the way. Rather than killing Sonya's former partner, Kano was a government double agent working for the Black Dragon. Along with Jax, Sonya chases the informant to Shang Tsung's island and participates in the tournament, beating Kano in a one-to-one fight. As before, Sonya is written out of the second game but returns to defend Earth from Shao Kahn and Queen Sindel.

This timeline pushes Sonya's relationship with Johnny Cage to the forefront, with the mismatched couple being among the only characters to survive the events of 2011's reboot. After repelling Shinnok's forces and defeating Quan Chi, "Mortal Kombat X" skips ahead more than two decades; during which Sonya marries, has a daughter with, and divorces Johnny Cage. While the focus mostly shifts to the next generation, General Sonya shows up to capture Kano in the Outworld. Sonya's daughter, Cassie, defeats Shinnok, sparking a family reunion between all three Cages.

For better or worse, "Mortal Kombat" transcends gaming. Bridgette Wilson starred as Sonya Blade in 1995's movie adaptation and this version tries to stay loyal to the original. The only major difference is that Sonya gets to kill Kano during the first tournament. The sequel practically has nothing to do with the games, but – for what its worth – Sonya does snap Mileena's neck in a mud pit.

What’s in store for Sonya? Does Cassie's introduction spell the end for the experienced fighter? "Mortal Kombat 11" marks the next chapter in the franchise's storied legacy and, if Ronda Rousey’s casting is anything to go by, Sonya’s future is bright.
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