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After the unlikely return that actors Ralph Macchio and William Zabka made to TV almost 35 years after they faced off in The Karate Kid, fans and critics alike were shocked that Cobra Kai existed at all - let alone that it was good enough to warrant a second season. Yet the YouTube Premium series persisted and now the two actors are returning to the martial arts universe for S2, which they discussed on the show's C2E2 panel - and gave fans a sneak peek.
SYFY WIRE attended the main stage panel featuring the actors behind Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso as they promote the second season of co-creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, and Josh Heald's nostalgic show. The rivalry on screen may be intense, but in person, the two stars were much more amicable than their warring dojos (Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do).
Macchio and Zabka explained the difference in fandom between now and then, saying that the reactions are now instant - be they comments or view count numbers. Macchio mentioned that the original film was the first studio production to deal with Japanese internment camps in addition to its saturation of karate into pop culture.
Macchio said that Daniel's return to Miyagi-Do will be a big part of season two - even though it's not the exact same location from the film. LaRusso will face "stumbling blocks" in his personal and professional lives when opening his own dojo, because though he has the knowledge, he may not be able to teach it well.
Zabka talked about the ending of the first season, explaining that shooting the final episode was "painful" because he felt like he was reliving some of the emotions of the original - where he's sidelined for Macchio's benefit and playing "the biggest jerk of all time." He also teased Johnny's story in the second season, where he is grappling the returning character John Kreese (both his surrogate father and sensei), where there may be a bit of a redemption arc. However, "he throws a wrench in everyone's plans," Macchio said, seeing as everyone thought Kreese was dead. Of course all that madness could be resolved by the end of season two, Zabka says, so they leave the audience wanting more and plan on the show being around "for many years to come."
Then the panel aired a sneak peek at S2 in which the two characters have a small confrontation over menus at a Mexican restaraunt. Nothing could be more uncomfortable. Tables are pushed together, eyes are narrowed, and - oh yeah - there's drama at a house party too. This season is going to create some friction.
Cobra Kai's 10-episode second season hits YouTube Premium on April 24.
You can find all of SYFY WIRE's C2E2 coverage here.