Emperor Han was a Chinese warlord who succeeded in becoming the first Emperor of China. However, his quest for immortality ultimately led to his being cursed and entombed. He was later resurrected but was defeated by Rick O'Connell and his family before he could extend his reach to the rest of the Earth.
Han managed to defeat his enemies, as well as to construct a massive wall that served to protect his newly-acquired empire from invaders. After some time, Han's interests turned to preserving his youth as an immortal, and so sought a witch named Zi Yuan, who was said to know the secrets behind immortality. Cursed due to his betrayal of the sorceress, Han was preserved as a terra-cotta statue for centuries until he was finally resurrected. Upon being resurrected, Han attempted to once again conquer, reaching immortality at one point, but was finally destroyed by Rick O'Connell.
The Emperor Han had intended to conquer lands in his name, and succeeded in claiming many territories for himself with no opposition; none in China could best him in strategy or strength, as many times during his campaigns, several assassins were sent to kill him in his sleep, but the men were all defeated before they could come close to harming the Emperor.
Han went on to vanquish all opponents, destroy many settlements, and slaughter countless innocents, but in time his interests eventually would turn from conquering lands to conquering death, for his empire would be for naught if he could not be alive to rule it. Han had learned, in his desires to become immortal, of a witch that knew of the means to immortality, and so sent his trusted general and friend, Ming Guo, to bring the witch back. Once the witch, Zi Yuan by name, was brought before the Emperor, she confessed that she did not know the means of immortality, though she knew where to find it: in the monastery of Turfan.
Han had sent his general and the sorceress to Turfan to find the formula to become immortal, though Ming Guo and Zi Yuan had, while in Turfan, fallen in love, to the Emperor's displeasure and defied his command that no man touch her. Zi Yuan had returned from Turfan with the Oracle Bones, a packet of ancient spells and enchantments that contained the secrets of immortality, and cast the spell to grant the Emperor his desire in Sanskrit, a language that the Emperor did not know: as punishment, Han ordered Ming Guo to be drawn and quartered by four horses. Han told Zi Yuan that if she agreed to become his queen, Ming would be spared, but Zi Yuan knew that the Emperor would never keep his word: the Emperor indifferently responded that she was right, and had Ming killed regardless.
That moment, Han attempted to stab Zi Yuan with his dagger, and stabbed her, to which Zi Yuan cast a spell on the Emperor that transformed all his troops, horses, and eventually the Emperor himself into terracotta statues as she escaped.
In his demise, the Emperor was entombed in an elaborate terracotta tomb, shaped to resemble a carriage with horses, but the Emperor's body was interred in one of the terracotta figures rather than the area for his body, in which was stored the corpse of a eunuch; the resulting coffin was interred in a chamber in which resided the Emperor's prized possessions and was even adorned with the Emperor's favoured concubines, all mummified with him.
This would not be the end for the emperor, however, as centuries later, explorers had visited his tomb, looking for it, among them Sir Colin Bembridge, who was killed in the tomb entrance by a booby trap in the 1800's. Years later, in 1947 A.D., the rising archaeologist Alex O'Connell, along with his own professor, Roger Wilson, visited the Emperor's tomb in China. Many of the diggers accompanying them were killed by the booby traps but Alex himself managed to reach the tomb, finding the Emperor's elaborately-crafted coffin, which was then brought back to Shanghai.
Han's tomb was made into a new exhibit in the Shanghai Museum due to open the following day, and it was within the museum that Roger Wilson accompanied Alex O'Connell's parents Rick and Evelyn O'Connell in a preview of the tomb, where he revealed his duplicity: Roger Wilson was a double agent working for a rogue branch of the Chinese army and intended to bring Emperor Han back to life so as to restore China to its former glory. Within the museum, an artifact in the possession of Evelyn, the Eye of Shangri-La, was brought forward, producing a small amount of elixir that was splashed onto the Emperor's remains.
He was revived, but the curse was still on him, and whenever a piece of stone was chipped away from him, it would always grow back, essentially temporarily making him a living terracotta statue. He enlisted the help of General Yang who was acting on the aid of Professor Roger Wilson who tried to hitch a ride with the emperor on his chariot. But the emperor casually beheaded him with a red hot hand. While he was pursued by O'Connell, his wife Evelyn, and her brother Jonathan, O'Connell's son Alex and an immortal named Lin were clinging onto his chariot without his knowledge.
O'Connell and Jonathan eventually fire a large fireworks cannon toward the emperor. It fails, as the emperor merely just kicks the head out of harms way, and it hits a passing trolley instead. Eventually, he finds out about Alex and Lin. Lin is shot by Yang, but is uninjured. Alex and Lin, still clinging onto the chariot, are then split off by Yang, and the emperor promptly ices up the road so they can't follow. They all fail to catch the emperor.
He eventually advances to the gate of Shangri-La, where a fierce battle takes place. He casually stops some TNT set to blow up a tower needed to point the way to Shangri-La. He places the Eye on the tower and mortally wounds O'Connell just after Alex throws an explosive charge set to blow on some part of the mountain. An avalanche ensues. The emperor stops it at first, but then Lin tries to kill him with her cursed dagger, and the momentary distraction renders him unable to stop the avalanche, and he is knocked down out of the gate.
He gets out of the snow to find Yang trying to climb away. He asks where he was going, and Yang promptly comes back. The emperor eventually finds his way to Shangri-La and immerses himself in the pool of eternal life (but not before he breaks his stone shell off). He emerges invigorated, and he transforms into a hideous three-headed dragon and kidnaps Lin. Yang rides on his back and they all go back to where he was dug up.
While there, he raises up his terracotta army, which then proceeds to attack an undead army raised by Zi Yuan, who survived and became an immortal. Zi Yuan sacrificed her and Lin's immortality to raise the army. She confronts the emperor and has a brief swordfight with him before she lets herself get stabbed to get back the cursed dagger, and she finally dies moments later.
Fight with the O'Connell Boys
Eventually, he decides to stop the army himself, by negating Zi Yuan's spell. He is stopped by Alex and his father, who survived, but Alex is casually knocked out. O'Connell then challenges the emperor to a fair fight, without his sword and powers, which he agrees to.
At first, the emperor has the upper hand, and kicks Rick against the wall. Rick finds a half of the dragon dagger (broken earlier) with a division sign next to it. He realizes this is Alex's way of telling him the plan they had made earlier "Divide and Conquer" He grabs it up and proceeds to fight the emperor with all his might. He is about to plunge his half into the emperors heart, when Han twists his arm. Luckily at that moment Alex stabs him in the back with the other half of the dagger, allowing Rick to push his half in. The two halves connect and melt together in his heart, allowing Rick to pull out a full dagger. Han is consumed from the inside by lava and explodes, turning his army back to sand for good and possibly taking them to the Underworld.
Personality and Traits
Han was a ruthless tyrant who asserted himself into power by leading his troops on a merciless campaign throughout ancient China, killing any resisters along the way. Han could not be defeated by any assassins, regardless of their skills, but knew that, as he aged and his empire grew, he would need to become immortal so as to savour it always. Han displayed remorseless coldness in his orders and plans, notably at the execution of his former friend and most trusted general, Ming Guo, and the emperor was not known for keeping his word, even when he promised it. A spiteful and vengeful man, the emperor would strike down any that attempted to fight against him with callous prejudice. However, he appeared to have some sense of honor, since he agreed to a fair fight at Rick O'Connell when the latter questioned his honor. After his revival, he showed more care for his men, going out of his way to protect those loyal to him. His personality was based on the real-life first emperor named, Qin Shi Huangdi. They were both tyrannical rulers and obsessed with cheating death.
As the emperor, Han dressed in body armor typical of his time, and when in his prime, Han had a long ponytail and a clean shaven face. When he was made the emperor of all China, he had shorter hair, a mustache and small beard. By the time that the emperor was revived from his curse, he was encased in a movable shell-like encasing made of terracotta that could be blasted or broken apart but could regenerate into a molten form and finally back into terracotta. The emperor had reached the waters of Shangri-La and bathed in them, returning him to his physical prime and youthful appearance.
Powers and Abilities
As a warlord in his ancient empire, Han initially had formidable fighting skills, and was able to sense attacks even in his sleep. He was a master of martial arts and swordsmanship, overwhelming Rick O'Connell for most of their fight, with it taking both Rick and Alex O'Connell to finally kill him.
His natural fighting capabilities were coupled in his later years with the power to control the five archetypal elements of Wu Xing: Wood (木 mù), Fire (火 huǒ), Earth (土 tǔ), Metal (金 jīn), and Water (水 shuǐ). His control over these elements allowed him to manipulate them in any form, such as causing snow to sprout icy spikes, making ice appear from no where, stop an avalanche with immense effort, shoot and blast fire, even from his mouth, and conjure orbs made out of all five elements, which he made spin around each other, causing the undead army Zi Yuan rose up to to be telekinetically dragged across the ground and nearly returning them to death until he and the orbs where shot at by Alex O'Connell. In addition, he appeared to have a form of telekinesis, as he did a throwing motion with his arms and caused Lin to fly in the direction his arms moved, all while she was leaping towards him.
Upon his regeneration, Han was not entirely without fighting abilities, though he took the form of a desiccated corpse encased in a terracotta statue. He could heat his rocky limbs to a red-hot point, with which he could sever limbs and heads. He would continually shed away his terracotta casings, usually by either he or someone attacking him breaking the casing. However, if the casing broke, his body would burn and the casing would regenerate from molten substance and then instantly cool. He was also highly agile and strong despite the casing, allowing him to deflect a firework shot at him with an aerial kick. It also made his hits harder, as he easily knocked down Alex by head butting him, while he was not hurt by it. His resilience was also made inhumanly high, as he was not fazed by an avalanche hitting him, along with being shot repeatedly, even without his statue casings intact.
After gaining immortality, Han was able to shapeshift into any creature that he saw fit, notably a three-headed dragon or giant Fu-dog. As he was flesh once more, he appeared less resilient to attack as he was in his statue form, as he could be stunned by strikes and physically overpowered.
- He is loosely based on Qin Shi Huang, who became the first emperor of China and spent much of his life seeking immortality. He was also traditionally said to have banned, burned and confiscated many books of his time (specialy about alchemy for his quest on immortality) and executed many Confucian scholars by burying them alive. His public works projects included the unification of diverse state walls into a single Great Wall of China, as well as the city-sized mausoleum that was guarded by the life-sized Terracotta Army.