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Headscratchers / Kung Fu Panda 2

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    "Worst Day of My Life" 

  • How Shifu can think that day Po was chosen as the Dragon Warrior was worse than the day he was forced to fight his own adopted son, Tai Lung, after he went berserk seeking to take the Dragon Scroll by force?
    • Take your pick from the following options: (1)Shifu did not tell the truth because he wanted to use an example more familiar to Po/did not want to bring up the really painful memories (2)People tend to remember their relatively recent woes and misfortunes better than far-removed ones (3)Shifu was enough of a dick that losing the honors of "the master who trained the Dragon Warrior" forever hurt him more than losing his adopted son.
    • (4) Rule of Funny.
    • (5) Because it really was a terrible day for him, since it seemed like everything he had lost, everything he had denied Tai Lung, all of the mistakes he'd made, were all for naught. The Dragon Warrior - something he had striven for, pushed his son to destruction for - was reduced to (in his mind) a joke. By his own master. Imagine if you'd spent your whole life protecting something. You protect it even from the people you love, even from your own children. And then one day the person whom you respect most in the world turns around and gives that tremendous prize to some random bungling idiot who just dropped out of the sky. I think it was the worst day of his life because it was the first day where he thought that he might have lost his son for nothing.
    • I was bothered by that too, until I came to the same conclusion as point 5. Glad to see someone else could find the same sense in it that I did—I am not alone!
    • Also note that immediately after saying that it was the worst day of his life, Shifu adds that he then realized that the problem was within himself, which allowed him to resolve that inner conflict and achieve inner peace. Just because you solve a problem doesn't mean the problem never existed, and the same goes for pain: Just because you get over it doesn't mean that you were never hurt at all. If you get shot and recover, getting shot will still be pretty high on your list of shittiest things that happened to you, and the same thing applies here.

    Shen worthless 

  • I'm sure I never took my eyes off the screen until the very end of the credits. But I don't remember hearing/seeing that Shen's family thought he was worthless (Unless we're talking about when HE said it.)
    • All There in the Manual.
    • Okay, that actually tells me NOTHING. I think we need a rule somewhere that if you put down "All There In the Manual," you need to put down WHICH manual you're referring to.
    • Not to mention that the movie explicitly states that the reason Shen's family banished him was because they were horrified that he killed an entire village.
    • I've no idea which manual it is. Most I've heard is that it was part of his backstory. The reason he was banished has nothing to do with anything. It's totally unrelated to why his parents didn't see any value in him.
    • Maybe they changed something between their concept of his backstory and their enactment of it. I also only watched the film, and it seemed to me like Shen's parents were perfectly fine parents, and he messed things up all on his own.
    • I agree that the movie didn't support it, though an easy way to link the two is that was Lord Shen's perspective on the situation. He was sickly as a child, they didn't know how to care for him so sent him to be raised by the Soothsayer who clearly knows medicine (as seen later) who could care for him. Shen viewed this as them being ashamed of him for his color and sickly nature and saw it as abandonment. It's completely in character for him, as he viewed them banishing him for genocide as him being wronged.
    • The "manual" in question was the KFP website which was updated with info about all the characters' backstories before the sequel came out. Shen's whole story about his Parental Abandonment and being hated for being a sickly albino was detailed there. As to why it was removed, I am guessing because Dream Works learned their lesson from Tai Lung and knew they had to make things less ambiguous to keep the viewers from finding yet another villain Unintentionally Sympathetic.
    • I still would say that Tai Lung was intentionally sympathetic (supplementary materials do not form a united opinion here). But more importantly, Shen's backstory from what probably was the initial draft made him practically almost a clone of Tai Lung. The actual movie version still has heavy parallels with Tai Lung, but makes Shen a commentary on what Tai Lung would have turned into, had everything happened as he envisioned by the time of KFP 1 story (including the Dragon Scroll giving him more power). As we can see, successfully gaining the immense power he felt entitled to possess at the expense of his family did not make Shen a slightest bit happy. Neither he had any idea what to do with this power or what he wanted from life now, so he slided into just showing them, showing them all, how powerful he is. Same would have happened to Tai Lung in case of him successfully destroying/beating into submission/outliving the rest of the cast and becoming the most powerful kung fu warrior ever with the help of the Dragon Scroll. Except Shen at least had someone with remaining attachments to him (the Soothsayer, and the Wolf Boss). Tai Lung would have been completely alone on the top and with the quest that was his entire life essentially over.
    • Him being sympathetic was intentional, but they apparently didn't intend it to be as deep and overpowering as it was for so many. Which is why it sucks that they gave Tai Lung the fate they did; since he didn't, in fact, get to claim his power the way Shen did, and he has legitimate reasons for us to sympathize with him unlike Shen, it hardly seems fair that they both get killed. The fact the filmmakers say Tai Lung refusing to accept Po's explanation of the scroll's meaning was his Last-Second Chance and him refusing it means he can never have a Heel–Face Turn...doesn't bode well at all, suggesting they will either leave his fate unexplained or, if he does appear in the series or a later sequel, he will still be a villain. Thus making him flat, one-note, and losing all the dramatic potential such a storyline would hold. After the way he was defeated by Po, he does in fact have a chance to prove he isn't Shen, to reconnect with his father, find a meaning and purpose in life beyond fighting (or at least to give the fighting a purpose—protecting others, as kung fu is meant for). But they won't give him that, because of course villains are always bad and should never be allowed to change. For a company set on making movies that are Darker and Edgier, more adult and complex, it seems odd and disappointing they wouldn't address this issue. Do they think kids can't handle the idea of a bad guy becoming good?
    • Technically Tai Lung had multiple chances to stop what he was doing, all of which were rejected for various reasons that are argued or mentioned elsewhere. He heads for the Valley of Peace rather than simply disappearing after breaking out of prison (personally that's what I would've done, though I'd prefer to avoid prison in the first place). Later he defeats the Furious Five, the best Shifu has trained, at the same time. I'm curious as to whether or not he knew Tigress was his sister, but that's another topic altogether. He has basically proved himself as the best to everyone else, but apparently not himself. He could have stopped there with his "I'm the best warrior ever" reputation intact. He then faces off against Shifu, his father, and wins. He even gets an apology and recognition for his accomplishments from Shifu, something Tigress never got. There was actually a point where it looks like Tai Lung had calmed down, then it was back to "Where's my scroll?". He would have killed Shifu if Po had not shown up. Tai Lung eventually gets the scroll, doesn't understand its meaning, and promptly takes out his frustration on Po and gets humiliated. Even after that he tries to attack Po again. Granted that last one was pathetic, but it shows that Tai Lung had very little intention of stopping. In the end, Tai Lung is going to need some serious character development to be redeemable, assuming the cat is still alive.
    • Sure, but as has been pointed out multiple times up above, if Tai Lung either couldn't see what he was doing was wrong, ignored it because he thought he'd been promised the scroll or believed he had to have it in order to make Shifu proud of him (we never see or hear anything from him to suggest he was just greedy for power, or if he was what exactly he intended to do with the power once he had it), or was too arrogant/enraged/selfish to stop what he was doing, make amends, realize what good things he did have or could have, etc....this is as much Shifu's fault as it is Tai Lung's for raising him as he did. And of course, if Tai Lung were still alive and the possibility of redemption was broached, he would have to develop greatly as a character to achieve it. No one is denying that, in fact everyone who is defending Tai Lung is doing so because they clearly know how complex, painful, and meaningful such a process would be, and that's why they want to see it. So Dream Works is avoiding it because...they don't feel they can do such a character arc justice? They think it's too hard, too much work? They think no one cares or would want to see it? (Don't see how that could be the reason, since not only are there clearly lots of people interested in Tai Lung's fate and character, but the directors know people were finding him sympathetic, which is the perfect lead-in to such a plot.) They only want to focus on Po because he is their hero and Chosen One? They just don't think Tai Lung can be redeemed so why bother? You can see why most of these possible explanations could make people not particularly pleased with the writers' choices.


    Shen's age 

  • So...exactly how old is Shen supposed to be? When we first see him in his factory...thing, he says "I've waited thirty years for this..." What in the name of Flying Rhino does that even mean? Thirty years since when? If he's referring to his lifespan, that would mean he was thirty; but the context is that he's been waiting thirty years to take over China, so unless baby Shen was plotting world domination that guess is out. If he's talking about when he was exiled, he was probably between his teen years and his twenties - twenties are more likely since he could command an entire army and go into battle as well to kill all the pandas, but that would place him in his fifties. While it is possible, it just doesn't...seem...right. That, and if he is counting from his exile, that would put Po at his thirties...
    • I didn't pick up on the "thirty year" time span until my second viewing. During his first meeting with Po, at one point Shen remarks that Po's had "thirty years to plot his revenge". The only revenge Shen would think Po could be after is the killing of his species. Since Shen's parents banished him for doing this almost immediately afterward, we can assume that's how long he's been living in exile. He was already an adult when this happened, so he's definitely over thirty, though by how much is unclear. And since Po was just a baby back then, that would make him thirty years old now at the very least.
    • It seems they're avoiding the improbable age thing, all the characters seem to be over twenty five (Tigress is about twenty seven to thirty).
    • EDITED: Tigress is probably a bit younger. At the time of the first film she cannot be much older than twenty, because she was adopted after Tai Lung lost it twenty years ago, and she looked very young in both "Secrets of Furious Five" and her flashback, only about the same size as baby Tai Lung, so probably no more than five years old (and it's not very likely that Shifu picked her from the orphanage immediately after Tai Lung's rampage). By the second film, several years have passed (because Tigress mentions that the length of her training is twenty years - again, she obviously couldn't have started training before Tai Lung was sent to prison, Tai Lung was in prison for twenty years, and she was several years old when she was adopted, so several of those twenty years of training should have been the years between films). Another indicator of the large time gap between films is the fact, that Po doesn't seem to personally remember Tai Lung's rampage, so it must have happened before or soon after he was adopted by Ping. As Po was adopted thirty years before the events of KFP 2, and Tai Lung was in prison for twenty years, as many as nine to ten years ought to have passed between the two films. Therefore Tigress might have been adopted halfway through Tai Lung's imprisonment and is less than twenty years old during KFP 1. However, this is not set in stone, as Tigress might have referred to the particular type of training, instead of the entire length of her apprenticeship under Shifu (indeed, we know from Secrets of the Furious Five that her initial training was the exact opposite to building up strength and endurance), so you might add another year or two. Note also, that as all time spans seem to be unusually round - and they all are mentioned with emphasis on the length of time the character suffered/trained/waited - it is most likely that characters round them up. As about Crane, Viper and Mantis. they all are almost certainly older than Tigress. They all have found their ways into Shifu's elite crew due to becoming accomplished kung fu warriors on their own, with Mantis already being a renowned master before joining the Five (and actually looking middle-aged in the films), while Crane/Viper started their actual kung fu careers in late teens at the earliest. Hard to tell about Monkey. Po is more than thirty in the second movie and no more twenty two - twenty three in the first. Tai Lung is forty (and now close to fifty, if he's alive), give or take a few years, depending on how fast he trained, might be biologically younger, due to the effects of the restraining shell. Shen is around fifty (thirty years of exile + his youth), maybe a bit younger, again, depending on how much of a prodigy he was. And the Wolf Boss should be around the same age as Shen.
    • In the third movie, Mr. Ping says he lied to Po about being adopted for twenty years. Even assuming a bit of rounding, that puts the panda massacre and Po's age at no more than the low twenties in this movie. Shen himself then is clearly counting more than the time he spent exiled. Probably the thirty years refers to how long he's wanted to rule Gongmen, which started ten years before his exile. How old that makes him is unclear, but we can assume he was at least in his upper teens during the massacre, making him at least in his upper thirties.

    Feel no pain 

  • Okay, so Tigress explains to Po that she doesn't feel any pain, right? But if you look closely in the scene where Po and the Five are heading towards Shen's tower and they all have handcuffs on, Tigress whispers a hardly audible "ouch", due to the pain of the handcuffs. What's with that?
    • Only saw the film once, so I might have missed something, but I think she meant her hands were unable to feel pain, not her entire body.
    • I don't think that quite answers the question. After all, aren't her hands where the cuffs are?
    • Logically, she meant her paws when she said "now I feel nothing", wording was just deliberately ambiguous to set up the dialogue during the confrontation with Po in prison.
    • Well, it's her arms too, if you remember the scene where Po punches her in the arm after commenting on how "hard-core" she is.
    • They're acupuncture cuffs. Assuming Tigress was speaking literally, her hands have probably been desensitized to the force of impacts, not piercings.
    • Or maybe her saying "ouch" was just her being facetious, by playing up to the wolf soldiers' expectations that the cuffs would hurt her. Alternately, she was expressing the hurt to her pride at being captured, not to any physical pain.
    • As a martial artist, this troper can say that desensitizing one's extremities to impact doesn't always have an effect on other senses. It may have been that the cuffs were chafing/cutting off blood flow, and the resultant pain isn't something Tigress can ignore

    Shen's weapons 

  • Shen's knives. I can never seem to figure out how they work. How does he conceal them so easily without them falling out of his robes? If they're strapped to his body, how is he able to throw them without actually touching them? And if they're hidden under his tail, like my brothers guessed, how does he, well, you know, throw them? And also HOW THE HELL DID HE FIT AN ENTIRE ONE METER SWORD IN THERE?!
    • It seems like they're stuck where his feathers would be, and he throws them just by flinging his arm.
    • They're peacock sword feathers?

    Po in Ping's noodle shop 

  • How the heck baby Po go from drifting in a basket of radishes to being found in the back of Ping's noodle shop? That shop does not look like it is anywhere near the docks.
    • It doesn't have to be near a dock. There are such things as carts and wagons. Po is not the only person that can use one. As Mr. Ping seems to expect regular deliveries, he hired somebody to deliver the crates of food he needed. That is how Po got to Mr. Ping's in the first place.
    • The basket was never placed in the water, it's likely that the crates were delivered.
    • The end credits have a stylized depiction of how Po traveled from the panda village to Ping's noodle shop.

    Ox and Croc's actions 

  • Was I the only one who found the way masters Storming Ox and Croc acted in a half of this movie slightly... illogical? They stayed in the cell and did not want to upset Shen and make him turn the cannons to the city - yet were perfectly all right with letting the heroes go alone and do precisely that anyway. Wouldn't it have been better for them to come along just to give the best odds on victory? And later, when Tigress left Po to the jail with them, they apparently did not even try to keep him safe like she said, allowing him to go right away back to the fray even despite the fact that the last time he messed up things pretty badly - and indeed, this time even more so. Did he have another inspiring speech for them? I would have liked to see it, to be honest: this way it seemed just random.
    • The truth is that Storming Ox and Croc could easily be absent from the movie and it wouldn't lose much...
    • Bear in mind that they saw the cannon in operation far sooner than the others did, and they actually saw it kill one of the greatest Masters in China. They were so demoralized that they were willing to stay in their cell rather than risk that fate for themselves. As for not stopping the others, it seems that with Shen's focus being on the Panda, they aren't worried about being connected to them as there are two outcomes to that: Either Shen assumes that the Five and Po never found them in the prison, or he assumes that they pointed Po and the others in the direction of Shen's revenge. Either way, Shen gets Po delivered to him, so what's the harm?


    Time of the year 

  • What time of the year does this movie take place? On one hand, when Shen says "The Year of the Peacock has begun", the Wolf Boss replies "You mean right now? Because it's the middle of the year". On the other hand, Po and the Furious Five disguise themselves as a dragon dance puppet, which, as far as I know, is normally used at Chinese New Year celebrations.
    • I always thought that Shen's line about the year of the peacock was just Shen being poetic as villains are wont to do.
    • Yes, Shen is just being hammy as usual. However, the contradiction still stands between the Wolf Boss's comment and the Chinese New Year decorations with the dragon puppet. Unless the decorations and the puppet are for a different holiday, that is indeed in the middle of the year.
    • The beginning states that Shen's parents were masters of artistic fireworks. The city most likely exported them, and expanded to New Year celebrations in general. Meaning they can't wait till right before New Year's to make millions of high-quality fireworks and dragons.
    • Dragon-puppets are used in public performances for the New Year celebrations. That doesn't mean that teams of dragon-puppet operaters can't have practice sessions at other times.
    • As an addendum to the above statement, what if there was a celebration around the time Shen arrived? Heck I'm willing to bet Shen had a celebration ordered out of hubris and a dragon parade was part of it.

    Wolves in China 

    Shen and pandas 

  • Am I the only one who was bothered by the fact that Shen, as far as we’re concerned, only went after pandas? Like, I know the movie is set in China, and I know the "warrior of black and white" is supposed to be Po, but the soothsayer never outright stated it was a panda, and there are black and white animals other than pandas out there. She could have just as easily been referring to an animal from outside of China, like a skunk, an orca, a zebra, a penguin... A snow leopard...Maybe even a white tiger.
    • Shen and the Soothsayer both refer to China as being the whole world during the movie. They clearly aren't factoring outside sources into their plans.
    • White tigers exist in China...
    • I don't recall seeing very many White Tigers in this universe either.
    • What about a snow leopard. Tai Lung is proof they exist in that country.
    • Snow leopards are mostly gray, with black and white accents.
    • White tigers are only known to come from India, and are extremely rare anyway.
    • Orcas live in water anyway, so could they even go on land?
    • As far as I'm aware, Crane is also a warrior of black and white...Really, though, it's possible Soothsayer did tell Shen and his parents more than that the warrior would be black and white - when she's treating to Po later, she does specifically tell him she predicted a panda would overthrow Shen.
    • I'm rewatching the movie now. When she talks to Po, the soothsayer says outright that she told Shen that he would be defeated by a panda.

    Noticing the genocide 

  • Okay, in this film we learn that Shen massacred all the pandas in China (or at least that's what everyone believes, but The Stinger shows some of them survived and are living far away). This kinda of a genocide doesn't seem like it could be just swept under the rug, yet Po had been completely unaware of it for his whole life. Didn't anyone ever tell him, "Hey, I heard your whole species was killed!". Or if they didn't know about the massacre, shouldn't they have at least wondered why Po was the only member of his species around? Didn't Po himself find that curious? Everyone calls Po a panda, so they must've known there is/was a species called pandas. Yet no one seems to know or care about what happened to all the other pandas, at least not enough to mention it to Po.
    • Since Shen is by right of birth and later by conquest ruler of Gongmen City and not all of China I doubt that that he had the resources to wipe out all pandas everywhere. If all he did was massacre the pandas in his own territory then no one would find it odd to run into pandas outside of Gongmen City's area of control, hence no reason to find Po that strange of a sight.
    • If the pandas had been an insular people before the genocide, seldom leaving their isolated village, it's possible that their sudden absence wasn't even noticed for years. Certainly there are plenty of species in Gongmen that hadn't appeared in the first movie, suggesting that the majority of animal types mostly stick to their own communities.


  • So, Po is unable to climb a huge flight of stairs and has to be carried up. Then, five minutes later, he can climb the outside of the same building, while the building is in the process of collapsing, while carrying a wounded teammate, and barely be out of breath? I'm fairly sure climbing up the outside of the building would be harder...
    • Adrenaline.



  • Why gorillas? I know that animals are civilized here and can travel, but considering that every other species here is native to China, this doesn't make much sense.
    • They're supposed to be Gigantopithecus, a prehistoric ape that used to live in China.
  • What happened to Shen's army? I know a lot of them died, but I'm pretty sure at least a few of them managed to swim to shore.
    • They probably decided to run for their lives before the apparently invincible panda decided to come after them. With their bosses gone they would have little reason to stay and fight. No leader, no pay. No pay, no army.
    • Indeed, if any of the other wolves witnessed Shen murdering their commander for refusing to blast his own troops, they may well have switched sides on their own initiative even if Po and the Five had died. Especially if, as per Real Life wolf social hierarchies, he was their patriarch as well as their military leader.

    Delivering Po 

  • Did whoever delivered those veggies to Mr. Ping not notice the huge baby panda sleeping inside one of them (I'm assuming Po must've fallen asleep at some point) who had eaten all the radishes? Or did they notice and just leave it to be someone else's problem? I know the latter option is kind of a thing, as sad as it is, but that's still pretty mean.

    Po's travel pack 

  • What happened to Po's travel pack? We see him wearing it in the first scene of the group traveling to Gongmen City, then he seems to have ditched it despite it being filled with useful supplies and his precious action figures. Even worse, we later see him use the Mantis figure as a distraction. Where was he keeping it if not in the pack?
    • His pants?

    False advertising 

  • (Joke question) Why is Po so judgmental about the Soothsayer's "false advertising" when he fully accepted that his dad lied about his special soup?
    • Accidentally misgendering someone is embarrassing. Lying about a soup ingredient is just stingy.

    Exiling Shen 

  • Why didn't his parents imprison Shen? I understand they loved him, but Oogway and Shifu didn't just let Tai Lung run wild in the wilderness for years. Even a House Arrest would be preferable as it would be almost impossible for him to make an army and build canons if he was stuck in a castle in or near the city. Instead, they just expelled him from the city, probably knowing one day he would return with an Army that would be just as nasty as the army that killed off most of the Pandas.
    • I think they just didn't have it in them to lock up and imprison their only son, and to look at him every day thereafter and be reminded of the atrocities he'd committed. The soothsayer does claim that banishing him alone was enough to break their hearts (or some such) - maybe that course of action was right at the brink of what they could handle.

    Injured wing 

  • What happened to Crane's broken wing? One scene he's forced to run, the next scene he's flying fine, and the next scene, well, "Wings of Justice!!!"
    • When did anyone say it was broken? He probably just strained or sprained it. Plus, we have no idea how long Po was out. Those two facts put together leads me to believe that Crane injured his wing in some way, and it healed off screen before the big confrontation.
    • Crane's left wing was indeed injured while Shen was firing cannon balls at the tower. Crane even says it himself, and it looks pretty messed up, but I don't think it was broken.
    • Most likely, kung fu masters can heal faster than ordinary beings, by directing their chi (also explains why medicine in KFP verse seemingly mostly boils down to acupuncture, i.e., chi manipulation). Once Crane had time to catch his breath, he was able to recover. Plus, Mantis is an acupuncturist, he may have had a hand — er — pincer in the deal.
    • One article claimed ninja were taught as children how to dislocate/relocate their bones to escape ropes. I know this is out there, but, considering many of Ninjutsu's techniques and strategies came from China, it is quite possible the Furious Five were taught this, meaning Crane probably relocated his wing into the socket. Or, a more realistic option, one of the Five popped his wing back into place, similar to Mr. Miyagi helping Daniel in the first Karate Kid movie.
    • Ninjas are NOT Chinese. Ninjas are Japanese. As is Karate, while we're on the subject. And besides that, most ninjas were female, and trained from birth. Crane is neither of those things.
    • It's a wing. It's mostly feathers. If some of them (particularly the ones he uses as Feather Fingers) were dislodged, he'd only be impaired until he could straighten them out again, perhaps reinforcing any broken shafts with splinters of bamboo.

    Wolf Boss escaping palace 

  • When did the Wolf Boss get out of Shen's Palace? Last time we saw him, he was hit by a flying piece of furniture, and not thirty seconds later, Shen escapes and orders the tower destroyed. Did he really climb down all those stairs in such a short amount of time?
    • It's a LOT easier to go down stairs than it is to climb them. He also likely fled just after Po and the others got free and attacked. And wolves are fast creatures.
    • And if he was still out cold, the same ape that got the Soothsayer out might've scooped him up and tossed him over a shoulder on the way. Those guys are surely strong enough to carry both a goat and a wolf, even a wolf in armor.

    Warrior of black and white 

  • After Shen was told that a warrior of black and white would defeat him if he continued on his dark path, he went out and apparently killed only pandas. Yet there are other animals out there that are more threatening then pandas that are black and white, like white tigers or even cranes (as Master Crane is mostly black and white). It could also be another seemingly albino animal like Shen, meaning it wouldn't even have to be an entire species of animal and could be an individual. Also because animals in this world wear clothes, it could be a black animal with a white outfit or vise versa. So why focus exclusively on just pandas when the prophecy never mentioned what kind of warrior would defeat him?
    • Maybe Po's biological father was a locally renowned Kung Fu warrior, and Shen's mind immediately assumed it would be him or one of his students who were fated to defeat him.
    • The sequel to this movie reveals why: Pandas were believed to be an ancient order of monks who knew how to manipulate Chi, to the point that the Warlord Kai wanted their power for his own to conquer China and Shen feared that it would be the method used to take him down due to the prophecy, so he was determined to invent something to counter it at all cost. Gunpowder just so happened to be nearby...
    • The soothsayer tells Po that she clarified to Shen exactly the kind of creature that was fated to defeat him. The "warrior of black and white" was just a bit of flavor text.


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