Simu Liu (above), star of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” greets fans at the Marvel film’s world premiere in Hollywood on Monday. The red carpet event was a moment to celebrate as the film marks the first time an Asian has been cast as the lead in a Marvel superhero film. Liu, already known for “Kim’s Convenience,” has emerged as a powerful, outspoken voice for Asian Americans.

“Well, if you look over the course of our history, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the internment of Japanese Americans, we have a long history of being ‘othered,’ and a lot of people, myself included, grew up feeling like they didn’t really belong,” Liu said. “And that’s why a movie like this is so critically important, for adults, for children. I want everyone to know that they’re seen.”

“Shang-Chi” also stars Awkwafina, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Michelle Yeoh and Ronny Chieng (chatting on the red carpet at right).

A synopsis released by Marvel Studios says Shang-Chi must confront the past he thought he left behind, when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.

Advance tickets are on sale for the film, which opens nationwide in select theaters on Sept. 3.

— GWEN MURANAKA

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