RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens as Raya (Kelly Marie Tran) is riding her giant pet Tuk Tuk (Alan Tudyk) through a desert wasteland. She explains through narration that 500 years earlier, the land was once known as Kumandra, which was prosperous and thriving. There even lived dragons with magic powers among the people. Soon, sinister spirits known as the Druun came alive, causing people to turn to stone and growing stronger with each person they consume. The dragons used their magic to create the Dragon Gem, entrusting it to their young sibling Sisu (Awkwafina), who used the Gem to vanquish the Druun and seal them away, but all the other dragons turned to stone and did not return when the humans did. The people of Kumandra sought the Gem’s power, leading to them splitting into five separate clans – Tail, Talon, Fang, Spine, and Heart.
Centuries later, a young Raya is with Tuk Tuk entering the temple where the Heart clan (which she is part of) is keeping the Dragon Gem. After getting through the booby traps, Raya finds herself facing an adversary guarding the Gem. She briefly spars with him until it is revealed that this man is her father, Chief Benja (Daniel Dae Kim), leader of the Heart clan.
Benja hosts a feast to unite the other clans and potentially revive Kumandra as it once was. When the other four clans arrive, Raya approaches Namaari (Jona Xiao), daughter of the Fang clan’s Chief Virana (Sandra Oh). The girls appear to become friends just as the clans gather for the feast. Raya and Namaari express their admiration over the dragons, with Namaari gifting Raya with a necklace of Sisu. Raya then brings Namaari to show her where they keep the Dragon Gem, but this was Namaari’s plan all along as she was using Raya to get close to the Gem so Fang can have it. The other clans storm into the temple, but despite Benja’s attempt to keep them calm, the clans start fighting for the Gem until it is dropped and shatters. This causes the Druun to come back and begin attacking, turning people to stone. As Raya and Benja flee, he notices that the Druun are repelled by water. Members from the clans grab pieces of the Gem as they run, with Benja taking one piece and giving it to Raya. Knowing that the Druun are getting closer, Benja entrusts her with the Gem piece and to get to safety. He throws her off the bridge into the river just before he is turned to stone.
Six years later, Raya and Tuk Tuk make their way into the Tail land. She has spent the last few years searching for the other Gem pieces but to no avail. Raya and Tuk Tuk come across a crashed ship with a trail of water leading into it. Raya enters and calls out to Sisu, tearfully begging her to come back to help her. The water around her begins to float before it brings Sisu back. The dragon is unaware until Raya explains that she has been asleep for 500 years, her siblings are gone, and the Dragon Gem is broken. Sisu is dismayed since she isn’t sure how to fix things because it was her siblings who made the Gem and only trusted her to use it. Raya gives Sisu her piece of the gem, which causes her to glow, which is the magic of her sister Amba. Outside, the Fang warriors, led by Namaari (now played by Gemma Chan), start making their way through the land, as they know Raya is looking for the Gem pieces.
Sisu joins Raya and Tuk Tuk as they make their way to a cave where the Tail chieftess had kept her piece of the Gem. The cave is booby-trapped, and they find the skeleton of the chieftess still holding her piece after falling victim to her traps. Raya makes her way across the gap with Sisu’s help, and when they get the piece, it causes Sisu to turn human, a power held by her shapeshifting sister Pranee. Namaari and the Fang warriors show up moments later. Raya still holds a grudge against Namaari for her betrayal, and Raya uses her wits to set off a trap to keep the Fang clan under while she escapes with Sisu and Tuk Tuk. The Fangs chase the heroes on their cat creatures, but Raya manages to lose them when they hit the water. They enter a boat run by a ten-year-old boy named Boun (Izaac Wang), who offers them food and a ride for money. Raya gives him some jades to evade the Fang clan, but Sisu jumps in the water to turn back into a dragon and help swim the boat away from the Fangs. However, Raya asks Sisu to maintain her human form until they find all the pieces of the Gem.
Boun guides Raya, Sisu, and Tuk Tuk through the night, sailing across the river that keeps the Druun away. Boun has lost his family to the Druun and has had to fend for himself. Sisu explains that the Druun were born from human discord and are the opposite of what dragons stand for. They make their way into the Talon land, where they hope to find the Gem piece kept by Talon’s chief, Dang Hai (Sung Kang). Sisu thinks they can appeal to Dang Hai with a gift, while Raya goes off with Tuk Tuk to find the piece herself. Raya spots a little baby, Noi (Thalia Tran), all by herself. It’s just a trap set up by Noi and her companions, three Ongis (monkey-like creatures), so that they can steal from her. They run until they hit a wall and are forced to give Raya the Gem pieces back. When Raya realizes Noi has no family to go to, she asks for her and the Ongis help to get the piece. Meanwhile, Sisu listens to Boun about buying things on credit, so she goes off swiping everything she can with the promise of credit. When the merchants surround her, she is taken by an old lady, Dang Hu (Lucille Soong). After Noi and the Ongis distract the guards, Raya enters Dang Hai’s palace and finds a man that she thinks is Dang Hai, only for the man to reveal that Dang Hai has since been turned to stone by the Druun, and Dang Hu is the new chieftess. She takes Sisu to a part of the land where the Druun wait outside, and she threatens Sisu unless she tells her where the other pieces are. Raya, who realized Sisu was in trouble, finds her after fending off the Druun and takes Dang Hu’s piece, which allows Sisu to produce fog (courtesy of her brother Jagan) and helps them escape. Noi and the Ongis join the heroes on Boun’s boat.
Namaari and her fellow warriors return to Fang to report to Virana. She wants to try and ambush Raya in Spine land before she gets the next piece. However, Virana thinks Namaari would only be acting based on emotions and impulse, and that they don’t need to do anymore to try and benefit Fang since they already did enough to keep it prospering and keeping the Druun away.
On their way to Spine, Raya talks to Sisu about how she felt her father’s vision of a united Kumandra fell because of putting his trust in the wrong people. Sisu feels that trust is the only way to make things right again, as her siblings trusted her of all the dragons to protect the world from the Druun. They reach Spine and approach a village. Sisu tries to approach head-on with the belief that the leader there will trust her kindness, but it gets her and Raya captured. They are met by Tong (Benedict Wong), a Spine warrior who is the last survivor of the village after the Druun attacked. Tuk Tuk bursts in with Boun, Noi, and the Ongis, and they tie Tong up before getting his Gem piece. Soon, Namaari and her warriors approach the village gates. After realizing that Tong is alone and has lost as much as the others have, she lets him go and tries to find a way to hold off Namaari while the others escape. Raya faces Namaari and battles her, but as she starts to lose, Sisu comes out and reveals her dragon form to everyone. As Namaari is stunned, Sisu uses her fog powers to get Raya and the others away to safety.
Raya is forced to reveal to the others (now joined by Tong) about the quest to use Sisu’s help to defeat the Druun and bring everyone back to life. The others agree to join in the quest to free their loved ones. The group approaches Fang and tries to come up with a good plan to get the Gem piece. Sisu thinks it would be easier to befriend Namaari so she willingly gives it up, but Raya still refuses to trust Namaari. They pass through Heart and come across the statues of Sisu’s siblings, and she recounts the moment where her eldest brother Pengu made it so that she would use the Gem. They also find Benja’s stone body. Raya decides to listen to Sisu and try to form an alliance with Namaari.
Raya secures a meeting with Namaari and gives her the dragon pendant that she gave her when they were kids as a token of peace. Namaari presents her Gem piece, but after Sisu emerges and they show the other pieces they recovered, Namaari threatens them with a crossbow and demands that Sisu and the pieces go back to Fang with her. Sisu approaches her and tells Namaari she trusts her to do the right thing. Raya tries to use her sword to disarm Namaari, but it backfires and accidentally causes Sisu to get struck with an arrow, which appears to kill her. The water in the land disappears, and suddenly, there is nothing left to hold the Druun back.
With the land falling into chaos, Namaari rushes back to Fang, only to find that Virana has already been turned to stone. Raya follows her, full of rage and vengeance. They battle once more, even as everything falls apart around them, and when Raya has Namaari at her mercy, she resigns to her fate, but Raya cannot bring herself to kill her. The others try to get the pieces to Raya, only for everyone to fall down a hole. The magic in the Gem starts to fade, and the Druun start to get closer and closer. Raya then remembers Sisu’s words and realizes the only way to stop this is through trust. She decides Namaari must be the one to unite the pieces. After Raya gives her the Heart’s piece, she is turned to stone. Boun follows her lead and gives his piece to Namaari before he stands next to Raya and is petrified. Tong and Noi give their pieces as well and join their friends, along with the Ongis. Namaari puts the pieces together and stands with them, also as stone. For a moment, nothing appears to happen, until a flash of light bursts out and spreads across the land, destroying the Druun.
The magic from the Gem revives not only the humans but the dragons as well. They use their powers toward the water to revive Sisu as well. She is delighted to see her siblings again. Raya and her friends run to reunite with Sisu, and they also accept Namaari as an ally now as well.
The heroes return to their lands and are reunited with their families. Raya returns to Heart and sees that Benja is alive, and he is elated to see his daughter grown up and as the hero he knew she would become. Raya surprises him by introducing him to Sisu, who tells Benja all the greatness Raya accomplished. She then presents the other members of the clans arriving, finally ready to unite and become Kumandra once again. Sisu then rejoins her siblings as they take to the skies.
Long ago, the land of Kumandra was prosperous and thriving, with dragons roaming the land. However, the conflicts of man led to the creation of the Druun, dark spirits that turn humans to stone and lay waste to the land. The dragons entrusted their sibling Sisu with the Dragon Gem, which she used to trap the Druun and restore the humans, but the dragons remained stone. The humans split into five clans - Tail, Talon, Spine, Fang, and Heart - to divide the land.
500 years later, Chief Benja of the Heart clan tries to unite the tribes at a feast. His daughter Raya tries to befriend Namaari, daughter of the Fang clan's Chief Virana, but Namaari tricks Raya into showing her where Heart guards the Dragon Gem in an attempt to seize it for Fang. The other clans fight for it, causing it to shatter and revive the Druun. The pieces are taken by the chiefs of each clan, but Benja gives Raya their piece so that she can eventually find a way to repair the Gem and unite everyone, just before he and countless others are turned to stone.
Six years later, Raya and her pet Tuk Tuk have scoured the land in search of the Gem pieces. Raya manages to summon Sisu and uses her help in locating the other pieces, all of which provide Sisu with a power using the magic of her siblings. Namaari and her Fang warriors are also after the pieces, but more for control over the land. Raya and Sisu meet others like Boun, a 10-year-old who operates a boat with shrimp for money; Noi, a baby con artist who uses her partners, Ongis, to scam others; and Tong, a warrior who is the last in his village. All of them lost people to the Druun, and they all help Raya and Sisu in their quest.
When the heroes must get the last piece from Fang, Sisu tries to get Raya to trust Namaari and form a truce to get what they need. This backfires after Namaari threatens them with a crossbow, and Raya uses her sword to disarm her, only for an arrow to accidentally hit Sisu. Her apparent death causes the water in the land to dry up, now leaving nothing to keep the Druun from attacking. They begin to take out the surviving people. Raya fights Namaari once more until they and Raya's friends are all trapped with their Gem pieces. Remembering Sisu's words, Raya decides to trust Namaari to put the Gem back together. After Raya and her friends do so and turn to stone, Namaari puts the Gem back together, and the Druun are gone for good. The humans and dragons are all revived, and the dragons use their magic to revive Sisu.
Raya parts ways with her friends as they may finally reunite with their families, and she now views Namaari as a friend. Raya returns to Benja, and the other clans arrive to finally restore Kumandra to its former glory.