|Family||Dante † (father)|
Veil † (girlfriend)
|Status||Realm between life and death|
|Affiliation||Quinn † (formerly)|
Juliet Chau † (formerly)
M.K. † (formerly)
|First appearance||"The Fort"|
|Portrayed by||Daniel Wu|
Frank Kauer (young)
Howard Tsang (young)
Sunny, also known as Sanzō, is a former Clipper who was widely regarded as one of the deadliest Clippers in the Badlands and is a former Regent to both Baron Quinn and Chau. He was in a relationship with Veil and fathered their son, Henry, whom he is currently on a mission to protect after the death of Veil.
Sunny was born as Sanzō, the son of the ruler of the mythical city of Azra. As a young child, he trained and was close friends with Taurin who was said to look up to him as a brother. However, Sunny became horrified by his father's brutal method of dealing with those who discovered Azra. After being taken by the Black Lotus, Sunny's memories were suppressed by his sister Kannin to protect him.
Sunny was discovered nude nearby a river, by Waldo, when he was a child. Having no parents nor a name, he was taken into the Fort. Sunny was given a name and eventually mentored by Waldo as his Colt. Quickly excelling, Sunny fulfilled his training and became a Clipper and eventually gained the rank of Regent.
Sometime during his youth Sunny also found a compass with the symbol of Azra.
Finding and mentoring M.K.
Being sent out to locate a transporter [of cogs], Sunny reached the scene only to see carnage of cogs and two Clippers. Investigating, he noticed a pair of broken shackles, implying that a cog had been taken. Spotting campfire smoke in the forest, he bumped into a group of nomads. The leader, who was sitting on a locked chest, attempted to turn Sunny away but Sunny persisted. Eventually, the nomads attacked, which caused him to effortlessly kill them all. Searching the camp, he found money with The Widow’s emblem. As he proceeded to unlock the chest, M.K. jumped out and attempted to flee. Noting his potential importance, he captured M.K. and brought him to The Fort.
Sunny informed M.K. that he would be a Colt and brought him to the Baron, where Sunny was used as an example for all the other young Colts to aspire to. After being in the middle of a heated, debate between Ryder and Quinn, on what to do with The Widow, Sunny broke apart a fight that ensued between M.K. and Ajax, another Colt. As they fought over M.K.’s pendant, Sunny confiscated the pendant after recognizing its symbol—a utopia-like city. Sunny returned to his cottage, retrieving his compass that possessed the same symbol. Ryder walked in behind him and asked for the pendant. Discreetly, Sunny hid the compass and willingly gave up the pendant.
Sunny eventually visited Veil and spent some time together. Veil revealed that she was pregnant, prompting him to recommend killing it. She attempted to convince him to consider leaving The Badlands, but Sunny refused and left. Later that night, while checking on M.K. again, Sunny witnessed M.K. become possessed, by a dark force, while in the middle of a brawl with Ajax; resulting in Ajax’s bloody defeat. He took M.K. into his cottage and questioned him on what happened. M.K. revealed that he is also curious for answers and that it is the reason why he left his home, Azra—the city on the pendant and compass. With more of a lead on Azra, Sunny returned to Veil’s town, however, just as he prepared to turn back, he was ambushed. Killing multiple enemies, The Window revealed herself and told Sunny to bring M.K. to her. After he refused to help her, she retreated.
Returning to the Fort to find M.K. imprisoned in a cell for sneaking into Ryder’s room, Sunny felt sympathetic for M.K. and cut his chains. Showing him an escape route that would lead him to freedom, M.K. fled. Coincidentally being summoned by Quinn, Sunny was told that he had noticed Sunny staring outside of The Fort and reassured there was nothing out there for him.
Pretending to be clueless about M.K.’s liberation, Sunny and Ryder formed a search party to follow his trail. Stopping at The Widow’s border, Sunny reminded that crossing would be an act of war. Turning away and returning to The Fort, he enlightened Quinn on their search and caused Quinn to insinuate that whoever freed M.K. is a traitor. Later that day, Sunny was summoned by Quinn to visit his doctor, Vernon. While Quinn was being examined, Hannah pulled Sunny aside and brought up Veil’s pregnancy. He expressed his concerns for it and stated that it was against his code to have a family. Hannah understood, however, she supported Veil’s decision to keep the baby. After Quinn’s unfortunate examination, Sunny was ordered to kill Vernon and Hannah; to which he misunderstood. Out of frustration, Quinn took Sunny’s sword and murdered them himself.
Sunny later visited Veil and revealed that Quinn was responsible for her parents’ murder. Consoling her, he promised to protect her, the baby, and to get them out of The Badlands.
The following day, Ryder and Sunny were sent out on a mission to infiltrate a nomad-owned factory said to be selling stolen opium from Quinn’s shipments. The duo is ambushed and Ryder was nearly killed meanwhile Sunny fought off nomads on his own. Taken by surprise, Sunny was nearly killed, but was rescued by M.K. He and Sunny spoke about Azra, concluding that he needed help from Sunny in order to escape The Badlands. Contemplating it, they all returned to the Fort where Ryder was tended to and M.K. was placed under Sunny’s mentorship.
Retaliating to The Widow’s latest attack, Sunny, M.K., and an army of clippers & colts are led by Quinn to ambush The Widow’s estate. While Quinn took on The Widow on his own, Sunny helped by fighting off her henchmen. However, while separated from Quinn, Sunny returned to see Quinn inches from his death. Spotting Sunny, The Widow failed to kill Quinn and fled. While the Clippers were gathering the bodies of their dead comrades, M.K. presented a stolen book about Azra, to Sunny. Now eager to begin M.K.’s training, Sunny introduced him to his old mentor, Waldo, to teach M.K. a lesson. Sunny observed M.K. and Waldo have a short spar in which M.K. failed miserably. Afterwards, Sunny visited Ringo to announce that he has changed and would never want to receive another tattoo again. Returning to the Fort, he is surprised to see Veil exiting the estate. They exchanged a few words with one another before he is called into Ryder’s room. Ryder gave a lead on who was responsible for setting up the ambush and Sunny is sent out by Quinn to bring her in for interrogation. Sunny sought out Angelica and engaged in a lethal brawl, ending up with her sacrificing herself.
After suffering some minor wounds, Sunny visited Veil’s clinic to be stitched up and introduced her to M.K. While in private, the two discussed Quinn’s knowledge on their relationship, concluding that their stay in The Badlands may have to be longer than planned. Summoned by Quinn once again, Sunny learned that the attack on The Widow’s estate was an extreme violation and that the other Barons want a parley. Sunny, who is cautious about this, warned Quinn that he would be walking into his own execution. Quinn agreed and mentioned that forming an alliance with Jacobee, a baron who least disliked him, would guarantee his longevity—the only thing left for Sunny to do is talk to Zypher; a regent Sunny formerly had a close relationship with. Doing what he was told, he met up with Zypher who came up with an alternative: kill Quinn and become recognized by the remaining barons, ultimately getting a part of The Widow’s oil fields. Sunny denied her offer and proceeded to request a meeting for their Barons. Without making any promises, Zypher left and implied she wanted something in return if all ended well.
Desperate for a way out
While training with M.K. on the wall of The Fort, Sunny is impressed with M.K.’s improvement. In the midst of their training, Quinn appeared to speak with Sunny on the update of the parley. Sunny was told that Jacobee and the rest of the barons are unhappy with Quinn’s violation and that Sunny’s role is crucial now more than ever. Later that night, Sunny eavesdropped on M.K.’s training and witnessed M.K. prepare to cut himself in order to use full power. Seconds away from cutting himself, M.K. decided not to. The next day, Sunny continued with M.K.’s training and brought him somewhere remote. Sunny explained that he wanted to cut him in order to further understand what they are dealing with. Although M.K. strongly declined, Sunny purposely cut M.K. and ended up getting flown into a brick wall from M.K.'s blow. Waking up moments later, he saw M.K. passed out on the ground. After M.K. woke up, he advised M.K. to think of something pure in order to counterbalance his dark power.
Later that day, Sunny visited Veil to see M.K. inside of her clinic. Extremely protective of her, he became aggressive with M.K. and drove him out of the residence. The conversation eventually moved on to Quinn and Veil revealed that she is currently his personal doctor. She recommended killing him slowly, but Sunny disagreed, saying that it will only bring unwanted attention. Waldo is sought out by Sunny for advice on leaving The Badlands and Waldo brought up someone named the "River King". He gave Sunny an item and stated that it would ensure his way out of The Badlands.
Sunny is then present for the meeting between Quinn and Jacobee. While Jacobee was intensely unhappy with Quinn’s recent actions, Sunny saved Quinn from being killed by an unseen assassin. While this triggered a fight between the two groups, Sunny attempted to chase down the assassin. He ran into Zypher and the two engaged in a short fight. Chasing her down, Sunny witnessed a possessed M.K. and Tilda, the assassin. Amazed, he witnessed M.K. counter his power and pass out. Once Sunny was spotted, Tilda departed, leaving behind a ninja star. Sunny, took the ninja star and used it as evidence to show Jacobee that The Widow was the mastermind behind the bloodshed yet again. The group returned to the Fort to see dead Clippers among the fields, leaving one of the surviving cogs to confess that The Widow was accountable.
Sunny eventually took a trip out to meet with the River King and gave him Waldo’s token, explaining that he wanted a way out of The Badlands. The River King agreed to get him out of The Badlands but for a price. Taking Sunny on a transport boat, he explained that there was a shipment of cogs that were murdered by another cog passenger. A cog, moments before her death, identified the murderer. The King River, pulled out a wanted poster of the killer, revealing it to be M.K. Sunny was told that bringing M.K.'s head would guarantee a full trip out of The Badlands.
Sunny eventually had a nightmare of M.K. and woke up in the middle of the night while sleeping with Veil. That night, he took the book on Azra and turned to a bizarre page with an empty compartment. Inserting his compass into the page, it began to function. As Veil woke up, he hid it from her. He informed her that they were a step closer to leaving The Badlands, but at a high cost.
One day, he was accompanied on the hunt for The Widow with M.K., Petri, and Bale. When M.K. called Sunny over after finding one of The Widow's shuriken, Sunny stopped him just in time to expose a number of set bear traps. Responding to a shout, the party witnessed Petri's now broken leg caught in a bear trap. Sunny freed Petri from the trap and carefully tended to his wounds. After stating that they would have to pause their travels for the night, he ordered M.K. to take night's watch while the rest of them slept. However, Sunny woke up and saw M.K. speaking with Tilda in secret. He restrained her and took her the Fort, where he notified Quinn. While speaking with Quin, he demanded that Sunny never see Veil again. Returning back to the chambers, he prepped Tilda for torture interrogation but The Widow arrives just in time to save her. Sunny and The Widow battled it out, causing him to gain the upper hand and wound her. Inches away from killing her, the children gathered their attention—Tilda is freed and M.K. is possessed and has murdered Bale. Sunny is stunned, giving Tilda and The Widow the opportunity to escape. Once M.K. shortly returned to normal, Sunny realized he has lost The Widow.
Becoming a prisoner
After all that occurred, Sunny got the idea to deliver Bale's head to the River King under the guise of it being M.K.'s. Getting away with it, Sunny proposed they leave at midnight, to which the River King agreed. Running to tell Veil the good news, she confronted Sunny about being present during the time of her parents' death. Upset his truth, she kept no promises in regard to leaving with him. Summoned once again by Quinn, Sunny is questioned on his battle with The Widow and why she was still living. Sunny was immediately accused of being a traitor and is stripped of his rank. Having to turn over his sword, he contemplated killing Quinn. Afterwards, he was apprehended and locked in the chambers. He was then visited by Quinn, who questioned him on Veil's whereabouts since she was nowhere to be found. Sunny threatened that if Veil was hurt, he would kill Quinn. Before leaving, Quinn made it clear that he would use M.K. and Sunny's unborn son to his advantage. Eventually, Waldo showed up to give Sunny a visit. While there, Sunny watched Waldo kill one of the guards watching over the cell. As Sunny was released from his clutches he was surprised to find out that Waldo was the rumoured traitor working together with The Widow. Waldo advised Sunny was advised to leave The Badlands and forget about M.K.
Unable to do as he was told, Sunny went to the said town M.K. would be. Accompanied by M.K., Sunny ran into Quinn and stabbed him, however, M.K. was under his dark possession and had taken out several Clippers. During the commotion, a mysterious group of monks showed up and subdued M.K. Sunny attempted to fend off the monks but was effectively injured. Regaining consciousness, Sunny woke up shackled in the River King's boat, who had discovered Sunny's ruse.
Planning an escape
Since being abducted, Sunny was delivered out of The Badlands and spent six months as a slave. Restrained in stocks, Sunny was chained alongside numerous prisoners and was transported to a quarry, known as the Bordeaux Mines, on foot. While there, Sunny and the prisoners were assigned jobs as Pickers. With one of the prisoners falling sick behind Sunny, an engineer of the mine was ordered to behead him. Sunny took the opportunity to attack the engineer and kill him. Immediately, a fight broke out and Sunny managed to break free from his stocks. After killing multiple men, he was quickly recaptured but kept alive.
Having dreams of Veil, Sunny was awoken chained to a prisoner named Bajie. While summoned to the mining caves, Sunny asked Bajie for a way out. He was told that the only way out of the Bordeaux mine was being rolled out, dead, on a body cart. After mining, Sunny removed his shirt to wash his clothes. After Bajie questioned the tattoos on his back, Sunny became extremely aggressive and started choking him. After Bajie guessed who he was, Sunny released him and was reassured that they could trust one another. Later, it was announced via loudspeaker that there would be a fight night as a reward for reaching quotas. Sunny watched a prisoner named Mouse kill off Pickers one by one. During the fight, Sunny requested a map of the mine and Bajie eventually got his hands on one. Sunny planned to not reach his quota, so he wins his fight with Mouse and escapes the mine. Although Bajie offered to come along, Sunny declined his offer.
Sunny was eventually approached by the leader of the mine and revealed that he was double-crossed by Bajie, who wanted to trade Sunny's freedom for his own. Angered, Sunny was taken.
Defeat of Pilgrim and apparent death
Joined by Kannin, Bajie and the Black Lotus, Sunny leads an attack on Pilgrim's fortress, defeating Pilgrim's army but losing most of his own in the process. Joined by his best friend and his sister, Sunny battles Pilgrim whose Gift proves to be too powerful for them to beat. Ultimately going one-on-one against his former friend, Sunny is defeated and impaled through the stomach with his own sword. However, Kannin and Bajie manage to attach Pilgrim to chains and lift him high in the air where Sunny, using Bajie as a springboard, leaps and buries his sword in Pilgrim's heart, killing him. As Pilgrim dies, Sunny falls to the ground and apparently dies, his eyes flashing yellow for a moment. Kannin and Bajie hold a funeral for Sunny and Bajie promises to raise Henry as his own.
Sunny awakens in a snowy landscape where he is greeted by the Master. The Master explains that they are in the realm between life and death and that Sunny's long-buried Gift reactivated in his final moments. The Master informs Sunny that his Gift is slowly restoring his body and he can return to life in due time. However, the Master warns Sunny that the world he returns to has grown even more dangerous despite Pilgrim being dead. The Master explains that an evil long-ago buried, one more powerful and insidious than any human is about to return. Stating that Sunny's work has only just begun, the Master leads him away.
Sunny initially started off as nothing more than a killer, cutting enemies throats with ease. Although he is desensitized to constant bloodshed, it did not mean that constantly taking a human life would not have an effect on him.
As one of the most (if not the most) feared Clipper in the Badlands, Sunny was an extremely formidable hand-to-hand combatant, facing several opponents at once and often winning those fights with ease. He was an exceptional swordsman, having killed countless people throughout his career.
Sunny is a Regent, the highest rank attainable by a Clipper. This rank is well deserved, due to his incredible talents.
Sunny himself possesses the Gift, but it has long been locked away. Sunny's Gift is stated to be extremely powerful when unlocked. Kannin suggested that Sunny's Gift, even suppressed, is responsible for his incredible fighting skills. After being mortally wounded, Sunny's long-buried Gift reactivates. Despite his apparent death and journey to the realm between life and death, The Master states that his Gift will heal him and return Sunny to life "in due time."
- In a flashback, Sunny is shown to have a brother who was killed by unknown assailants, this makes Sunny one of few known characters to have had a blood-related sibling on screen.
- It is strongly hinted that Zypher was once a love interest for Sunny prior to the pilot episode.
- His real name Sanzō is the Japanese pronunciation of Sānzàng (三藏). It means Tripiṭaka and translates to “Three Baskets”, which include Vinaya, Sutra and Abhidharma. Sanzang is the master of Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing in the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en. In a past life, Sanzang was one of Buddha’s disciples. He was sentenced to ten reincarnations for not listening attentively to Buddha’s lectures. In his tenth reincarnation, he was given the chance to return to Buddha by facing 81 tribulations. The character was based on the historical translator and monk Xuanzang.
- Sunny has worked alongside 3 barons, the most of any other character. He has been affiliated with The Widow, Quinn, and Juliet Chau.
- The only Clipper known to have a higher registered body count than Sunny is Nathaniel Moon, who has 999 lines on his back, compared to Sunny's 404. However, this number excludes Sunny's on-screen kills since he decided to stop killing for the pleasure of Quinn, his Baron at the time: we do not know how many additional people Sunny has killed before meeting Nathaniel, but it is still supposed that is body count is far lower than the latter's.