In the TV show Samurai Jack, he is transported to the future where most episodes involve him chasing the one who sent him there, and trying to get back to his time. What was the reason AKU sends him to the future? Samurai Jack in the future

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    Possibly the best theme song of all time? I think so.
    – Daft
    Nov 26, 2015 at 9:57
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    It is sad how this series did not have an ending. :(
    – jarora
    Nov 28, 2015 at 8:16
  • @jarora Idiotic management. They kept moving its timeslot around without announcing it, then stopped showing it when the viewership fell. It was a common theme in Cartoon Network at the time. I think Robot Chicken even lampshaded it.
    – user40790
    Nov 30, 2015 at 15:36
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    @jarora youtube.com/watch?v=yzIxLwVwtiQ
    – user40790
    Dec 10, 2015 at 0:42
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    @Axelrod So freaked out after listening the news. 9gag.com/gag/aMQpmVP?ref=fbp
    – jarora
    Dec 13, 2015 at 21:47

6 Answers 6


Aku sent Jack to the future as a last ditch effort to stop Jack from killing him.

Before the final blow was struck, I tore open a portal in time, and flung him into the future where my evil is law.

This is especially clear in the first episode/movie, in which we see him beg with Jack before this. It's never directly said why Aku sent him to that particular era, but it's safe to say that sending him in the future would prevent him from tampering with the past -- and that Aku is strongest in the future, where he has had time to recover and take everything over.

Yes, this is stated at the start of every episode in the first four seasons.

Moreover, lending credence to Aku's decision, we see that 50 years further down the road, Aku has regained an immense amount of power, being able to destroy a whole army in seconds.

Clearly, Aku knew that he could recoup and hoped to become powerful enough to overcome the "foolish samurai wielding a magic sword".

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    I always thought that the era itself was more or less random. Aku was close to death when he opened the portal and would likely not have too much control over his magic; hence, he just made sure Jack was thrown very far into the future (in which there was a great chance that Aku would be powerful enough that Jack couldn't touch him). If he chose the target era exactly, he would have to be able to look into the future to pick that particular time -- in the series there's nothing to indicate that he is capable of doing so.
    – Clearer
    Nov 27, 2015 at 21:00
  • @Clearer Agreed. I always felt it was a move of desperation.
    – user40790
    Nov 30, 2015 at 15:37

He's in the future because the Samurai was not allowed to slice through living beings, due to TV viewer age restrictions.

Slicing robots was perfectly acceptable by the network. So the setting was hand-waved into the future, so that all of his opponents could be robots.

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    And man was that first ---bloody--- oily battle glorious.
    – user40790
    Nov 26, 2015 at 1:35
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    I'm pretty sure the OP is looking for an in-universe reason...
    – Rand al'Thor
    Nov 26, 2015 at 1:41
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    This may be the reason Tartakovsky set the show in the future (although this is the kind of claim that would benefit from citing an interview or something) but the question as it's worded appears to deal with the in-universe motivations of Aku. Nov 26, 2015 at 1:53
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    Why did Aku send him into the future? Because Genndy Tartovsky wanted to do a cool samurai katana show, and this was the only way the network would let him. Yes, there is a reverse-engineered backstory, but the reason he's sent to the future is... the creator required it for out-of-universe reasons.
    – Euan M
    Nov 26, 2015 at 1:56
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    @EuanM An awful lot of in-universe backstories arise because of some out-of-universe necessity. At its most basic, absolutely every plot question you ask can be answered with "because the writers wanted it that way". That doesn't mean in-universe answers are never worth talking about, though.
    – IMSoP
    Nov 26, 2015 at 14:34

"Long ago in a distant land, I, Aku, the shape-shifting Master of Darkness, unleashed an unspeakable evil! But a foolish Samurai warrior wielding a magic sword stepped forth to oppose me. Before the final blow was struck, I tore open a portal in time and flung him into the future, where my evil is law! Now the fool seeks to return to the past, and undo the future that is Aku!"
-- Aku, opening sequence

Aku saw him as a threat, and sent him to a time where Aku was (apparently) too powerful to be threatened by him.

From Wikipedia (emphasis mine):

After taking his father's magic katana, the prince challenges Aku to a duel and defeats him. However, before the prince can deal the killing blow, Aku creates a time portal and sends his opponent into the distant future, anticipating that he would be able to amass sufficient power to deal with the samurai later.

And from Wikia (emphasis mine):

Jack travelled to the castle of Aku and found his father enslaved and nearly skin and bones. He warned Jack that it was too early for him to fight Aku, but he didn't listen and continued on. Jack then confronted the sorcerer and the battle began. Jack managed to severely wound Aku, but before he could deal the final blow, Aku opened a time portal and threw Jack into it, sending him centuries into the future.

When Jack finally escaped the portal, he found himself in a dystopian future. After Jack escaped being crushed, he met three alien teens who called him "Jack." He asked them where he was and what was going on around him, and learned that Aku had conquered the world and spread his influence across the universe, enslaving many planets while using Earth as his base of operations.


What would you do if you had encountered a dungeon boss you cannot beat?

CAUTION: Tongue in cheek answer imminent, reader discretion is advised.

That's right, you would use your escape rope, lick your wounds, go out and grind in those levels some more until you think you can beat it.

That is what Aku actually did in this case.

During the conclusion of the initial battle between Jack and Aku, Aku realized that his power level is not enough to beat Jack, and carelessly he had no more health potions left as well, so Aku decided to escape to live and fight another day.

Since Jack is not some dungeon boss that will idly sit in some dungeon waiting for Aku to grind in those levels he delayed the encounter the only way possible, by sending Jack to the future, Aku used his metaphorical escape rope and sent Boss Jack back to his "dungeon".

Evidently either Aku got lazy and forgot about this encounter, or he is just not that good in power-leveling, by the time it's once again destined to battle the boss, he is not high level enough to steamroll over Jack by this point. Whether or not he did this to keep the boss battles interesting remains uncertain.

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    In Aku's defense, some bosses simply can't be overcome just by leveling. You have to find a winning strategy. ;)
    – jpmc26
    Nov 27, 2015 at 3:00
  • @jpmc26: A strange game. The only winning (strategy) is not to play. Nov 30, 2015 at 16:34

Tearing open a portal in time was obviously a last-ditch effort, so it stands to reason Aku didn't have a solid plan for it. It was the only way he could think of, at the time, to distance himself from Jack.

From the facts that Aku isn't shown to use such portals at any other occasion (AFAIR), and that he waited until the very end to do it, we can conjecture that it was a sort of experimental ability - Aku wasn't sure he could do it at all, let alone what would be the exact consequences.

Aku probably did consider that in the future he would have an advantage against Jack, but didn't engineer the exact destination - he just did what he could with his remaining strength, and that ended up sending Jack when it did.


Aku attacks Jack's village when Jack is a child and he is helped by his Mother and friends of his Father to escape so that he could return to defeat Aku at a later time.

After training and growing up, Jack gets his Father's sword and returns to his village and confronts Aku. Jack wins the battle and as he is about to defeat/kill Aku, Aku sends Jack into the future to escape the battle and so that Aku will be stronger and have a better chance of defeating Jack when they meet again in the future.

This is why Jack is trying to get back to the past so that he can fight the weaker "past Aku" and finish the job, as "future Aku" has a lot of resources which makes defeating him more difficult.

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