'Cobra Kai' Cast Says Season 3 Reveals "Emotional Side" of Netflix Series

The stars also opened up how the new season dives into the history behind the 'Karate Kid' sequel.

Cobra Kai's first new season as a Netflix original series delivers big on the nostalgia, featuring guest appearances from several familiar faces from the original Karate Kid films, and reveals a whole new emotional side of the show fans haven't seen before.

Seasons one and two of the former YouTube original from Sony TV hit Netflix back in August and quickly became a breakout hit for the streaming giant. Netflix has already renewed the series through a fourth season.

Ahead of the Karate Kid sequel's season three premiere on Jan. 1, stars Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Xolo Maridueña, Mary Mouser, Jacob Bertrand, Peyton List and Vanessa Rubio spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about how this season takes the series to the next level.

"It takes it to the next level in more than a handful of ways," said Macchio, who plays Daniel LaRusso. "I mean, it dives into the origins of Miyagi Do. It dives into the origins of Cobra Kai and back stories there ... And then we have these wonderful field trip episodes of going to Okinawa. And then building to the ultimate climax that the fans are hopefully excited for, but maybe get there in a way that they did not expect.”

"The most exciting aspect for me when I got the season three scripts was like ... the emotional side of Cobra Kai," said Mouser, who plays Samantha LaRusso. "And not necessarily in a down and dreary sad kind of place, but all of it: the good, the funny, the bad, the ugly. All of it comes into play. All the stuff I feel like we already loved about the show, they added a layer of depth to it that made it more fun to go on the highs and lows.”

Season two ended with a catastrophic fight that left the future of Miguel Diaz, played by Maridueña, in jeopardy. Maridueña opened up about the physical and emotional journey Miguel goes on in season three following the massive school karate showdown that landed him in the hospital.

"I can say that the journey first and foremost is going to be one that has to be fought with himself at the very beginning," said Maridueña. "You know, Miguel has a lot of work to do in terms of figuring out if Sam is right for him, figuring out if really Robbie is the person he should be angry at or you know I guess for Miguel himself, had he not made some mistakes at the party, I don't know if any of this fight would be happening. So, I think first and foremost there needs to be a little bit of self-reflection done before he can wake up and kind of get back to normal."

"I mean yeah, it's a heavy one," said Rubio, who plays Miguel's mother Carmen. "I think it built his character a lot. I mean, he really just has no question about what's the right thing to do now."

Season three explores the history of the show's main characters, gifting Karate Kid fans with guest appearances from Daniel's Karate Kid Part II love interest Kumiko, played by Tamlyn Tomita, and Chozen, played by Yuji Okumoto, during a trip to Okinawa, Japan that dives deeper into the origins of Miyagi Do karate. Similarly, the show explores the backstory of Martin Kove's character John Kreese and the origins of Cobra Kai karate.

"I think that there's a lot of cool, little special things in there for all the fans, because Jesse Kove, [Martin Kove's] son is in it," revealed List, who plays Tory. "He's part of young Kreese's backstory ... But I think seeing that these characters were not born bad, they weren't born villains, but they were kind of made and created, and I think seeing the origin story of Kreese and seeing the origin story of kind of a little bit of Tory and everything else and why these people are the way they are, I think [it shows] that the world can tear people down and make them into what they are."

The stars also revealed what they're most excited for fans of the show to see this season.

"What I love to play the most is the relationship with Miguel and getting him healed, back on his feet if that's going to be possible," said Zabka, who plays Johnny Lawrence. "The action is great. The nostalgia is always there and then there's the humor. So, I love season three. It's my favorite so far."

"Honestly, there's some great fights, and there are a couple little... I want to tease it so bad!" said Bertrand, who plays Hawk. "There's a couple. In the trailer, the fight where I have the bloody hands, that is like my favorite scene of this season. All the fights I feel like have a lot more emotional weight to them and they are a lot more emotionally charged. And I think that is something that is cool to see, because sometimes fights just happen for fights. But this is like, it comes for a reason. So, I'm really excited for everyone to see it."

Watch the video above for more.