‘Cobra Kai’ Stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka Share What Pat Morita Would Think of the Series (Exclusive)

The two stars sat down with ET's Kevin Frazier to tease what's to come in season 5.

Season 5 of Cobra Kai is almost here! Ahead of the series’ return to Netflix on Friday, longtime Karate Kid franchise stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka sat down with ET’s Kevin Frazier to reflect on the success of the Emmy-nominated series and what late star Noriyuki “Pat” Morita would think of it today. 

“I think he would love it,” Macchio says, referring to the actor who played Mr. Miyagi in the original Karate Kid films before his death in 2005 at the age of 73, before Zabka adds that “he’s watching it from somewhere.” 

“It’s a blessing that this thing has been kissed with such great luck and positive impact,” Macchio continues. “So, I think, you know, we feel his presence on the set all the time.” 

He adds, “The Miyagi character is woven throughout the series.” 

“Too bad he’s not with us for many reasons. But for the show, he would have just been amazing ‘cause he was so funny and dramatic and everything Miyagi was,” Zabka shares, adding that Morita “would’ve had a blast,” especially when it comes to the action-packed new episodes dropping on Friday. 

As Netflix has teased, “the battle for the soul of the Valley may be over, but the war is just beginning.” And in season 5, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) does all that he can to expand the Cobra Kai empire as he makes his “No Mercy” style of fighting the dominant approach to karate. 

Meanwhile, John Kreese (Martin Kove) is behind bars while Johnny Lawrence (Zabka) has set aside fighting to focus on his family. “Johnny is on a journey to go find Miguel in Mexico,” Zabka says of his character’s story this season, adding that “Miguel is trying to find his father and all that happens there.” 

And with both men sidelined, it’s up to Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), who ends up recruiting Chozen (Yuji Okumoto) to help him take on Silver and put a stop to his war on the Valley. But just because LaRusso and Chosen are on the same side doesn’t mean things don’t get a little “spicy.” 

“That’s been one of the richest things in the whole show. Everyone who comes in just knocks it out of the park,” Macchio says. “I mean Yuji is great with his character because he was the ultimate antagonist in The Karate Kid Part II and now he’s come 180 and changed his life.” 

He adds, “These writers do such a beautiful job of peeling the onion layers off these characters and letting them evolve.” 

In addition to Okumoto, Sean Kanan reprises his Karate Kid Part III character Mike Barnes in season 5, while Hilary Swank has yet to be seen. While she starred in The Next Karate Kid as Julie Pierce, fans are still hoping she’ll eventually show up on Cobra Kai.  

“I think it’s always a possibility,” Macchio says, explaining that the creators are very selective when it comes to bringing back the original stars from the franchise. “I mean, it’s putting all these pieces together and I know they have a plan and then they don’t always tell us everything. But I think the door is always open.” 

Zabka, meanwhile, adds, “She’s in the universe. Anybody in the Miyagi-verse is [fair] game.”

Cobra Kai season 5 premieres Friday, Sept. 9 on Netflix.