Throughout the production of a series, a lot goes on behind the scenes in regards to planning and design, which often go through multiple stages before resulting in the final version that is seen on screen. Some concepts and ideas can have an effect on the show and characters, and unexpected occurrences during production can also lead to changes and additions to the plans for the show.
Sun Wukong alludes to the character Sun Wukong from the ancient Chinese novel Journey to the West. This allusion has had the following influences on the character and the show:
- Sun is a monkey Faunus. The original Sun Wukong is a monkey.
- He fights with a staff named Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang, similar to the original Sun Wukong's staff, Ruyi Jingu Bang.
- His Semblance allows him to produce clones of himself. The original Sun Wukong could create clones of himself from strands of his hair.
- Coincidentally, Monty once tweeted that his computer began lagging when he put three Suns in a scene, as well as the fact that most of Sun's polygons are in his hair.
- In Volume 1, Sun identifies Blake as a Faunus right away. This may be a reference to the original Sun Wukong's ability named "huǒyǎn-jīnjīng" (火眼金睛, lit. "fiery-eyes golden-gaze"), which enabled him to see through disguises and illusions.
- In "Of Runaways and Stowaways", he says the line "It'll be a regular journey to the east! Yeah, I like the sound of that." This is a reference to the title of the novel.
- Battle outfit - on the pendant of his necklace.
There are only two minor difference between the final version of Sun's appearance and his concept art:
- In the concept art, his necklace has a golden, ovular ring on it, instead of a flat, circular pendant.
- In the concept art, his shirt has a pocket on the left breast.
- According to a tweet by Monty Oum and the Volume 1 Directors Commentary, Monty described Sun to his concept artist in one word: "ABS".
- In Volume 1, his neck-chain is part of his design template and not an add-on (e.g. the chain on his pants), and as such, the accessory is not affected by gravity as it should be, as emphasized when he is shown hanging upside-down. However, this is fixed on his new model for Volume 2.
- Sun was unable to use his weapon in its nunchuck form in Volume 2, due to the state of its rig, which Monty described as "one of the most stupidly complex rigs" he had slapped together. The only way that Sun was able to use the nunchucks in "Black and White" was through reuse of an animation from an old project, which Monty later uploaded a video of to Facebook. After Volume 2 production was finished, Monty began work on a simpler, easier-to-use rig that he could more easily make new animations for.
- Monty also reused his gun-nunchucks idea from the same old project that he reused an animation from for "Black and White".
- After Volume 3, Rooster Teeth changed animation software from Poser Pro 2013 to Autodesk Maya. With this change, the animation department also made all new models for RWBY. The Sun Wukong model's eyes were given a different shape, his abs are modeled instead of drawn on and his tail model is smoother.