Black Panther: Wakanda Forever shows that moving to the next chapter can be a chapter in itself. Taking the elegant story of the first film and building upon it in unexpected ways, it feels like story director Ryan Coogler is creating I Will Always Tell, a story punctuated by the death of Chadwick Boseman, star of the first Black Panther Films, even more poignant. Wakanda Forever follows the various women who were close to T’Challa (Boseman) as they mourn his loss. At the same time, his nation faces multiple threats due to T’Challa’s decision to inform the rest of the world of Wakanda’s real power. However, the path to healing T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) is not really revealed until the final act of the film, when she attempts to recreate the heart-shaped herb.
Does Shuri Become the Black Panther?
As the Wakandans take refuge in the hill tribe’s sheltered lands, Shuri and Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) attempt to perfect inventions that will give them a defense against antagonist Namor (Tenoch Huerta Mejía) and his homeland in a classic science montage would of Talokan. This spawns a synthetic version of the heart-shaped herb, made from the similar blue herb used to mutate the future Talokanil, and shiny new red armor for Williams. Shuri takes some of her synthetic weed in hopes of seeing her mother or brother but is instead greeted by her cousin N’Jadaka, aka Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (Michael B. Jordan).
The confrontation between the two, including the description of their similarities, angers her, and when she wakes up, she claims that the herb didn’t work, only to pat a mannequin in one of her suits and send it flying. through the lab and demonstrates his newfound strength. Now that he knows he has the Black Panther’s powers, Shurigo goes to the tribal council to propose that he fight Namor back. Everyone agrees except M’Baku (Winston Duke) who has grown since the first Black Panther. He warns that attacking could trigger an endless war with the Talokan, but they still go ahead with Shuri’s plan, which is to lure Namor away and isolate him from the water, which they believe is his forte. The following battle takes place on a Wakanda warship known as the Royal Sea Leopard and is fought by warriors Dora Milage, Riri, Nakia (LupitaNyong’o), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and Aneka (Michaela Coel) freed wearing the Midnight Angel Armor created by Shuri.
How Does Shuri Defeat Namor?
During the fight, Shuri lures Namor into their trap, but he manages to take their fight to a nearby island, where they take turns gaining the upper hand, even if he slices Namor’s wings off his ankles in the blink of an eye during the battle. When Shuri finally gets the upper hand, she hears her mother’s voice telling her to show her who she really is. He finds similarities to Namor’s plight (rather than Killmonger’s) and avoids seeking revenge for the murder of Ramonda (Angela Bassett). Namor later laments to his cousin that now that they have Wakanda’s sympathies, the nation will come to them in the future. Finally, Wakanda Forever highlights how the nations of the world are attacking Wakanda facilities or blaming them for crimes anyway. Your war is just a matter of waiting. Round of applause to Marvel for not killing the “bad guy” outright. With the action climax out of the way, the film closes a number of loose threads and returns to T’Challa for an emotional conclusion.
After being arrested for helping Wakandans, Okoye freed CIA agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) from armed custody. Riri returns to the United States, but Shuri rebuilds her father’s car from scratch and gives it back to her. Shuri also plants heart-shaped faux grass in the forest to restart the Black Panther lore and ensure the protector will carry on after his tenure, which also foreshadows the mid-credits scene. Finally, in the ceremony for the coronation of a new ruler of Wakanda takes place. Shuri decides not to go, and M’Baku challenges anyone for the throne. Although the conclusion of the ceremony isn’t seen, it’s probably safe to assume that likely M’Baku won and takes up the royal mantle, separating the Black Panther from the King/Queen of Wakanda.
Is That T’Challa’s Son?
The film ends with Shuri traveling to Haiti to visit Nakia. Recalling an earlier scene from the film, Shuri goes to the beach at the beginning of the film to burn her ceremonial attire from T’Challa’s funeral. She had previously urged Shuri to do this as a way forward, but it wasn’t until after the conflict with Namor that Shuri was able to look within enough to do so. This scene, which continues as a mid-credits scene, reiterates the deep emotionality behind the film as well as the importance of its relationships, for while Wakanda Forever speaks of fairly universal ideas and experiences, it’s impossible to forget the deeply personal that it remains.
The New Black Panther
Shuri may be the new Black Panther, but he’s been away from Wakanda for an indefinite period. He has been visiting Nakia in Haiti, where he plans to deal with his grief for his brother and mother in earnest rather than burying himself in his work. However, Nakia has one last surprise for her. It is revealed that before his death she secretly had a child with T’Challa and raised him in Haiti without anyone’s knowledge. He’s about six years old. He is now years old and goes by the Haitian name Toussaint, but his Wakanda name is actually T’Challa, after his father. It’s unclear exactly what the future holds for this girl, but it’s clear that Shuri’s family legacy won’t end with her, and the future of the Black Panther mantle is assured even if she decides to shed it eventually the future.