‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ and why you should watch it Marvel honors late actor Chadwick Boseman in new movie



Marvel returns with a compelling sequel to the original film, featuring a memorial to late actor Chadwick Boseman.

Jill Sousley , Staff Reporter

On Oct. 3, Marvel released the first official trailer for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” After the first “Black Panther” was released in 2018, Marvel fans were already on the edge of their seats for the sequel.

Filming for the second movie began in June 2020, but when actor Chadwick Boseman, who assumed the role of T’Challa, the Black Panther in the first film, passed away from colon cancer at age 43, the schedule was pushed back. Boseman was loved by many, and his death was extremely sudden and saddening to Marvel fans across the globe.

 After Boseman’s death, critics and fans expressed confusion. Will Marvel recast T’Challa? Who will be seen taking over the role of the Black Panther in the sequel? Opinions varied on whether or not it would be a good idea to recast T’Challa in the second movie. While some said the movie wouldn’t be the same without Boseman, others were intrigued by who the next Black Panther could be.

The entire movie circles around T’Challa’s death. When the film begins, his sister Shuri, played by actress Letitia Wright, can be seen rushing to cure T’Challa of some sort of deadly disease. Unfortunately, she is too late. Queen Ramonda, Zhuri and T’Challa’s mother, breaks the news of her son’s death in a heartbreaking moment onscreen that was bound to demand some tears from the audience.

 Of course, the similarity between T’Challa and Boseman’s death onscreen and off is uncanny. These moments of continuity between reality and fiction are what make this movie so honorable.

After T’Challa is officially pronounced dead, there is a funeral scene in which there is a ritual dance, a mosaic of the former king’s face, and raw moments of each character’s grief. Again, it can be assumed this represents the actors’ grief for their beloved friend in real life as well. This scene can be viewed as a final send-off to both T’Challa and Boseman from his friends and family.

One year passes, and after many attempts from other countries to steal Wakanda’s vibranium, Queen Romanda urges Shuri to continue her research on the heart-shaped herb in order to restore Wakanda’s protector, the Black Panther. Shuri refuses because she believes it is a figure of the past.

 When the CIA and US Navy SEALs attempt to uncover vibranium using a detector, they discover a new superhuman group that resides in the Atlantic Ocean. The CIA believes Wakanda was responsible for the attack following the search for vibranium that killed many government agents. The leader of the underwater superhumans, Namor, confronts Queen Ramonda and princess Shuri and gives them an ultimatum: find the scientist responsible for the detector or he will attack Wakanda.

Shuri identifies the scientist, Riri Williams, a student attending MIT. Zhuri makes the decision to not provide Namor with the scientist because she believes he will kill her. This leads to a long chase, eventually ending in Shuri and Riri being kidnapped by Namor and his army. 

Namor provides Shuri with a possible alliance with Wakanda against the rest of the world’s powers. Shortly after this conversation, Shuri and Riri are rescued. When Namor realizes they have escaped, he becomes angry and plans a war with Wakanda. During this attack, Queen Ramonda tragically drowns attempting to save the young scientist. Rage consumes Shuri now that her brother and mother are gone. She orders an immediate attack on Talokan, the underwater kingdom. Namor threatens to return the following week to finish what he started. 

Of course, the million-dollar question remains. Who will assume the role of Black Panther? As most Marvel fans know, in the first “Black Panther” the heart-shaped herb was destroyed by Killmonger, seemingly ending the traditional line of Black Panthers. Shuri, using her incredible knowledge of math and science, finally finds a way to recreate the herb, something she had been working on since her brother’s death. 

She ingests the herb, and it gifts her with the powers of the Black Panther. Originally, Shuri plans to use her powers for revenge against Namor and Talokan. During the battle, Shuri captures Namor in an aircraft and takes him to a desert beach to weaken him. They fight and Shuri holds steady. When Namor is too weak to fight back, Shuri holds a spear to him and suggests that he yield. She realizes that rage and revenge aren’t the answer. She can fight for her country and also allow Namor to return and protect his own. Namor accepts and Wakanda and Talokan form an alliance.

Overall, this film is extremely sentimental. It honors Chadwick Boseman, while also showing the pain of grief and guilt and what it can do to the mind. The cast members and crew of this film took their emotions and grief from Boseman’s passing and used them for something good. As T’Challa says in the first movie, “In my culture, death is not the end. It’s more of a stepping-off point. You reach out with both hands and Bast and Sekhmet, they lead you into a green veld where you can run forever.”