This article may contain spoilers for Black Panther Wakanda Forever.
The long-awaited sequel movie Black Panther Wakanda Forever was released on Nov. 11th with many Marvel fans waiting to see what Marvel would do with Black Panther after Chadwick Boseman’s passing. Not only was the movie going to give us a whole new storyline due to his passing, but also provide lots of woman empowerment and Latino representation.
Chadwick Boseman was an amazing actor who gave amazing representation for the Black/African American community at a time when it was much needed. His role as T’challa/The Black Panther carried so much importance for many. Sadly he was unable to be in the Sequel of The Black Panther due to his passing in 2020 caused by colon cancer. This of course left a lot of fans wondering how the sequel would follow, and curating many theories surrounding the future of The Black Panther and the country of Wakanda. This movie did an amazing job of honoring his passing and paying respects to Boseman. In honor of Boseman’s impact as the Black Panther, Marvel’s intro card for both movies is now clips of Boseman as the Black Panther instead of the typical one with all the characters. The movie opens with Shuri, Tchallas’s sister, trying to help find a cure for her brother’s disease minutes before he would pass. In the process of doing so, he passed. Then the movie led into a beautiful scene where they are having a funeral for T’challa celebrating his life and what he did for the country. This of course left fans with many questions. What will happen with Wakanda?
Well, no need to worry. We are now shown that Queen Ramonda, T’challa’s Mother, has taken the heir to the throne. Taking care of her country. The last movie ended with Wakanda saying they would share their resources with the world. Wakanda Forever shows us how that may not have been the best idea. Queen Ramonda shows her authority when she is in a courtroom sharing how France tried to steal Vibranium from them. The Dora Milaje, Wakandan female warriors, then come out with French soldiers, leaving the room shocked and quiet. The movie then takes us to a scene where there are people trying to get Vibranium they found underwater. Vibranium is a strong metallic ore that is used throughout Wakanda and is in many of their weapons. In the process of doing so they are disrupted by a hypnotizing noise that distracts them. We are then introduced to Namor and the people of Talokan.
Wakanda Forever was not only a big excitement for the Black/African American community, but for the Latino community as well. This movie gave amazing opportunities to Latino actors like Tenoch Huerta who played the Anti-Hero Namor. Namor is the leader of Talokan (an underwater kingdom) and has Mayan roots from his parents. Although Namor and the people of Talokan are Mayans, Mayans are from different parts of Latin America, but in Wakanda Forever they were originally from Mexico. One of the main goals of the movie was to accurately show Mayan representation showing both respect and love for the culture. Talokan was greatly Mayan inspired, by the architecture of the city, drawings on the walls, and the clothing/uniforms the people wore. Wakanda Forever also made sure to use the Mayan language throughout the film, which is amazing considering that the language is slowly fading. Huerta is proud to finally bring this representation for kids who can now look up to his character and feel represented. This brought so much joy to many fans who have indigenous roots and to those who are simply Latino finally having the much-needed representation.
The composer for Black Panther Wakanda Forever, Ludwig Göransson, shares how well Mayan culture was shown through the movie and the music.
“Their whole kingdom and character were inspired by Mayan culture. – I went and I googled and searched Mayan Rappers and I found a small rap community in Yucatan. -We put up a studio and recorded a song with these Mayan rappers. I don’t think there are more than maybe 10 Mayan rappers in the world and now they have a song in Black Panther” shares Göransoon
You may still be wondering who the new Black Panther is. Black Panther has always done a great job at showing how strong women are—take Dora Milaje as an example. But Black Panther: Wakanda Forever takes it one step further. They have now made a greater impact on women’s empowerment by giving women a new role model, Shuri, as the new Black Panther. We are not only further shown her intelligence that was already known, but also her strength internally and externally. Throughout the movie we are shown all the emotional struggles and growth Shuri went through as she was trying to process the death of her brother, and later the death of her mother and finding herself again.
Of course, Shuri did not do all of this alone, working alongside Riri Williams (Ironheart), Okoye and Nakia. Wakanda Forever gave us our first look at another female Hero, Iron Heart, who we are shown has incredible intelligence and is inspired by the work of Tony Stark (Iron Man). In the movie, Shuri and Riri worked alongside each other to make weapons for the fight against the Talokan army. Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje was forced to step down from her position due to a conflict caused by Namor. This had us view her struggles as she was trying to see who she was outside of being the leader of the Dora Milaje. Nakia showed her amazing loyalty as she was trying to find Shuri for Queen Ramonda cause she was kidnapped by the people of Talokan.
Once again, Black Panther was able to spread an amazing message that reached all different types of people. I can not wait to see more of Shuri as the Black Panther, Namor and more importantly what Marvel plans to bring to audience members in the near future.