21 Questions We Have After Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

shuri in a talokan dress
shuri in a talokan dress


Princess Shuri is at the center of some of our Black Panther: Wakanda Forever questions.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is proof that great movies drive conversation. Case in point, the article you’re now reading is 21 questions we have about the movie, which may make it seem like we had huge problems with the movie. We did not.

Some of the questions are big-picture Marvel Cinematic Universe stuff, but there are also questions of intention and purpose. Why things played out the way they did. Some of it is explained, some of it is implied, but all are things we wanted to talk about when walking out of the theater. So we think you might too. Beware of spoilers.

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When did Ramonda meet Toussaint?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

During the end credits reveal that T’Challa and Nakia had a son named Toussaint, we learn that Queen Ramonda knew about it and met him. However, watch the film again and you’ll notice that Toussaint is one of the kids Ramonda sees when she asks Nakia for help and there’s no indication at all that he’s her grandson. The fact the boy is in the previous scene makes for a less than cohesive connection but we choose to believe she found out well before that, and just decided to keep it a secret.

How did T’Challa die?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

Though Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens with the passing of T’Challa we’re never told how he dies. We learn later that he largely kept it a secret and most people found out when it was too late. Which is almost an exact parallel to actor Chadwick Boseman himself, who had been battling colon cancer for years but only told close friends and family.

The film doesn’t offer a specific answer to this question but director Ryan Coogler’s choice to parallel the fiction of T’Challa’s passing with the reality of Boseman’s allow you to draw your own conclusions.

Is Shuri now Queen of Wakanda?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

With the passing of Ramonda, Shuri seems like she is now the rightful queen and ruler of Wakanda. That she’s also the Black Panther adds to that responsibility. However, at the end of the film, she’s still referred to as “Princess,” so maybe it’s a step that is coming in the future, but hasn’t happened yet.

What’s the line of succession?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

If recent television has taught us anything it’s that royal succession is a complicated thing. And the introduction of Toussaint into the picture certainly makes things potentially tricky for Wakanda. As the first male child of the king, some might think he’d be first in line to be king. However, Shuri is older, and is the Black Panther, so maybe she should lead? Wakanda is certainly very open with these concepts—remember what happened with Killmonger—but it’s unclear what’s next and it’ll be fun to see. We’d imagine Shuri will be in charge for a while though.

Was anyone else ever considered to be the Black Panther?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

After the passing of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel Studios explored every possible option as to how to continue to franchise. Once it was decided the film would take place, the next conversation was, who will be the Black Panther? We’ll have more on this next week but we’ve heard that there was never anyone else truly considered other than Shuri.

Why did Shuri see Killmonger and not her mom or brother?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

Arguably the biggest surprise in all of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, one that’s so secret even Shuri herself doesn’t speak of it, is that she sees her cousin, the evil Erik Killmonger, and not her mother or brother when she enters the Ancestral Plane. We asked director Ryan Coogler about this and will have his answer next week, but it’s obviously a complex choice with its answer weaved deep into Shuri’s journey.

Shuri is practical. That she wasn’t able to science her way to saving her brother has made her angry at the world. Plus, she hasn’t properly grieved and just lost her mother to Namor, who is punishing her and her country for T’Challa’s actions. Obviously, revenge is on her mind, and seeing Killmonger is the perfect antidote to that. By personifying her emotions, she can see why they’re so wrong. It’s exactly the thing she needs to be 100% sure in her convictions later, knowing it’s okay to feel those feelings, but also that ultimately—unlike Killmonger—she can resist indulging them.

Did Namor know what he was giving Shuri?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

When Namor gives Shuri the bracelet from his mother, you first think it’s just a gesture of kindness. Which it is. But later in the film, Shuri uses it to crack the code of the heart-shaped herb, giving her the ability to unlock the power of the Black Panther, unite her country, and as a result, defeat Namor. If you think of it, he created his own worse enemy with the simple gesture.

But Namor isn’t that dumb. And really, if you think of it, giving away something so precious is almost too generous of a gift. Namor just met Shuri. Sure she’s awesome and royalty, but to give her something so personal from his own mother doesn’t quite track. We wonder if, maybe, he was really trying to help her and it went too far. We can’t say for sure but obviously it’s interesting to think about.

Did Wakanda live up to its promise from the previous film?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

The first Black Panther ends with T’Challa and Shuri talking about opening outreach centers to allow Wakanda to help others all over the world, the first of which will be in Oakland, where their father killed their uncle. Wakanda Forever doesn’t show us the Oakland center, or address whether or not Wakanda made good on the promise directly. But, indirectly, the place the French soldiers try to steal Vibranium from, only to be crushed by the Dora Milaje, is referred to as an outreach center. The implication is that, yes, Wakanda made good on its promise. It’s just not a crucial part of this story.

Does Wakanda have any allies?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

One of the more interesting points made near the end of Wakanda Forever is when Namor reveals that he yielded to Shuri because he thinks Wakanda will need him. He believes that the world will come for Wakanda and its resources, and the only people who’ll be able to help are the Talokan.

But is he right? You’d think Wakanda is beloved. However, the film makes it clear most other countries—even the United States—are after Wakanda’s Vibranium, and the fact the Talokan have, for now, still remained secret would be a potent weapon for Shuri to use. We side with Namor here. Wakanda is on its own and that sounds like an easy set up for Black Panther 3.

Is there really peace between the Talokan and Wakandans?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

The question of if the Talokan and Wakandans will be allies is one thing. The other thing is, if they are, will Talokan be true to that word? That really will be up to Namor and if he thinks the Talokan are safe or not. That his people are still unknown to the rest of the world makes any surfacing very dangerous, so if he does side with Wakanda, it will be a hugely significant event.

How did the Talokan deal with the Snap?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

The Talokan have been around for centuries. This much is made clear in the film. What isn’t make clear in the film is how they receive information about the rest of the world (there’s no underwater wifi as far as we can tell). So how did they make sense or react when half of their people just disappeared for five years? Maybe we’ll find out, maybe we won’t, but it’s fun to think about.

When will we see Namor next?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

Certainly, it’s exciting and heartwarming to see all the characters in Wakanda Forever and it’ll be great to see them continue. But the biggest question mark is Namor. We know he’s big, strong, and all but unkillable. He’s going to be a big problem for many many people in the MCU. So when might we see him next? We don’t know but the safest bet would be one of those upcoming Avengers films in 2025-2026. Then again, he’s very fast, he can swim anywhere at anytime. Fantastic Four? Solo film? Who knows.

Why was Nakia calling Shuri?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

You don’t even really clock it the first time you watch but early in the film, Nakia calls Shuri and Shuri hangs up on her. The hang up part makes sense. Shuri is super busy and overwhelmed. But why was Nakia calling? After you see the end of the movie, the logical assumption is, to tell her about Toussaint.

Will new revelations about Vibranium change Wakanda?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

When Ramonda, Okoye, and Shuri discuss the fact there is Vibranium outside of Wakanda, maybe due to a second meteor that hit the ocean, Okoye mentions how it throws into question everything she was led to believe growing up. There isn’t enough time for this knowledge to spread across Wakanda since Namor attacks, but such a fundamental piece of the country’s identity being proven false will surely have some sort of larger cultural impact.

What is Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine up to?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

One of the odder surprises in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was the supporting role of Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, played by Julia Louis Dreyfus. We’ve seen her pop up a bunch as of late—first in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, then in Black Widow—and now we know that she’s become the director of the CIA and is aware of most of Wakanda’s secrets. We also know she’s going to be in the upcoming team-up film, Thunderbolts. So will the Thunderbolts be the team she recruits to try and take Wakanda? What is her Nick Fury-esque plan? Only time will tell.

Where is Ross off to now?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

Due to the dealings of his ex-wife, Valentina, Everett Ross is arrested for treason against the United States for the secrets he shared with Wakanda. He’s off to prison at the end when Okoye, in her new Midnight Angel suit, saves him. Will she bring him back to Wakanda? That seems like the most obvious course of action since he’s a wanted fugitive.

Is Okoye officially the Midnight Angel?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

This one is interesting. In the film, Queen Ramonda has every right to strip Okoye of her rank and role in the Dora Milaje. She messed up, it’s not the first time, and she pays for it. And so her becoming this new, super-powerful Midnight Angel thanks to Shuri’s armor is a fun evolution.

However, with Ramonda’s death, what’s to stop Shuri from reinstating her as Dora Milaje? Nothing at all. If that happens though, it seems fairly likely she’ll keep the suit and, maybe, retain the superhero name.

What’s next for Riri Williams?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

Riri Williams has a great role in Wakanda Forever, making a new friend in Shuri and creating a whole new suit that makes her up to the task of fighting Namor. At the end of the film though, Shuri doesn’t let Riri take the suit back to America, putting the MIT student back at square one.

So what’s next? We’ll find out in the upcoming Disney+ show Ironheart, which is about Riri, and producer Nate Moore told us io9 that “Her adventure in this movie, and coming out on the other end of it with her experiences, really motivates her to become more of a hero because of what she’s seen. But she’s going to find out in the show, not to spoil anything, that that’s easier to do in Wakanda with Wakanda behind you then it is as a now 20, 21-year-old student who goes back to MIT.”

What’s “Imperius Rex?”

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

During the final moments of the battle between Namor and the Black Panther, Namor says “Imperius Rex.” At first it might seem like he’s throwing an insult at the Black Panther regarding her status, but in fact, the phrase is from the comics. “Imperius Rex” is one of Namor’s catchphrases: a Latin phrase (loosely translated to “Emperor King) he uses as a battle cry. Something to say when he’s about to lay the smack down. So it’s just that simple. He’s pumping himself up.

Is Talokan just one city?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

This is kind of neither here nor there, but during the beautiful sequence in Wakanda Forever when we get to travel through the capital city of Talokan, I couldn’t help but think, how extensive is this system? Is this the only city? Where do people live? Maybe in a future film, we’ll find out.

Is M’Baku really challenging for the throne?

Image:  Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

Near the end of the film, we see the familiar cliffs where the people of Wakanda celebrate and crown the Black Panther. But when Shuri is introduced, M’Baku comes out instead. He says the Black Panther can’t be there and that he wishes to challenge for the throne.

The scene cuts there and might leave you thinking for a second, “Wait, is he being serious?” The answer, we assume, is no. Remember, he previously said that Shuri was “a child who scoffs at tradition,” which she throws back at him in this movie. M’Baku making a joke at this traditional ceremony is his way of scoffing at tradition and marking a new start for Wakanda. At least, that’s how we see it.

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