With the tickets for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever selling like hotcakes, many people are rewatching the 2018 film to refresh their memory of the location and people. While Chadwick Boseman’s (R.I.P.) character was first teased in Avengers: Age of Ultron, it wasn’t until Captain America: Civil War that we saw him in full armor on the big screen. It was only a timely matter before fans got to explore more about Wakanda. And behold! Ryan Coogler delivered a spectacle that made more than $1.3 billion at the box office.
The film had stunning visuals, expert cinematography, and stellar performances by each cast member. Even supporting roles from Letitia Wright as Shuri, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Winston Duke as M’Baku, and Martin Freeman as Everett Ross were performed exceptionally well. Even the main antagonist of Erik “Killmonger” Stevens, portrayed passionately by Michael B. Jordan, stole the show. He is still compared to the likes of Thanos and Loki.
However, one crucial aspect that only die-hard Marvel fans notice is that the movie sets the stage for furthering the MCU timeline, with particular events and plot threads that have unraveled until Phase 4. So, let’s dive into those and observe how they have made the MCU more consistent.
Gods and Deities
While Norse gods such as Thor and Odin had already been introduced as advanced alien beings, there was always a possibility that other cultures would also reflect the notion. Black Panther’s opening monologue first hinted that others might be out there. It showed that the Wakandan deity Bast blessed the herb that gave a worthy warrior the powers of the Black Panther.
That notion was further explored in later iterations like Shang Chi and Thor: Love and Thunder. Several civilizations worshiped more advanced beings as deities. Seeing as they were flawed and self-centered themselves was the reason Gorr went on a warpath, making the sinister vow, “All gods will die.” That was also why Egyptian gods like Khonshu and Ra went into hiding, not even intervening, as Thanos destroyed half of all life for more than five years.
Death And Afterlife
The first glimpses of life after death were observed in Black Panther. As T’Challa communes with his ancestors twice in the movie, it sets the stage for other afterlife-related plotlines that we later encounter in Moon Knight and Thor: Love and Thunder. Furthermore, the Ancestral Plane was experienced differently by Erik, who saw his old L.A. apartment instead of vast grass fields.
It opened up two exciting possibilities for the MCU. One was that we could still see canonically deceased characters on the big screen, cheering with our popcorn and drinks spilling over. It is perhaps why Michael B. Jordan returned to reprise his role of Killmonger in the sequel. The second, the afterlife depends on individual perspectives and experiences. That sets the stage for what characters like the Ancient One and the Scarlet Witch might see in their afterlife.
The Various Tribes Of Wakanda
One reason why Black Panther receives a lot of credit is that it depicts African tribes and cultures with a high degree of accuracy. You can easily find each of the movie’s tribal cultures in Central and Eastern Africa. Moreover, a significant plot thread is that tribes can be exiled from the council and not have a say in their decisions.
In the movie, the Mountain Tribe (Jabari) seemed to be the first one to exile. Yet, the story was told from N’Jobu’s perspective. There is a chance that there was an older tribe (Atlantis) that was exiled centuries ago. They might have all their records erased and prohibit everyone from mentioning them. That might explain how, with the sequel, Namor and his Atlantians might have some bad blood with them.
There might also be some treaty violations, first hinted at by a throwaway dialog by Okoye in Avengers: Endgame. She mentioned an underwater earthquake in the Atlantic but prevented other Avengers from investigating it further. “We handle it by not handling it.” Well, Rocket could surely see what caused it and confirm it as a non-issue, couldn’t he?
Wakanda’s Technological Superiority
Wakanda is the only nation on Earth with vibranium, and they have been harnessing it for centuries. That resulted in their technology is decades ahead of the rest of the world. It was a significant reason why Captain America chose the location for Earth’s last stand in Avengers: Infinity War, why they treated James Barnes, and how they had spies in most countries.
Opening that up to the world might be a critical plot point in the sequel. We have already seen the repercussions in the form of Power Broker smugglers who trade in vibranium. The latest trailers show that several Atlantians were already among the Wakandans as spies. So, if they were to do something shady, NATO and other military forces would suspect Wakanda of doing it. That might cause long-term issues with how Wakanda measures up with the rest of the world. Some might even accuse them of hiding the civilization of Atlantis.
What’s Next For Black Panther?
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sets the stage for other characters like Nakia and Shuri to rise up to massive challenges. And with Dominique Thorne confirmed as Ironheart, we may have a blockbuster that may be bigger and bolder than the first movie. The red carpet has already proved that critics and the cast adore the project dearly.
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