- Warning: There are spoilers ahead for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
- After multiple watches, Insider rounds up nods to the MCU and small moments you may have missed.
- The film has references to "Captain America: Civil War," "Iron Man," and Namor's comic origins.
Shuri opens the movie with the line, "Bast, time is running out." As she tries to replicate the heart-shaped herb, Shuri, a woman of science, says she'll never question Bast's existence again if she allows her to heal her sick brother, T'Challa.
Bast chose the first Black Panther, Bashenga, who gets referenced later in "Wakanda Forever." The panther goddess also appeared briefly in "Thor: Love and Thunder" when Thor, Valkyrie, and Jane visit Omnipotence City, home of the gods.
The herb becomes a focus of the sequel because it grants the powers of the Black Panther.
After briefly becoming the King of Wakanda in 2018's "Black Panther," Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) ordered the garden of the heart-shaped herb be destroyed so no one else could gain the mantle of Black Panther after him. T'Challa used the last natural herb to come back from the brink of death.
In "Avengers: Endgame," T'Challa returned from the events of the Blip in 2023. After his death in "Wakanda Forever," the movie moves forward a year in time. If you infer that T'Challa died shortly after returning in 2023, then it's at least 2024.
Additionally, in "Wakanda Forever," it's mentioned that Nakia left Wakanda after the events of "Infinity War" when T'Challa first disappeared. Ramonda also says that it has been six years since Nakia left Wakanda. "Infinity War" takes place in 2018. It's unclear if Nakia left Wakanda right after the events of that film or if she waited a little bit. That math would also put the film in, at least, the year 2024.
During T'Challa's funeral, you can spot the shield and spear the leader used in his ceremonial battles to become king lying on the ground beside the Panther-themed coffin.
As T'Challa's coffin is lifted into the air, composer Ludwig Göransson's track "Ancestral Plane" plays. T'Challa visited the ancestral plane, a dimension where the soul exists outside of the body, in 2018's "Black Panther" after ingesting the heart-shaped herb on his journey to become the Black Panther.
Throughout the film, we're reminded death is not the end for Wakandans. The music signified T'Challa joining his ancestors who previously held the mantle of Black Panther.
In a cameo, CNN's Anderson Cooper gives a news report explaining the king of Wakanda's death was due to an "undisclosed illness" that's never specified. Later in the film, Shuri complains that her brother "suffered in silence" for a long time before telling her about the illness.
In real life, Chadwick Boseman died from colon cancer in 2020.
Before every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, there is a credit sequence that shows clips of all the main characters in the franchise.
In November 2020, a couple of months after Boseman died, a special sequence was created dedicated to the "Black Panther" actor and his role in the MCU.
This sequence was used first seen attached to "Black Panther" on Disney+.
As Anderson Cooper delivers the news about T'Challa's death, a CNN news crawl says Scott Lang/Ant-Man is continuing his tour for his book.
At both San Diego Comic-Con and D23 Expo's Marvel panels, Insider watched footage from the next "Ant-Man" movie that teased that saving the world with the Avengers in 2019's "Endgame" goes to Lang's head a bit. He winds up writing a novel about his experience helping to save the universe from Thanos in which he may take more credit than he deserves.
In an interview with Cinema Blend, producer Nate Moore said the film may happen around the same time as "Thor: Love and Thunder" and "almost concurrent with 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.'"
T'Challa started building Wakandan international outreach centers to help underserved communities at the end of "Black Panther."
Early in "Wakanda Forever," we learn they're under attack as other countries try to get their hands on Wakanda's vibranium.
In the first "Black Panther" movie, we see T'Challa, Nakia, and Okoye enter Wakanda on a plane through the holographic border disguised as a mountain.
This scene is mirrored in the sequel when Ramonda returns from the UN meeting, down to the sunlight putting a glow within the ship. This time they are going through the river border possibly to foreshadow that a threat will be coming from the sea in this film.
In both scenes, Okoye, who is flying the plane, announces that they are home before arriving.
When Ramonda visits Shuri in her lab to chastise her about working constantly, she also makes a comment that her personal AI might "kill us all" one day.
This could be a throwaway comment, but it may also be a reference to Ultron, the main villain of the second "Avengers" movie. In the film, the AI attempted to destroy the Avengers, and when that failed, destroy the world.
Early in the film, Queen Ramonda tells Shuri, "There's something I need to tell you about your brother." Before she can, Ramonda's cut off by Namor's entrance and mother and daughter never return to this discussion. You may leave the theater wondering what Ramonda was going to tell Shuri.
When you watch the movie a second time, it's evident Ramonda was likely trying to tell Shuri about T'Challa's secret son with Nakia, Prince T'Challa, who is finally introduced in the film's mid-credits scene.
Before Namor's arrival, Ramonda mentioned how T'Challa's presence is still with her. Seeing that her daughter is still in so much pain a year after T'Challa's death, burying herself in her work, it seemed like Ramonda thought learning that she's an aunt may help Shuri move forward.
Nakia was likely attempting to break the news to Shuri as well. Early in the film, we learn Nakia has been trying to reach out to Shuri numerous times to no avail.
In the first film, we only see Ramonda's hair once when she is on the run from Killmonger after T'Challa's apparent death. However, in the sequel, we see Ramonda's hair out and relaxed on multiple occasions when she is away from her royal duties. This symbolizes when she is relaxed and can grieve more openly rather than putting on a brave face for her country.
That's the nickname Shuri gave to CIA agent Everett Ross in 2018's "Black Panther" after saving his life.
In "Wakanda Forever," Okoye and Shuri seek him out in Alexandria, Virginia, in order to find a scientist, who turns out to be Riri Williams.
In "Black Panther," Ross gets fatally shot while protecting Nakia. T'Challa decides to bring him to Wakanda so Shuri can save his life.
Stark famously returned to M.I.T. to give a speech at the start of "Captain America: Civil War." It's fitting that Williams goes to the same school as Stark/Iron Man since Riri becomes the superhero Ironheart, the successor to Iron Man, in the MCU.
Both Riri and Peter Parker are stunned to be in the presence of someone they idolize.
Tony asks Peter to come with him on a mission to Germany. He tells Tony he can't because he has school and homework before finally agreeing. In "Wakanda Forever," Shuri demands Riri go to Wakanda with her and Okoye for protection from Namor. At first, Riri claims she can't go because of classes.
Marvel films usually contain fun nods to "Star Wars." Not only is the Lucasfilm franchise also owned by Disney, but Marvel Studios' president, Kevin Feige, is also a big fan,
In 1977's "A New Hope," Luke Skywalker referred to the Millennium Falcon as a "hunk of junk" before flying in it for the first time.
Riri flies her Ironheart model 30,000 feet in the sky to shoot down a drone. When she reaches 0% oxygen, she nosedives back to Earth as her suit shuts down. She's saved at the last moment from crashing when the suit's systems go back online.
This is very similar to Stark's first experience when he takes his Iron Man prototype out for a joy run. Stark didn't lose consciousness, but his suit stopped functioning from flying too high in the atmosphere. It nearly crash-landed until his suit's system came back online.
Okoye's husband W'Kabi doesn't appear in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" due to Daniel Kaluuya's "Nope" filming schedule.
Queen Ramonda briefly references the character once in the film, calling him "treacherous." In the first "Black Panther," he sided with Killmonger's ascent to the throne and fought against T'Challa.
In the sequel, it's alluded that Queen Ramonda stripped W'Kabi of his titles and that he's living out the rest of his days somewhere in Wakanda.
In an interview with Cinema Blend, director Ryan Coogler confirmed W'Kabi's alive but has been cast away for his actions.
"He's basically banished, but still in Wakanda's borders," Coogler said.
Okoye, as the general of the Dora Milaje, is the only one with golden shoulder pads and a golden necklace to represent her rank while in Wakanda.
When she is stripped of her rank, Ayo (Florence Kasumba) is seen wearing gold armor instead to show that she has taken over that position.
When Queen Ramonda visits Nakia in Haiti for help, T'Challa's son is the first person who greets Ramonda.
When Namor shares his backstory, he shares that he was born in 1571. If the film takes place in 2024, he's about 453 years old.
The antihero, who first appeared in the comics in 1939, is technically the first mutant to appear in a Marvel comic. However, Namor wasn't referred to as an actual mutant until a 1963 "Fantastic Four" comic.
In the comics, mutants are defined as humans with the x-gene, who develop a mutation during puberty. Although there have been mutants before like Namor who received abilities at birth or very early in life, especially when exposed to radiation. It is likely the radiation from the herb used to transform the Talokanil caused Namor to have an early mutation.
We've already seen a few X-Men and mutants appear and referenced in the MCU, including a version of Charles Xavier. Namor's entry may give humans a reason to fear mutants since Namor is hellbent on destroying humans if his people ever become public knowledge to the surface world.
In "Wakanda Forever," the Talokan leader tells Shuri the nickname his enemies call him, Namor, heartbreakingly comes from the Spanish phrase "sin amor," which translates to without love.
In the comics, Namor is the king of Atlantis, and says his name means "avenging slow."
In the MCU, Namor is known as K'uk'ulkan, the feathered serpent god.
According to Britannica, K'uk'ulkan, also known as Quetzalcóatl, was worshipped as the god of the morning and evening stars by the ancient Mexican Toltec tribe. The god's temple was at the center of ceremonial life in Tula, an ancient city in Mexico.
This is reflected in "Black Panther," when Namor said he introduced light to the underwater kingdom of Talokan. The fake star made of vibranium also appears to be in the center of Talokan. According to "Wakanda Forever" production notes, the Talokanil were inspired by the cultures of ancient Mesoamericans.
In the comics, Fontaine had a romantic relationship with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).
In "Wakanda Forever," it's made clear that Val's now the acting director of the CIA.
When Ramonda tells Shuri to stay put, Shuri claims to have a bad connection with her mother. She hangs up on her mother, as she usually does, ending the call with, "Love you, bye."
You may not catch it on a first watch, but those are the last words Shuri winds up saying to her mother before she dies.
When Cooper appears a second time on Ross' TV to announce Queen Ramonda's death, New Asgard is mentioned on the news ticker.
Producer Nate Moore told Cinema Blend the film probably occurs "concurrent" with "Thor: Love and Thunder."
Right before Shuri creates a synthetic heart-shaped herb, Nakia says if she's successful it would be "the greatest gift since Bashenga's discovery."
Not only is Bashenga a reference to the name of the first Black Panther, but Mount Bashenga is the home to Wakanda's massive mine of vibranium. It also houses Shuri's lab.
When M'Baku approaches Shuri after Ramonda's death to console and comfort the princess, Shuri asks him, "So now you are keen to hear from a child who scoffs at tradition?"
The Jabari leader insulted the princess in 2018's "Black Panther" in front of representatives from every Wakandan tribe. While making a grand entrance to challenge for the throne in 2018's "Black Panther," M'Baku said his tribe watched from the mountains "with disgust" as their technological advancements had been overseen "by a child who scoffs at tradition."
Though he didn't mention Shuri by name, everyone knew M'Baku was referencing the princess. This is clearly a line that has stayed with Shuri for a long time since she references it more subtly earlier in the sequel.
When meeting Riri, the two bond over being young geniuses who aren't met with respect. Shuri says, "Brilliance at a young age is not always accepted."
It's important to recall that M'Baku said that line to Shuri in 2018. Shuri then disappeared for five years in the Blip, returning in 2023. For her, not much time has passed since M'Baku insulted the princess. For M'Baku, who survived the Blip, it's been six years. He's grown a lot in that time and has become a respected citizen of Wakanda.
In "Wakanda Forever," M'Baku lets Shuri know that's not how he sees her at all by saying she's been through too much to be considered a child. He tells her he promised T'Challa he would provide her with counsel.
While M'Baku is warning the elders and the Wakandan people about Namor, he says that the villain may be as strong as the Hulk. In the comics, Namor and the Hulk have battled on numerous occasions with Namor getting the upper hand, occasionally.
This could foreshadow a showdown in the future between Hulk and Namor in the MCU.
In "Black Panther" and "Avengers: Infinity War," Shuri fought with vibranium gauntlets that fire sonic blasts.
In "Wakanda Forever," they extend from her costume as she fights off the Talokanil warriors.
In the comics, the Midnight Angels consist of a subset of the Dora Milaje's best warriors. They've previously fought against Dr. Doom, a "Fantastic Four" villain.
The Midnight Angels' armor first appeared in 2016's "Black Panther" comic run.
During the final battle, Riri Williams debuts her second Ironheart suit. This suit is bulkier than her recent comic costume but uses the same red and black colors. The suit is also shaped like a heart as a reference to her name.
"Wakanda Forever" reveals Dora Milaje members Ayo (Florence Kasumba) and Aneka (Michaela Coel) are a couple. The two are also together in Mavel's 2016 "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" comic.
Analyzing Shuri's Black Panther mask and suit closely, it appears they contain homages to her family.
The gold outlining is similar to T'Chaka's Black Panther suit shown in the first "Black Panther" movie. She also has a teeth-shaped necklace around the neck of the suit, similar to T'Challa's second suit, which Shuri built for him in the first movie.
Above her eyes, there are silver dots similar to the body paint she wears during the funerals of both her mother and brother.
Finally, there appears to be a crown symbol at the top of the mask to pay tribute to Ramonda, the now-deceased monarch.
In the comics, the antihero famously yells out the battle cry, which roughly translates to "emperor king" in Latin.
When asked what the phrase means in 2018's "Thor" No. 1, Namor tells the God of Thunder, cheekily, "It means I'm going to feed your sorry Asgardian hide to the biggest sharks I can find!"
When Shuri can kill Namor, she decides to give him the opportunity to yield, which is customary in Wakandan ceremonial combat.
In 2018's "Black Panther," a fight for the throne ended either in death or when one party yielded.
There is also another callback to the same scene in "Black Panther." When Shuri looks like she is about to kill Namor, she sees a vision of Ramonda in the Ancestral Plane telling Shuri to "show them who you are." Ramonda makes the same comment to T'Challa during his battle against M'Baku.
Both Shuri and T'Challa went after characters who murdered their parents with the intent to kill them out of vengeance. Both ended up sparing their lives when they realized vengeance wasn't the answer.
When Shuri offers to spare Namor's life in exchange for his allyship, she tells him: "Vengeance has consumed us. We cannot let it consume our people."
Her brother, T'Challa, said something similar to Zemo when confronting him in 2016's "Captain America: Civil War" over the death of his father. When Zemo explains he pit the Avengers against each other in order to pay for the death of his family, T'Challa told him: "Vengeance has consumed you. It's consuming them. I'm done letting it consume me."
After Namor's conversation with Namora, the camera shows a new addition to the underwater king's wall paintings. This time the painting depicts a man fighting a panther, seemingly as an eternal sign of his battle with Shuri.
However, the fact that they are fighting rather than shaking hands in peace could be a sign that Talokan and Wakanda are doomed to fight again, similar to their rivalry in the comics.
The orange outfit Riri Williams wears at the end of the film looks like the same one that Shuri dons near the film's start. You may not have noticed it since Shuri wears a white mesh covering over it.
The outfit swap may symbolize that Shuri's no longer a child, moving into a mentor role for Riri. At the beginning of the film, Shuri needed some guidance from her mother and loved ones. Now, she can help provide that role for Riri.
The outfit could also be a hint at Riri's potential return to Wakanda one day. Shuri heads to Haiti at the end of the sequel. It's unclear if that's a permanent move or a visit. If Shuri stays in Haiti, Wakanda would need someone else to head up Shuri's tech lab in Wakanda and Riri seems very well suited for that role. Riri will star in her own Disney+ series, "Ironheart," next year.
It's a nod to Chadwick Boseman. The actor was born on November 29, 1976.