Wakanda Forever’ Handles Chadwick Boseman Death



T’Challa dies in the first scene from an “undisclosed illness.”

black panther t'challa

T’Challa dies off-screen.

Marvel


“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” opens with a chaotic scene in which Shuri (Letitia Wright) is trying to recreate the heart-shaped herb seen in the first movie in order to save her brother T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman).

Shuri comes up with a rushed solution and attempts to run to her brother, however, Ramonda (Angela Bassett), their mother, arrives and tells the princess that T’Challa is gone.

This scene is incredibly impactful since, like Boseman in real life, the character didn’t die in a fight or for supernatural reasons. It was a very sudden, human death. 

While Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, four years before his death, he kept his illness secret and continued to act in numerous movies.

Boseman’s death, on August 28, 2020, was sudden to many people, just as T’Challa’s death was sudden in the movie.

After his death, the film shows a funeral for T’Challa.

A mural of T'Challa in the first teaser trailer for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

A mural of T’Challa in the first teaser trailer for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Marvel Studios


“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” opens with a chaotic scene in which Shuri (Letitia Wright) is trying to recreate the heart-shaped herb seen in the first movie in order to save her brother T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman).

Shuri comes up with a rushed solution and attempts to run to her brother, however, Ramonda (Angela Bassett), their mother, arrives and tells the princess that T’Challa is gone.

This scene is incredibly impactful since, like Boseman in real life, the character didn’t die in a fight or for supernatural reasons. It was a very sudden, human death. 

While Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, four years before his death, he kept his illness secret and continued to act in numerous movies.

Boseman’s death, on August 28, 2020, was sudden to many people, just as T’Challa’s death was sudden in the movie.

The film uses the Chadwick Boseman Marvel logo sequence that was created after his death.

Chadwick Boseman's Marvel Studios sequence

The sequence includes pictures of Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa and behind-the-scene videos.

Disney+


Before every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, there is a credits sequence that shows clips of all the main characters in the franchise.

In November 2020, a couple of months after Chadwick Boseman died, a special sequence was created dedicated to the “Black Panther” actor and his role in the MCU.

This sequence was first used for the original “Black Panther” on Disney+.

 

Wanting Shuri to move on, Ramonda tries to get her to perform a ritual.

Ramonda and Shuri in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"

Some details in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” are only noticed upon a second watch.

Marvel Studios


Early in the movie, Ramonda tries to help Shuri move on.

First, she tries to get her to meditate and claims that she was able to see her son when she did it. Shuri dismisses this as imagination since she is a person of science.

Ramonda then attempts to make Shuri do a Wakandan ritual for the end of the mourning period. The ritual is where people burn their funeral clothes so that they can move on. Shuri refuses since she is still clouded by her anger and grief.

Ramonda appears to keep her cool but is also mourning privately.

Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Ramonda gives a speech at the UN.

Marvel Studios


Bassett portrays Ramonda as a stoic queen for most of the film, confident even as she threatens the entire United Nations.

However, there is one scene in which Ramonda lets her guard down in public after Shuri is captured by the Talokan kingdom.

Ramonda strips Okoye of her rank as general and when she tries to protest, she gives a powerful speech, part of which was included in the first “Wakanda Forever” trailer.

“I am queen of the most powerful nation in the world, and my entire family is gone. Have I not given everything?” Ramonda says.

 

Meanwhile, Nakia appears to have fled to Haiti and is mourning T’Challa on her own.

T'Challa and Nakia in "Black Pather."

T’Challa and Nakia in “Black Panther.”

Marvel Studios


Meanwhile, T’Challa’s lover, Nakia, appears to have fled Wakanda and now has a new life in Haiti.

Nakia, who survived the blip at the end of “Infinity War,” will have mourned T’Challa during the five years he was snapped out of existence, and then mourned him again when he died at the beginning of “Wakanda Forever.”

While there is a plausible explanation for Nakia fleeing Wakanda and not returning in the mid-credits scene, her avoiding returning home depicts an alternative method of grieving.

Shuri reveals that T’Challa kept his illness hidden for some time, which seems to reflect Boseman’s story.

Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman and his wife Simone Ledward Boseman.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images


During a heart-to-heart with her antagonist Namor, Shuri reveals that her brother suffered in silence and did not tell anyone about his illness for a long time. This is similar to Boseman’s actual story since he kept his colon cancer diagnosis private from everyone but close friends and family.

As the final battle approaches, Shuri finally recreates the heart-shaped herb and becomes the Black Panther.

Shuri as the Black Panther in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

Shuri as the Black Panther in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Marvel Studios


Using a gift from Namor, Shuri is able to recreate the heart-shaped herb and become the new Black Panther. While it is necessary for the plot for her to take the mantle, it feels symbolic that Wright, who was close to Boseman and even looked up to him like a brother, is the next person to take on the mantle. 

The film’s final scene pays tribute to Boseman as Shuri finally comes to terms with T’Challa’s death.

Black Panther Wakanda Forever

Shuri in the Talokan kingdom.

Annette Brown / Marvel Studios


In the final scene, Shuri decides to finally complete Ramonda’s ritual to move on from T’Challa’s death. She goes to Haiti so that Nakia can help her and then proceeds to burn her funeral outfit. The film focuses on her face as she cries while a montage of scenes of T’Challa and T’Challa and Shuri together shows on the screen.

This seems to be the final touching sendoff to Boseman.

T’Challa’s legacy gets to continue through his son.

T'Challa and Nakia return home in "Black Panther"

Nakia and T’Challa had a son, Touissant/T’Challa, together before he died a second time.

Marvel Studios / Disney+


In the mid-credits scene, it is revealed that T’Challa and Nakia had a son and Nakia has been raising him secretly in Haiti. In the scene, Nakia reveals their son, also called T’Challa, to Shuri.

Not only does this allow T’Challa’s comic book stories to still be told on screen through his son, but the MCU also gets to honor Boseman by not recasting the character outright.

In addition, Boseman’s legacy gets to live on through a new young Black actor. Since Boseman was and continues to be such an inspirational Black figure in Hollywood, it feels apt that the baton gets to be passed on to a new young actor.





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