Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Ending, Explained: In 2018, Ryan Coogler came up with Black Panther, a hyper-cool Superhero movie armed with a heavy amount of socio-political commentary, an extremely likable lead hero, and a scintillating soundtrack. Not only did it achieve the feat of becoming the first Superhero movie to get the best picture nomination at the Academy Awards, but it also earned Marvel Studios and the entire genre a lot of respect from the purists who usually scoff at “these kinds of movies.”
Almost four and half years later, Coogler is back again with the sequel, titled Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. But the circumstances have been very different and extremely unfortunate for this one as Coogler had to change the fully finished original script due to the passing of Chadwick Boseman, the lead star of the film. That happened due to the collective decision of not recasting the role of King T’challa/Black Panther and taking the gamble of making a movie about how his absence is affecting the people who were close to him and an entire nation.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Plot summary and movie synopsis
King T’challa abruptly dies when Princess Shuri (played by Letitia Wright) fails to save him from a mysterious disease that could have been possibly cured by the “heart-shaped” herb which was destroyed and burned by Eric Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan).
A year has passed since then, and despite her mother, Queen Ramonda’s (Angela Bassett) insistence on continuing the research to recreate the herb synthetically, Shuri refuses to do so as she doesn’t believe in the legacy of Black Panther anymore. Meanwhile, Wakanda is under a lot of heat as several countries from the outside world (and most essentially, the CIA) are trying to get a hold of her Vibranium. This great magical metal is only mined in Wakanda. However, Queen Ramonda makes it explicitly clear that the Vibranium is not for sharing at a UN summit where Okoye (Danai Gurura), the General of Dora Milaje (The all-female special force of Wakanda), delivers a group of CIA militaries taken as prisoners because they attempted to break into a Wakandan outpost.
Shortly after, the CIA tried to explore an underwater source of Vibranium in the Atlantic Ocean with a newly invented Vibranium-detector machine. But a group of mysterious, water-breathing, pale blue-skinned people ambushes the search party and kill all of them. The CIA automatically suspects Wakanda.
Who is Namor, and what does he want?
A mysterious man (Tenoch Huerta) emerges from the water right in front of Queen Ramonda and Shuri. He introduces himself as Namor, aka the leader of the mysterious group of blue-skinned people called Talokans. They are obviously shocked to see someone powerful and intelligent enough to infiltrate Wakanda.
Blaming T’challa and Wakanda for the Vibranium dispute and external forces’ attempts at disrupting the peace, Namor gives Shuri and Queen Ramonda an ultimatum- find the scientist who has invented the Vibranium-detector machine and deliver to him in a week or else he is going to attack Wakanda.
Who is the Scientist?
With the help of Wakandan ally, CIA agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), Okoye and Shuri manage to locate the scientist. Still, they are surprised to find out that it is a nineteen-year-old MIT student Riri Willams (Dominic Thorne), who is a genius inventor.
After a first-time meeting filled with a lot of weirdness and appreciation, Riri takes Okoye and Shuri to her garage, which the FBI manage to find out about and try to arrest them. But thanks to Wakandan technology coined by Shuri and a very Ironman-like metal suit made by Riri, they tend to escape with the FBI people hot on their heels. But the Talokans, under the command of warrior Attuma and Namor’s cousin Namora, suddenly interrupt and kidnap Shuri and Riri, despite Okoye’s best efforts to prevent that.
Why do Shuri and Riri get kidnapped by the Talokans? What happens after that?
Namor appears to be much less hostile and way more friendly than when he met Shuri. Treating the Princess with the utmost respect, he takes her on a tour of his Underwater Kingdom, where also Vibranium happens to be the source of power, similar to Wakanda. He also talks extensively about how his mother was a human who got sick with smallpox along with her whole tribe and to save themselves, they ingested a plant laced with Vibranium. It did work, but it also changed them to blue-skinned people who can only derive oxygen from Water. Namor reveals that he happens to be the first underwater-born Talokan with superior abilities and winged feet, which makes him a “Mutant” (obviously a hint at a lot of Mutants are about to appear in the MCU eventually).
Shuri finds sympathy in her heart for Namor and the Talokans and requests Namor find a peaceful solution to the conflict, which involves not killing Riri Williams. Initially appearing to be skeptical, Namor does start to consider it.
Meanwhile, an unfortunate and angry Queen, Ramonda, strips Okoye of her post as the general of Dora Milaje due to the failure to save Princess Shuri from getting abducted.
Who rescues Shuri and Riri? What is the consequence of that?
To rescue Shuri, Queen Ramonda seeks help from Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), T’challa’s ex, who lives in Haiti. A former Wakandan War Dog and an experienced undercover spy Nakia manages to track the location of Shuri pretty soon and hatches a plan to draw Namor out of the water.
While Namor meets queen Ramonda on the beach and proposes an alliance between Wakanda and Talokan to fight the world together, Nakia infiltrates his Underwater Kingdom and rescues Riri and Shuri. But during the process, a Talokan warrior dies.
As a result, an enraged Namor attacks the capital of Wakanda and uses water grenades to flood the queen’s court, where Ramonda dies while saving a drowning Riri. Before leaving, Namor promises to come back after a week with his entire army with a “join or die” ultimatum this time around.
What is the agenda of the CIA?
In the world outside, Everett Ross gets arrested by the new CIA director (and also his ex-wife) Valentina (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who was first introduced to the MCU in last year’s “Falcon and the Winter Soldier) for being in contact with the Wakandans and exchanging secret intelligence. The agenda of the CIA is not particularly clear in the movie other than getting hold of Vibranium.
Who does Shuri meet in the Ancestral plane? How does Black Panther come back?
After losing her brother and mother in the span of a little more than a year, Shuri is now more traumatized than ever. Fueled with anger and already unresolved grief, she vows to take revenge against Namor and attempts to synthetically recreate the herb and bring back “The Black Panther.”
After successfully creating the herb, she takes it under the watch of Nakia and Riri. As per the Wakandan tradition, Shuri finds herself in the ancestral plane. To her surprise, she meets the last person she could ever have imagined, none other than Killmonger (Michael B Jordan in a cameo). The implication of her ideology matches more with the man who killed her beloved brother, further confuses her, and she snaps out of it.
But she does earn one more thing; the mythical power of “Black Panther.” A new Black Panther emerges as Shuri to protect Wakanda in the darkness.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Ending Explained
The Wakandans tribes find new hope after Shuri reveals herself as the new Black Panther in the suit. Even though the leader of the Jabari tribe M’baku (Winston Duke), advises her for peace, Shuri ignores and calls for revenge which involves counter-attacking Namor.
Under her leadership, the Wakandans set a trap for Namor and the Talokans in the middle of the Atlantic ocean by using the seafaring vessel called “The Sea Leopard.” Their plan works when Namor attacks them, but Shuri manages to separate Namor from his people by abducting him and quickly taking him away in a different spacecraft. The spacecraft crashes, the two end up in a desert, and the inevitable big fight breaks into them.
While their leaders fight in the desert, the Wakandans and Talokans fight in the middle of the sea, where the Wakandans manage to gain the advantage thanks to Riri fighting with the help of her advanced suit, Okoye and the Dora Milaje tribe, Nakia and M’baku who despite his personal reservation has joined the fight for his nation.
Shuri manages to beat Namor in the desert, but instead of killing him, she asks him to yield, which he does. Namor and Shuri form a truce between them, and the fight between the water and land people end as well. Namora seems disappointed with Namor for surrendering to Wakanda but reveals that as Wakanda doesn’t have any other allies, it will actually benefit the Talokans.
In what can be considered an epilogue, Riri goes back to the USA. At the same time, Shuri promises to improve her suit (which we will see in the upcoming Ironheart series featuring the same character, the Superhero name of the character is not uttered once here, though). Okoye breaks Ross out of a CIA vehicle during his prison transfer. Shuri goes to meet Nakia in Haiti, where she burns her funeral clothes which she wore at her brother’s funeral, as a symbolic gesture that she has finally accepted and decided to move forward.
Why did Shuri not kill Namor?
What message does the movie want to give?
The choice of not killing Namor instantly makes Shuri a true leader, like her brother T’challa as Queen Ramonda always envisioned. Instead of opting for revenge and more violence, Shuri takes the path of “peace,” which helps both the Wakandans and Talokans, precisely what is expected from great leaders.
The movie itself makes a powerful anti-war statement this way which is very much relevant to the world we live in. It subtly talks about accepting people of different races and cultures as human beings and global citizens. The Talokan city, modeled heavily on Meso-American mythology, further strengthens that message.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever movie Mid-Credit scene Explained:
Who is Toussaint?
Shortly after burning the funeral clothes, Shuri is surprised to see Nakia, who has come with a little boy. Nakia introduces Shuri to the boy as his Aunt and subsequently reveals that it is her and T’challa’s son, and she is raising him in Haiti, far away from the pressure of the thrones and the politics related to it. Shuri seems happy and overwhelmed to meet the boy who introduces him as Toussaint.
But then he says that’s his Haitian name and reveals his Wakandan name is actually “T’challa.”
By keeping the Mid-Credit scene solely about the movie rather than a tie-up with anything else or a set-up for upcoming MCU projects, Marvel Studios honor Chadwick Boseman in the best possible way they could.