WAKANDA FOREVER IS A MOVIE TO MARVEL AT
By Fiona Bolzan
his legacy and continuing the Black Panther franchise.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was released in theaters on November 11th and is the sequel to the first movie, Black Panther from 2018. The first movie was a great success, commercially and critically; it was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won three. Black Panther made strides in representing people of color, specifically the Black community. The lead cast was almost entirely Black people and the film featured aspects of African culture in its costuming and design.
The original Black Panther follows T’Challa, the Black Panther, as he returns to Wakanda to inherit the throne from his recently deceased father. Once in Wakanda, T’Challa discovers that his unknown cousin, Killmonger, is challenging him for the throne. Killmonger believes that Wakanda should share its valuable resource of vibranium with Black people around the world to fight against oppression. Killmonger originally defeats T’Challa, but eventually, T’Challa regains his strength. With the help of his sister Shuri, the Dora Milaje, and the Jakarki, he defeats and kills his cousin, Killmonger.
Boseman was seen in movies within the Marvel universe for the next few years, until Boseman’s tragic death in August of 2020. Out of respect, director Ryan Coogler has chosen to not recast his character. This decision left the audience with many questions leading up to the second film.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens with the death of the Black Panther, King T’Challa, due to an unspecified sickness. Wakanda is left without a Black Panther to protect them, and the throne is passed to T’Challa’s mother, Queen Ramonda. The movie is centered around the rest of the world’s newfound interest in Wakanda’s vibranium. After the United States discovers vibranium at the bottom of the ocean, the Wakandans are concerned that another power might have access to their coveted resource. The movie is focused around Shuri’s fight to protect Wakanda from foreign intrusion while dealing with the death of her brother.
Fans of the Black Panther franchise are loving the new movie.
“I really loved the movie. From the amazing costume design to the Afrobeats soundtrack to the incredible and heartfelt moments, I’m definitely going to watch this movie again,” said senior Vanessa Basame.
Viewers enjoyed the visual aspects of the movie.
“It had great special effects. I loved the design and creative visual settings,” said senior Sophia Huang.
The movie continues to highlight African culture, while also featuring Mexican and Latin American actors and culture. Namor, the leader of the rival Talokan country, is played by Mexican actor, Tenoch Huerta. Talokan, features aspects of Mesoamerican culture and history. The movie’s portrayal of Latinx culture emphasizes the importance of representation. The fighting between the Talokan and Wakanda emulates the tensions between communities of color.
“The movie is a metaphor for how communities of color are often pitted against each other because of fear of white society’s pressure of colonization,” said senior Elsa Mersha.
Some Marvel fans are opting to wait for the movie’s arrival to streaming services instead of seeing it in theaters.
“I’m looking forward to watching it when it comes out on Disney+. Disney has enough of my money, I’m not giving them extra money by buying a movie ticket,” said physics teacher Christopher Love.
Regardless, many fans who have seen the movie love it and are looking forward to the future of the Black Panther franchise.