By Matthew Acosta, Nov. 22,2022

Marvel Studios released the highly anticipated sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, on Nov. 11. Fans have waited for this sequel, wondering about the creative plans that would be made for the character T’Challa who had been played by Chadwick Boseman before his sudden death in 2020.  

Production for the film had been postponed along with many other Marvel films due to the pandemic, as well as the tragic passing of the lead actor. The film overcame many hurdles in order to put together a film that could both continue the storyline as well as honor the legacy of Boseman.  

The film returned with its former cast, including two new characters to the Marvel Universe in with Namor and Iron Heart, played by Tenoch Huerta and Dominque Thorne, respectively. Ultimately both of these characters will return in future projects for the Marvel Universe.  

The introduction of the new civilization of Talokan, the MCU’s version of Atlantis, allowed audiences to experience the same wonder and joy of seeing the fictional land of Wakanda in the first film.  

The design behind both fictional civilizations in the movie allowed for the production to have no limits on the amount of vibrancy and fictional culture within these worlds. 

Production designer Hannah Beachler returned to the sequel and brought back her “Black Panther Bible,” in which she used for the first film to bring the entire fictional culture to life on the big screen. This time, however, she had written an entire “bible” dedicated to the entire nation of Talokan. 

Having these as resources helped the production and design teams tremendously and it showed throughout the film to make each civilization feel as real as possible.   

The introduction of Namor and his civilization also gave tribute to the early Mayan civilizations of Mesoamerica and gave the MCU a chance to highlight the vast and vibrant culture of Latin history.  

The film follows Princess Shuri after the death of her brother, T’Challa, to an undisclosed illness and how her mother and the rest of the country are in grieving around her.  

Jackson Gray | The Poly Post

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” opened the film with an on-screen explanation of T’Challa’s death in the MCU, which was followed by a quiet and somber homage to the late actor playing Black Panther by including him in every scene on the Marvel logo.  

The film’s ability to balance the storytelling aspect to keep the legacy of the Black Panther in the MCU alive along with honoring the memory of Chadwick Boseman was the best aspect of film as a whole.  

Ludwig Göransson’s return to the series was yet another opportunity for him to add to his incredible resume as a composer. The musical introductions from character to character  allowed for those watching to feel the scene before watching it.  

The most impressive thing is learning that Göransson created the score associated with Namor and Talokan through using items from the sea as many historians predicted the early Mayans did themselves.  

The most important thing to the entire Marvel franchise has been the creativity and the thrill of the action scenes in each movie that they produce, and this film was no different.  

The final battle between the Wakandans and the people of Talokan highlighted the film’s fight sequences with the production’s decision to rotate the camera seamlessly from character to character.  

The transition from the main battle to the separated battle between Shuri and Namor was one of the best combat scenes that I’ve seen due to the passion felt in each punch from the opposing characters.  

The movie conveyed a powerful theme of having to chose what is right even when filled with so much need for vengeance and grief that Shuri has had to deal with during the past two years.  

The movie fits in well with the entire phase four of the MCU with movies such as “Spider Man No Way Home” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” with many of the films focusing on loss, pain and grieving as central themes.  

Director Ryan Coogler’s work on this project was nothing short of brilliant with the ability to rewrite this movie and create a project that hit every single goal that the Black Panther franchise and the MCU as a whole had set.  

The film brought a sense of comfort to the audience in the final scene by having Shuri burn her funeral clothes as a symbol of finally exiting the grieving period. This is a sign to fans that they should finally end their grief over the loss of Boseman and focus on the legacy and memories he left behind. 

Feature image courtesy of Jackson Gray

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