• Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

8 Details You Missed In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now in theaters, becoming perhaps the Marvel film with the most emotional baggage.

While crossovers and callbacks weren’t necessarily at the top of director Ryan Coogler’s priority list for this one, the sequel still contains a slew of hidden easter eggs that you might have missed after just one viewing.

Here are 8 details you missed in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

1.  Shuri’s symbolic tattoo

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Details

Shuri is squarely on team science and technology, and she wears them quite literally on her hand. Viewers don’t have to look that closely to catch the Princess’s new tattoo; it’s prominently displayed several times throughout the movie. There’s a graphic design that resembles rearranging particles. Perhaps it’s a visual representation of the chemical makeup of Vibranium or some other scientific breakthrough she’s been working toward?

Shuri rejects the idea of the supernatural throughout “Wakanda Forever” even after she experiences it via the ancestral plane for herself. She tells her mother that T’Challa didn’t touch her shoulder. That was just a figment of her imagination. She gives up on the heart-shaped herb in favor of better weapons and suits. Shuri and M’Baku even reference his accusation in the first “Black Panther” that Wakanda’s technological advancements have been overseen by a “child who scoffs at tradition.” Many other characters’ body modifications harken back to their heritage. That Shuri puts her faith so totally in science and in her own genius is a huge part of her identity.

2.  Throughout the film, Shuri tries to build a synthetic heart-shaped herb.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Details

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.

3.  The opening credits pay respect to Chadwick Boseman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Details

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” opens with a scene that’s sure to well tears in the audience’s eyes. Shuri is frantically working on printing a synthetic version of the heart-shaped herb that gives the Black Panther their powers and allows Wakandans to access the ancestral plane. But her research has only gotten her so far when her sick brother’s heart rate begins to fall. Its probability of success is hovering around 30% when Queen Ramonda enters the lab to tell her T’Challa is gone.

The scene crossfades from Shuri’s devastated face to what seems like the standard Marvel Studios opening credits. For the most part, this is the graphic format that Marvel fans around the world have come to know and love. But this time, instead of the familiar triumphant Marvel Studios theme music, there’s absolutely no music or sound at all. And instead of a highlight reel of all of the MCU’s mightiest and most popular heroes, as per usual, every letter is filled with stills and clips of Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa from all four of his appearances. When the Marvel Studios logo arranges itself in place, the words first glow with the purple of the heart-shaped herb before fading into the black and silver of T’Challa’s Black Panther suit.

This slight change to the opening credits format pays respect to Chadwick Boseman and leads beautifully into the funeral scene that immediately follows.

4.  T’Challa’s death mirrors that of the actor who played him

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Details

When it was announced that “Wakanda Forever” would not be recasting the role of Black Panther aka King T’Challa, fans began to speculate about how the sequel would deal with Boseman’s tragic death. Trailers made it clear that T’Challa dies in the world of the MCU, but the how was kept secret. It turns out, T’Challa passed in much the same way Boseman himself passed: from an illness he kept from the public and shared only with his closest loved ones. There’s a mural in the film’s funeral scene with Wakandan letters that translate to, “The Panther King Forever Live in Us and Rest.” Disney also honored Boseman with a mural. This similarity — how they died and how the world reacted –  is entirely too somber to call an Easter egg, but it’s still significant and worth discussing.

That T’Challa’s death mirrors Boseman’s death makes the first part of “Wakanda Forever” even more impactful. It also allows Ryan Coogler and the cast and crew to avoid trivializing Boseman’s fatal illness by substituting his real tragedy for a possibly cheap-feeling narrativized one. Boseman’s family and creative partners, including his widow Simone, were consultants on the film, so the story of T’Challa’s death was handled with their seal of approval. That filmmakers chose not to overly fictionalize the end of T’Challa’s story helped “Wakanda Forever” to clear what was, without a doubt, its highest hurdle.

5.  “Wakanda Forever” takes place around 2024.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Details

Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Marvel Studios 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.

6.  T’Challa’s ceremonial spear and shield were laid next to his coffin.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Details

The shield and spear are seen on the ground by the coffin during an aerial shot. Marvel Studios 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.

7.  The ancestral plane theme plays when T’Challa’s coffin is lifted into the sky.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Details

Göransson’s track “Ancestral Plane” signifies T’Challa ascent to his final resting place in the parallel dimension. Marvel Studios 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.

8.  Pay attention to that license plate

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Details

Riri’s car holds sentimental value, which is why it’s such a grand gesture when Shuri recovers its pieces and has it restored to practically brand new in the film’s final act. The most Easter egg-like thing about Riri’s car, however, is its license plate. It reads EE-0710. We can guess that “EE” stands for Easter egg. The meaning of 0710 is less obvious. The simplest answer to this riddle is that it’s a nod to 2018’s “Black Panther” Vol. 7 #10, the story of which touches on the multiverse, mutants, and Egyptian gods. The issue is probably a true Easter egg as the “EE” suggests, meaning it might not necessarily signal specific plot points to come.

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