Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – a Tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Blank Panther: Wakanda Forever is the sequel to the original Black Panther. This movie was dedicated to Chadwick Boseman after his sudden death due to colon cancer in 2020. In the movie, the people of Wakanda are forced to move on from the death of Boseman’s character King T’Challa quickly in order to protect their home from world powers who want their supply of vibranium, as well as Namor the Sub-Mariner. 

Chadwick Boseman makes an appearance in Wakanda Forever, through a statue that is presented in his honor. Throughout the movie, there are also references to T’Challa through the way that different individuals dress. Some of the characters had very similar costumes to what Boseman’s character would wear when he appeared on screen. Although this was a small detail, it was something heartfelt. To say the least, this movie is a love letter to Boseman, which has both benefits and setbacks for the story as a whole. 

Costuming of Shurri and Ramonda in Wakanda Forever.

Alongside all of the excitement behind the movie, Wakanda Forever has an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. Wakanda Forever is rated to be 11 points lower than the 96% score (the highest in the MCU) of Black Panther, bringing the averages of both movies to 91%. 

The movie sparked a lot of conversation prior to, as well as following its release, because people speculated on how the movie would work after Boseman’s passing. I sat down with Shane Sygiel (‘26), an avid Marvel movie-goer, after he had the chance to watch Wakanda Forever. Despite some negative feedback on the movie, Sygiel quite enjoyed it. 

I first asked Sygiel what he thought about Wakanda Forever. Sygiel responded with, “My opinion on Wakanda Forever is that it is very beautiful in the MCU. They designed [the country of Wakanda] to be very detailed with the towers, the streets and life outside of the city with a variety of trees throughout the land. Within Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, they added a mural for T’challa to honor him because of his passing in 2020. In the film, he dies of an illness and the people of Wakanda have a ceremony honoring his life and legacy he had on Wakanda.”

Mural of King T’challa.

Contradicting what some people have said about Wakanda Forever, including the length of the movie and the CGI not being comparable to other movies in the MCU universe, Sygiel says, “I believe they did an amazing job at portraying Wakanda. It is a country that was formed on top of a meteorite made out of vibranium, a metal that they used for their technology and that was very advanced compared to the human race. They used vibranium for their vehicles and the defense they used against enemies. It is also blessed with many unique species of plant life and clean water.”

Sygiel mentions how much he liked watching Wakanda Forever and how it meant a lot to Boseman’s family. To reiterate, throughout the movie there was a statue shown that was dedicated to Boseman’s character. This hit home for many people as it reflected the legacy that Boseman left behind. 

I also asked Sygiel about his favorite part of the movie. Sygiel immediately responded back with, “I like how they adapted Wakanda. I would say that the directors and the writers did a really good job capturing how the comics were within the movie.” Sygiel showed no hesitation in expressing how much he appreciated and enjoyed watching the remembrance of Boseman. 

I asked Sygiel what he would change within the movie. Sygiel responded, “I actually wouldn’t change anything about it. It is very beautiful and detailed in a way where I would love to visit the land of Wakanda, if it was a real place. The movie was very detailed and the actors did a fantastic job of playing their roles and connecting to their characters.” 

To conclude the interview, Sygiel mentioned that, “One thing I would love to say is, if you have time, please go see Wakanda Forever. It is an amazing film and a perfect farewell to Chadwick Boseman.”

Wakanda Forever focuses primarily on Black women’s empowerment, which is great to see in the MCU and is seen in the movie through the abundance of Black, female-leading characters.

Although there are many critiques about the movie, specifically saying that it was too emotional and uses the death of King T’Challa and Boseman to drive the movie, there are still many components of the movie that make it just as empowering as the original Black Panther. The movie also helps to move the MCU forward as a whole through various plot points. Despite the lower review compared to the first movie in the franchise, Wakanda Forever is definitely worth the watch. 

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