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8 burning questions we have after watching 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'

Winston Duke as M'Baku in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
Winston Duke as M'Baku in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
  • Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
  • We rounded up every burning question we had after watching the latest Marvel movie.
  • When does this film take place and what is M'Baku's role in Wakanda now?
Does this movie take place in 2024?
Dania Gurira as Okoye and Angela Bassett as Ramonda in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
Danai Gurira as Okoye and Angela Bassett as Ramonda in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

Singh: "BP 2" doesn't explicitly state how it fits into the MCU chronologically, but there are some references and hints. The film opens with the death of T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) before jumping a year later.

After the time jump, Ramonda says that Nakia left them six years ago. Later in the movie, it's mentioned that Nakia left without saying a word after Thanos' attack. In response, Nakia says that she had to step away after T'Challa was taken away from her.

Since "Infinity War," which is when Thanos snapped away half of all life, is set in 2018, "Wakanda Forever" likely takes place in 2024.  

Two other small details in the film suggest that the sequel takes place concurrently with "Thor: Love and Thunder" (released in July) and "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" (in theaters on February 17, 2023).

Acuna: I kept wondering if this film took place in 2024 or 2025, but 2024 is where I'm at, too.

The lengthy production notes don't mention the year, but I figured since Nakia was gone for six years after the events of "Infinity War," 2024 felt like a safe bet.

Of course, we don't know if she left Wakanda right after "Infinity War" or a few months later (I'm being nit-picky), but for all intents and purposes, let's say it was right after Thanos' life-altering snap.

By this logic, Touissant (aka Prince T'Challa), Nakia and T'Challa's son, should be at least six years old. Honestly, I think he looks a little older.

Does Shuri live in Haiti now or is she just visiting?
Shuri holding the Black Panther mask in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
Letitia Wright as Shuri in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

Singh: I interpreted Shuri's visit to Haiti as a quick trip to carry out one last ritual that would mark the end of the mourning period for Ramonda. She didn't go there expecting to discover that she has a nephew.

From a storytelling perspective, I feel like Shuri wouldn't relocate to Haiti because Wakanda is her home and she's the leading scientist.  

Acuna: On the contrary, it seemed pretty clear to me that M'Baku will be the lead moving forward as the new leader of Wakanda. I viewed the ending as a nice way to sunset Nakia and Shuri's characters. 

Will Prince T'Challa have a larger role moving forward or was this a one-off appearance?
Letitia Wright attends the European Premiere of Disney and Marvel Studios Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in Leicester Square in London on November 3, 2022.
Divine Love Konadu-Sun attends the European Premiere of Disney and Marvel Studios Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in Leicester Square in London on November 3, 2022.

Singh: This was one of my biggest questions after seeing the sequel.

Based solely on the end-credits scene, the intention is for T'Challa and Nakia's son to grow up outside of Wakanda and away from the pressures of the throne. But the MCU is ever-changing and it's unclear how the Wakandans will factor into future projects. So, I wouldn't rule out Prince T'Challa having a more prominent role in the future.  

For what it's worth, "Wakanda Forever" producer Nate Moore told Collider that this end-credits scene was decided on "pretty early on" and "it was repurposed thematically once Chad passed, and hopefully feels like renewal after a time of adversity."

Acuna: I thought this was kind of a corny reveal. Yes, I love the idea of carrying the legacy forward, but this felt like a very forced and predictable Disney thing to do. 

Does Val know more about Wakanda than she's letting on?
Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays Val in "Black Widow."
Prior to "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character was last seen in the end-credits scene of "Black Widow."

Singh: I felt that Valentina Allegra de Fontaine's involvement in this movie was largely unnecessary and felt more like a way to set up her involvement in the upcoming "Thunderbolts" movie. 

But "Wakanda Forever" also showed that she's always 10 steps ahead of everyone, including her ex-husband Everett Ross (the revelation about their relationship left me with a lot of questions).

She's extremely connected and resourceful, so I wouldn't be surprised if she's more knowledgeable than she lets on.   

Acuna: I also wasn't expecting Val to pop up here. The movie could've used her time on screen to flesh out some of Namor's people. (Did we really need that Peloton joke?)

I doubt Val knows about Namor and the Talokanil — the 400-plus-year-old mutant seems good at hiding — but she knows about the Wakandan Kimoyo beads so I wouldn't rule out her knowledge of Wakanda, especially given the new CIA director's interest in getting her hands on vibranium. 

Honestly, I just want to know when we'll see Namor again and if Val's thirst for vibranium continues, maybe it will lead her to the underwater god. 

Lake Bell's character isn't really dead, right?
Lake Bell in a black jacket
Lake Bell appears early in "Wakanda Forever."

Acuna: Too much time was spent with Bell's mysterious Dr. Graham for her to be a throwaway character. Prior to the release of "Wakanda Forever," fans believed Bell's character may turn out to be the MCU's version of a "Fantastic Four" character named Lucia Von Bardas who works for Dr. Doom.

Singh: They spent a lot of time with Bell's character, and yet, I couldn't even catch her name.

Acuna: I'm not going to lie, I had to consult the film's production notes to get that name for us.

Singh: I would love for her to have a more significant role in the MCU. But after seeing how wildly inaccurate fan theories for shows like "WandaVision" turned out to be, I try to keep my expectations moderately low.

Is Namor the oldest mutant?
Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

Acuna: Namor casually mentions that he's a mutant while speaking with Shuri.

While the Wakandan princess had absolutely zero reaction to that revelation, I started doing some math. If we're to believe "Wakanda Forever" takes place in 2024, then Namor is over 400 years old.

Is Marvel making Namor the first mutant in the MCU? (I presume Fox's take on the mutant Apocalypse is no longer canon.)

Singh: Ever since the Disney-Fox merger, I've been confused about what counts as canon. If we omit Apocalypse from the conversation, then I guess Namor is the oldest-known mutant since he was born in the 16th century.

I thought it was funny how casual the "mutant" comment was, meanwhile, when the word was name-dropped for the first time in the MCU in the season one finale of "Ms. Marvel" over the summer, fans online lost their minds.   

Also, I need a family tree for the Talokans because the whole time I was watching, I had no idea if Namora and Attuma are direct descendants of Namor.    

Acuna: Yes! I couldn't help but notice that Namor refers to some of the Talokanil as his children. I wasn't sure if that was because he's revered as a god or because they're literally his descendants.

There were multiple times during the film when I kept wondering, "Wait. Is Namor the father to most of the Talokanil?" 

Is "Wakanda Forever" setting up that "Armor Wars" movie with Don Cheadle?
Danai Gurira as Okoye in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
Danai Gurira as Okoye in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

Singh: The hunt for vibranium was a prominent aspect of the movie and it seems like other nations aren't going to back down from searching for the material. Regardless of the future of the "BP" franchise, I feel like this aspect of the movie would have to continue to be a thread in the MCU going forward. 

Acuna: This was the only reason I thought "Wakanda Forever" had a subplot detailing the rest of the world's involvement in trying to get their hands on vibranium. I don't know if you noticed, but Riri Williams made it a point to toss out some of her designs when the FBI raided her garage.

She's clearly concerned about others stealing her concepts. And, she should be. She didn't seem aware that the government was using her class project to search for vibranium underwater.

Is M’Baku going to become the next Black Panther?
Winston Duke as M'Baku in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
Winston Duke as M'Baku in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

Singh: "BP 2" shows that M'Baku has grown significantly from his first appearance in the MCU. Yes, he can be a jokester. But he's also extremely strong, loyal, and protective — especially of Shuri.

Plus, Shuri skipping the crowning ceremony to conclude the mourning ritual while M'Baku went to Warrior Falls to challenge the Wakandans for the title of king seemed like her way of giving her blessing for him to take the throne. 

In an interview with Esquire, Winston Duke, who plays M'Baku, confirmed that his character is now king.

"It's kind of cool though, being revealed as the king of Wakanda at the end of the movie," he said. "That's huge. So, whatever that entails, that's gonna be a fun one."

Acuna: I love M'Baku taking over as leader of Wakanda. You can tell how much he's grown since "Endgame" and see that he's a pretty respected person among the council of elders.

If he's now on the throne, does that make him the new Black Panther? Or will Shuri retain that title as M'Baku leads the country?

Since M'Baku was never a fan of vibranium gadgets, I'm curious whether or not he'll shake things up by being a more traditional ruler or if he'll finally embrace tech.

Read the original article on Insider

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