“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” poignant tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Marvel does nice job of salvaging storyline after lead actor dies of cancer


Wakandan doctors race around the room as they try to save the dying king. As Shuri orders them out to try to think up a cure, her mother, with tears in her eyes breaks the news. The king may flatline, but the new Marvel movie, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” definitely doesn’t.  

This film was an emotional rollercoaster. After Chadwick Boseman died from a long battle of Colon cancer in 2020, the fandom was left devastated along with curiosity of what would happen next. When “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” was announced and the trailer presented a new Black Panther, the fandom went crazy with anticipation to see the new film. 

The movie starts with the sad news of T’Challa’s death which left Shuri, Queen Romanda and the entire Wakandan Kingdom depressed. After a year, Queen Romanda and Shuri try their best to lead their people while suffering with grief. We soon meet the antagonist of the movie Namor (Kukulkan), played by Tenoch Huerta, who leads the Talokun to fight against Wakanda and then the world. After Namor causes destruction and devastation to Wakanda, Shuri rises and uses her brilliance and courage to become the next Black Panther. 

As an avid Marvel fan, I can say that Ryan Coogler, the director, did a fantastic job with showing respect to Boseman and the film itself. Right off the bat, the iconic Marvel intro was replaced with images and scenes of Boseman as a memorial. The intro song was also discarded as a moment of silence. This opening was completely unexpected given the fact that Marvel has stuck with their traditional intro of small scenes from different films for so long. It was a beautiful moment that easily brought tears to my eyes and set the tone of what the film would be like without Boseman. 

The acting behind the movie was amazing as well. Letitia Wright, Angela Basset and Danai Gurira who play Shuri, Queen Romanda and Okoye truly did a fantastic job with portraying the feelings behind their characters.  

There was so much depth and emotion behind the characters that truly moved the audience. Their reactions felt raw, and the character development was natural. I could tell they did not have to try hard to get their emotions through to the watcher. 

Like all Marvel films, the action was exciting. The fight scenes were well choreographed, and the creativity of the fighting styles was impressive. I did wish the final fight were longer so I could have seen Shuri as the Black Panther more. Although the build up to her becoming the new Wakandan hero was exciting to watch, it would have been better to see her transform earlier into the film. 

I believe the best part about the movie would be how serious and mature it was. Many Marvel fans have been frustrated by the way the studio had turned the serious action-packed movies into fun comedic ones. But this movie was not like that. Every now and then we would get a joke or two mainly from the newest character, Ironheart played by Domonique Thorne, but even then, it would revert to being serious. There is a good chance that it was around the idea of staying respectful to Boseman, or maybe Coogler just wanted a serious film. 

Overall, the film was emotional to watch from the very beginning to the very end. High expectations were placed on the shoulders of the film and many expectations were reached. I am very pleased with how Coogler handled Boseman’s death by giving him his own moments throughout the movie. The world has lost a very honorable actor, but “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” made sure he was honored.