10 Issues We Can’t Ignore About Black Panther And Wakanda Forever (Pt. 1 of 2) [Warning: Major Spoilers]

I hope that by the time you this, you’ve had a chance to enjoy both the original and the long-awaited sequel to one of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s greatest creations: Black Panther (2018) and (now in theaters) Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Never before have I seen a global outpouring for a Hollywood production as I have Black Panther, the story of the fictitious, technologically advanced country of Wakanda, Africa and its new King T’Challa who also serves as the protector, the superhuman warrior Black Panther.

But I need to get to the meat of this bone because I will talk you to death about what you should already know by now. 

When it comes to Black Panther 1 & 2, there are several interesting scenes/subjects within each that have been the basis for many discussions among fans and MCU enthusiasts.  Some of which I’d like to discuss here and now. 

Keep in mind that my comments in no way take away from my love and admiration for both films. But they are definitely worth noting.

In this portion, I would like to address the concepts and actions in the first movie, “Black Panther” (I will cover the sequel in Part 2). And remember that the following thoughts are my own opinions, based solely on the movies and no other internet comments or articles.

And as I already warned, Here Be Spoilers…

10 Issues We Can’t Ignore About Black Panther And Wakanda Forever (Pt. 1 of 2) [Warning: Major Spoilers]

1. The decision of the ancestors to keep the discovery of the source metal Vibranium a secret may not have been the wisest.
In the opening backstory it is explained that as Wakanda made its technological advances “the world around it descended further into chaos”.  During the digital montage, slavers can be seen transporting captured Africans to slave ships for the middle passage and Transatlantic Slave Trade. 

Wakanda could have intervened. Not only by freeing the enslaved but by fighting off any and all countries looking to invade and divvy up the continent of Africa, as well as its people and resources, amongst themselves.  T’Challa’s statement while speaking to his father in the Ancestral Plane confirms this when he says, “You were wrong – all of you were wrong – to turn your backs on the rest of the world! We let the fear of discovery stop us from doing what is right!”

I personally would have utilized Wakanda’s strengths to blow every single slave ship out of the water when they shackled the first pair of hands. You other countries wanna trade with us? Come get some of this awesome African Black Soap and other Skin Beautification products…

but the people stay HERE.

2. T’Chaka should not have abandoned his brother’s son.
While working undercover in America, Wakandan N’Jobu and a younger Zuri are visited by N’Jobu’s brother, King T’Chaka. T’Chaka accuses him of secretly assisting black-market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue with the theft of Vibranium, thus betraying his home country of Wakanda. T’Chaka kills N’Jobu during the confrontation and returns to Wakanda, leaving N’Jobu’s unsuspecting son, N’Jadaka, to discover his father’s body. N’Jadaka grows up to become a U.S. Navy Seal in black ops. Known as the highly-skilled and feared Eric “Killmonger Stevens, he returns to Wakanda (where no one knows of his existence and special lineage) seeking revenge and the throne.

Njobu (r) stands before King T’Chaka.

3. T’Challa lost the challenge.
When Killmonger brings the body of Ulysses Klaue to Wakanda, he identifies himself to be of royalty, the orphaned N’Jadaka, son of King T’Chaka’s brother, N’Jobu.  It is during his introduction to the Wakandan council that he challenges T’Challa to combat for the throne (outside of the challenge period).  Blinded by rage from their first confrontation, T’Challa accepts.  Unaware of Killmonger’s extraordinary fighting ability and stripped of his power as the Black Panther, T’Challa is defeated and lies wounded, exhausted and helpless as Killmonger delivers what would be the killing stroke.  T’Challa is saved when combat mediator and elder statesman Zuri interferes by intercepting the downward swing with his own spear.  Killmonger kills Zuri before throwing a defeated T’Challa over the edge of the waterfall.

Look, people.  As much as I hate to say it.  T’Challa lost. I’ll say it again for the people in the back, “T’Challa LOST”.  Had Zuri not interfered, T’Challa would have been beheaded in front of the witnesses of the combat ritual.  Having been cast over the edge of the waterfall, he suffered from life-threatening injuries, exacerbated by the fall.

When his mother Ramonda, Shuri and Nakia run to Jabari Land for help, claiming T’Challa had been “murdered in ritual combat”, the first thing ruler M’Baku asks is “Were the odds fair?” When Nakia answers “yes”, he concludes “so it was less a murder than a defeat.” M’Baku, whose people found T’Challa’s body, states that T’Challa is alive only because they were keeping him in the freezing snow. 

T’Challa is saved by the healing and enhancing powers of the heart-shaped herb. In video games, that’s a cheat code, ain’t it?

T’Challa returns for the exciting “rematch” at the film’s climax stating he “never yielded” because he is not dead. However, Killmonger answers, “All that challenge shit is over with.  I’M the king now.”  Okoye’s declaration that the challenge was “not complete” is a non-issue.  T’Challa was only alive because Zuri intervened, and his family used the herb he had been stripped of to restore him along with his Panther powers. 

4. Killmonger’s plan was not without merit.
Similar to Point #1, Killmonger sees the world through the eyes of an African American (as well as other cultures) who has experienced a lifetime of discrimination, harassment, prejudice and persecution.  He chastises the superior Wakandan nation not only for allowing suffering throughout the countries in Africa outside of Wakanda, but for standing idly by as the slave trade took place in recent centuries. His anger is more modernized because he holds Wakanda accountable for not intervening in current world affairs as Black people continue to suffer.  His desire to conquer the world may have been considered extreme to many, but his justification is understandable.

Killmonger (N’Jadaka) confronts and challenges T’Challa before the Wakanda Council.

5. W’kabi of the Border Tribe had little patience and even less loyalty.
W’kabi refuses to forgive T’Challa after supposedly failing to prevent his father’s assassination and bringing the killer to justice.  He is unaware that T’Challa, Nakia and Okoye successfully captured Klaue, but were attacked by Killmonger, who overtook them and rescued him.  When Killmonger betrays and kills Klaue, then takes his body to W’kabi, he is immediately accepted without question and considered someone who came through when T’Challa couldn’t.  After T’Challa is supposedly killed, W’kabi follows Killmonger without question.

Killmonger (l) and W’kabi (2) begin plans for world domination.

Wakanda operated with the understanding that if the true amount of Vibranium was known to the world, there would have been an unending struggle between the nations to procure and use it for their own selfish gain as opposed to solving world problems.  I can’t blame them for trying to protect the world from misuse of such a powerful substance, but I feel they missed out on many opportunities to right a great many wrongs.

To be concluded in Part 2 [click here].

And that’s it for Part 1!  Have something to add or a comment? Put it in the section below!  And be sure to sign up at the bottom for email notification when Part 2 posts in addition to many more articles from Kenny’s Camera, Cooking & Crazy Confessions at ZootsBlogSpot!


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