Honoring a king


It has been two years since the acclaimed Black Panther/ King T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman, passed away from cancer. Though he can no longer carry on his role as the king of Wakanda, a fictional country in the Marvel Superhero Universe, his legacy lives on in the new movie “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which was released on Nov. 11, 2022. 

In the first movie of the series “Black Panther,” released in 2018, King T’Challa defeated a villain, Erik Killmonger (played by Michael B. Jordan) who had tried to conquer Wakanda and steal their vibranium, a rare and valuable substance only found in this kingdom. Following the Black Panther’s death in this newest movie, leading women in the kingdom take over to save the world in his place. These powerful women include T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), his mother and queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), the Dora Milaje, the Wakandan force of women, and their leader Okoye (Danai Gurira). Partnering with various other Wakandan tribes, these women pave the way for Wakanda to start anew and fight against the evil powers who are trying to take down their kingdom. 

“I like ‘Black Panther’ because of its Black representation, and I love that they are honoring Chadwick Boseman in the new movie,” Astrid Medina, senior, said.  

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is revolutionary for the fight for women’s equality and feminism in modern day America, as the movie has a heavy focus on highlighting strong female leads, which has rarely been done. The movie is known for its feminist ideals, with women leading the nation and heading entire armies of powerful female warriors. The cinematic industry has long debated over a film’s profit with female leads; however, the newest movie in the “Black Panther” series is challenging gender roles and changing women’s stereotypes from weak and harmful to powerful and successful.  

“The role of Black women in ‘Black Panther’ reminds me that Black women can be very strong, and I like to see this kind of representation and image in films,” Jayla Turner, junior, said.  

Many wondered in the new movie whether the directors would choose to recast T’Challa; however, to respect Boseman, they decided to center the new film around his death to honor his legacy. Rather than having someone to replace him, they wanted to integrate him into the storyline, as they felt no one could truly fill his position.  

The whole ‘Wakanda Forever’ script is about embracing T’Challa and Boseman’s values (…) The message is clear: while T’Challa and Boseman are no longer with us, they will live on through their work, and the positive changes they made to the world will always be worth fighting for,” Marco Vito Oddo, a writer for Collider, said in an article.  

While the world continues to mourn his loss, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” honors Boseman’s role as the true Black Panther while also taking a big leap forward for feminism in the thematic industry.