we knew Black Panther: Wakanda Forever it would deal with the death of the nation’s protector and the arrival of Namor. What we didn’t know was how many surprises the long-awaited sequel had in store for us. That included a surprise cameo from someone we didn’t expect to see. How did the film achieve this and what did it mean?
The answers to those questions involve discussing major spoilers.
Shuri meets an unexpected familiar on the ancestral plane.
Wakandans who drink the heart-shaped herb visit the Ancestral Plane to speak with a deceased relative. T’Challa spoke with his father, King T’Chaka, when he traveled to that land of the dead.
When Shuri consumed that concoction, made from her 3D-printed version of the flower, she expected to see her recently deceased mother. Shuri thought Queen Ramonda would guide her. But when the princess woke up there and found herself inside the Wakandan throne room, she was shocked and angry to see who was waiting for her. was the original Black Panther the main villain of the film, Erik Killmonger.
We were also surprised. Why was her cousin, who took so much from Shuri, her family, and her country, the person who greeted her in that sacred dimension? Because she summoned him.
Why did Shuri summon Killmonger to the ancestral plane?
early in wakandan foreverShuri told her mother that if she allowed herself to mourn her brother’s death, she would become so angry that she would set the world on fire. Her anger erupted after the death of her mother. When he entered the Ancestral Realm, Shuri wasn’t looking for good guidance, especially the kind of restraint his mother would recommend. Shuri was seeking approval for what he really wanted to do: seek revenge. The only family member who would push her down such a dark path was her late cousin Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan.
This scene shows that the Ancestral Plane is what you make of it. You can use it to seek honest help or reassurance. Or you can use it to reinforce what you want to hear. That doesn’t mean that whoever you meet there, friend or foe, can’t help you even if they don’t mean to.
Killmonger told Shuri that his brother T’Challa put all of Wakanda at risk by showing mercy to the country’s enemies. He also said that his father was a hypocrite. Clearly, death did not soften his view of his world. He also didn’t provide her with perspective on where hate leads. He said that the only one with the will to kill Namor was him. For Shuri to do that, he needed to accept his view of his world. With that, Killmonger left her as the throne room on the Ancient plane burst into fire, a symbol of the very thing Shuri threatened to do to the world.
Shuri almost did exactly what Killmonger prompted as well. So why did he finally ignore the ancestor’s advice that he summoned? Because when the time came, another member of her family spoke to her from the afterlife.
Why didn’t Shuri kill Namor?
With Namor at her mercy and Shuri ready to deliver a fatal blow, she saw not only the destruction of Wakanda and the Talokan that would follow her assassination, but she also saw her mother. Ramonda appeared to her daughter from the Ancestral Plane. The queen was right, our family members have never really left. And when she did, the kindness and wisdom of her mother and Shuri’s brother overwhelmed her.
By accepting who she really is and letting go of her anger, rage, and pain, Shuri avoided going down Killmonger’s path. Because even though she called him to hear what she wanted, she in her heart knew what she had to do. She needed to be more like the man who stopped Killmonger, her brother T’Challa.
That decision gave audiences the best of both worlds. The new Black Panther not only saved countless lives, wakandan forever gave us one more scene with Jordan’s Killmonger, one of the best villains in the MCU. He was as compelling, powerful, and dangerous as ever. But maybe after he’s dead a while longer, he won’t be so eager to kill everyone he hates.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer for Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone ranks Targaryen kings.
This content was originally published here.