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  • Shuri calling T'Challa's costume from Civil War old makes sense when you realize that it’s basically T'Chaka's costume from 24 years ago that was redesigned. If it wasn’t made of vibranium, it would’ve been extremely rusty by now.
  • The film is about the Black Panther – not the character T'Challa, but about the title as ruler of Wakanda and what it represents: the duty of ruling a country and guiding its resources/people to a better future. T'Challa comes to understand this, while Killmonger couldn't care less about the people.
  • During the Spirit Plane scenes, why is T'Challa his own age when he meets his father, and Erik a child when he meets his? Because that's the age they were when their fathers died. This becomes sobering when you realize that as opposed to T'Challa whose father was with him his whole childhood, Erik's father died partway through his childhood. It also shows that Erik still hasn't grown past that incident.
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    • It also reflects their respective emotional or spiritual ages. Erik's unprocessed trauma has frozen his inner self as a hurt, scared child, endlessly lashing out at the world. T'Challa has too experience grief and trauma but (as seen in the events of Civil War) has been able to work through it and grow from the experience.
  • Related to this, in Killmonger's journey to the planes, he appears in his old apartment in Oakland. You can see the spirit planes from the window, but he mostly ignores it and goes to where his father's journal was. It shows how he's still focused on his past to the exclusion of all the potential that exists beyond it. The fact that it's inside his apartment is a hint about how he's walled up in his mindset.
  • The contrast between how T'Chaka saves a life and how T'Challa saves a life. T'Chaka saved Zuri from his own brother, but turned his back on bringing home his nephew Erik so as to keep Wakanda a secret. That eventually backfired when Zuri is killed by the son of the man who tried to kill him. In contrast, T'Challa chooses to save Ross by bringing him back to Wakanda to further heal his bullet wound, even if it means potentially exposing Wakanda's secret technology. Not only does Ross live by the end of the movie, he also repays the kindness by helping T'Challa and his friends stop Killmonger's war.
  • Almost like a rule of symbolism, the basketball hoop Erik and his friends used to play with is unused by the end of the movie, and a new basketball hoop is being played with. This symbolizes nicely that what happened with Killmonger and his father is now in the past.
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    • In addition, the old basketball hoop is nothing more than a milk crate repurposed to a basketball hoop. This is a reference to the proverb Square Peg, Round Hole. Fitting as it shows the incompatible nature of N'Jobu and his son's approach to helping others be free through violence vs T'Challa teaching others the value of freedom through knowledge and cooperation.
  • From another perspective, Square peg, round hole is supremely apropos to the condition that the transplanted African- "African-Americans"(represented in the film by Erik and his undercover father) find themselves in in North America and really most places outside of Africa. It's this status of being an ill fit, an other, an outlier that informs N'Jobu's decisions and becomes radicalized and weaponized in his son.
  • The Heart-shaped Herb is burned at Killmonger's command, very symbolic of how his hatred has burnt away at his heart. Burning a sacred plant that is primarily of use for healing and spiritual connection is also fitting for a materialistic, angry man who has no use of patience for healing and only wants to turn the world into a bloodbath.
  • Ironically, T'Challa's worst enemy isn't the South African Klaue or the Jabari M'Baku but the Wakandan-American Erik Killmonger. This is part of a theme that your enemies aren't limited to "foreign" intruders or "internal" dissenters, they stem from the history between people and their nations, not mere geography.
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    • What's more, there's how each brings up T'Challa's father, T'Chaka, in order to break our hero. The closest M'Baku has to an armor-piercing remark is simply how T'Challa couldn't save his own father, and (as a would-be Pre-Mortem One-Liner) Klaue points out how T'Challa resembles his father. But it's Erik's words that cuts the deepest: "You're not the son of a king, you're the son of a murderer!"
    • Regarding the enemy from within, it also brings in mind the last time someone tried to tear the Avengers apart from the inside and succeeded, and T'Challa was there to witness and capture him. T'Challa knows the dangers of an internal threat backed up with personal vengeance.
  • When choosing who would come with him to South Korea, T'Challa chooses Okoye and Nakia. Shuri questions the idea of bringing an ex on a mission, but perhaps it's not just an attempt to reconnect with her. Nakia has been travelling the world in order to reach out and help it. And she knows some of the languages social customs outside of Wakanda.
  • The guard dog in the trailer is seen wagging its tail at the Black Panther. Watchdogs of Wakanda recognize each other. He's also barking at a cat in a tree.
  • At first, Shuri's joke about T'Challa's shoes, calling them sneakers, doesn't really bat an eye to any viewers. But then, you realize that they were sound-absorbent. Which would be great for not being detected. They're sneakers.
    • Adding to that, the name itself is both a figurative and literal Stealth Pun. Figuratively, it's a pun that viewers may not notice, and literally, because it's a pun about stealth!
  • Ramonda and Nakia joke about how T'Challa had frozen "like an antelope in the headlights". This seems like routine Hold Your Hippogriffs at first ... until you consider that Wakandans surely invented headlights generations before anyone else on the planet. It's our own "deer in the headlights" expression that came later!
  • Killmonger as the Panther:
    • Killmonger taking on the Panther's garb is not just him stealing the tech for his own use, but as the Panther is a symbol of leadership and godhood in Wakanda, it constitutes a personal attack at the Panther's image and the faith it inspires. As a terrorist, Killmonger can understand the impact of attacking and perverting a national symbol. In fact, Ross outright states during the film that such methodology was part of his training as a covert operative.
    • Subverted in the film... in a way that makes it even more clever. He wants to be the Black Panther, but a more militaristic form than T'Challa. He wants to terrify the world instead of inspiring it, so he made his suit have obvious teeth. It's a fabric death threat to anyone who thinks they can mess with Wakanda.
    • This is also shown in the versions of the necklaces that form the suits they took - Erik took the flashier, golden one because he's arrogant and wants to be noticed and bring Wakanda into the spotlight, T'Challa has the more subtle silver one because he's more humble and would rather keep Wakanda secret and safe (at first).
    • Connecting with a point below, Killmonger in the golden suit is pretty much a revenge-driven Black Panther, and T'Challa let himself be driven by revenge back in Captain America: Civil War before realizing it and stopping. Killmonger may be a reminder of what happens if T'Challa went through with it.
  • Songs:
    • The usage of "step into the spotlight" in the trailer is fitting in both a thematic sense, as the film pushes Wakanda onto the world stage to finally break its centuries of isolation, and as a Continuity Nod to T'Challa's first line in the MCU ("I suppose neither of us is used to the spotlight."). The song makes even more sense when you look at the full lyrics. Run the Jewels paint themselves as mythical figures, shrouded in legend. How does Klaue describe Wakanda again?
      • It works on a meta level, too. Many non-comic book readers had at least heard of the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor (comic or mythic) or Captain America before the MCU films began, but Black Panther, like Ant-Man or the Guardians of the Galaxy, wasn't exactly a household name. Now, in one blockbuster leap (pounce?), he's burst into the spotlight as one of Marvel's most iconic heroes, recognizable even for people who'd had no clue who "that dude in the cat suit" was when he debuted on the big screen in Civil War.
    • Similarly the Gil Scott-Heron/Vince Staples mashup in the main trailer fits incredibly well thematically. "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" is a spoken word poem critique of white-centered pop culture at the time, which ignored or downplayed African-American people and culture (hence the title). Black Panther, by contrast, celebrates Black culture and makes it the cornerstone of a $200 million-plus superhero movie that's part of literally the biggest film franchise of all time.
  • Golden Jaguar:
    • Killmonger's Golden Jaguar suit may seem a strange choice of name, since Jaguars live in the Americas and Leopards live in Africa, where Wakanda is located, hence Golden Leopard would be more fitting. But Killmonger was not raised in Wakanda; he spent his life in America. Using the term Jaguar instead of Leopard shows his American roots, and how he is not considered a true Wakandan anymore.
    • This is also shown with accents; Killmonger is the only character of Wakandan birth not to use an African accent, instead using the American one he developed after living there for so long.
    • This is also a possible allusion to the comic version of Erik Killmonger. In the source material, he's never far from his pet leopard Preyy. Melding the two is an interesting adaptation.
    • It's also a reference to Erik's birthplace in California, and to his obsession with the harm inflicted by "colonizers" worldwide: the jaguar was indigenous to California before white settlers began trapping, shooting, and poisoning them into extinction for their pelts and as a threat to livestock.
  • Religion:
    • The Jabari worship the Indian god Hanuman. There are existing accounts of African-Asian communities existing who have turned to Hinduism.
    • Plus, as stated in the prologue, the Jabari were the only tribe to not yield to the first King, and thus, while the rest of Wakanda went isolationist, the Jabari were still out there right where foreign missionaries, including traders from India, can find them.
    • This also explains why the rest of Wakanda maintains its own pagan religion, while the rest of Africa (and particularly East Africa, where Wakanda is implied to be in) is predominantly Christian and/or Muslim - all the Christian and Muslim missionaries were driven away before they could do any significant proselytizing.
      • Acually, much of the spread of said religions in Africa was the result of African kings converting so their kingdoms could get better trade deals, the royal family of Wakanda obviously wouldn't care about trade deals.
      • Ah, but according to the map in Civil War, Wakanda borders Kenya and Ethiopia – The same Ethiopia which adopted Christianity as state religion in 330 AD, and which was said in the Qur'an to march on the Ka'aba in Mecca with war elephants on the year Muhammad himself was born.
    • If we combine the two points above, the reason the Jabari weren't Christianized and/or Islamized themselves? Hinduism existed a lot longer than either Christianity or Islam; basically, first, the Hindu missionaries came and introduced Hanuman to the Jabari, then the other four tribes killed those Hindu missionaries, and finally, by the time Christianity and Islam became a thing, there were enough stories, records, myths etc. of foreign missionaires disappearing in Wakanda roaming around for Christian and Mulsim missionaries to stay away from Wakanda.
      • You can even combine it with the "religions spread by trade deals": Wakanda has a technologic head-start over the rest of Africa. Therefore, the Jabari would be into the trade game earlier. Therefore therefore, the Jabari chief would convert to Hinduism to get more favorable deals with traders from India.
      • Makes even more sense in that the Jabari use a lot of gorilla symbolism. While this is a nod to the Jabari from the comics worshipping the Ape god from, its also because Hanuman is an anthropomorphic monkey himself.
      • Although this entire line of discussion is fascinating, it flies in the face of how Hinduism actually functions. Apart from a few established Shiva and Vishnu-worshipping movements in medieval India(which covered Hanuman, because Hanuman was a servant of Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu), most proselytization is modern and generally limited to groups like Hare Krishnas. Hinduism as an old Indo-European Polytheism simply syncretizes gods from other pantheons, in the same way the Romans syncretized the Greek and later the Egyptian Gods. Sending missionaries to people to the cult of Hanuman is pretty much out of the question(see here for more).A far more probable explanation in-universe and in line with real life is that the Jabari simply adopted Hanuman worship from Hindu traders visiting the East Coast of Africa. The monsoon winds going back and forth across the Arabian Sea have meant that Indian traders have visited East Africa for thousands of years. For the Jabari to make contact and to adopt the Hindu God Hanuman (or simply name their own tribal god after the Hindu deity) as their own makes sense given their vegetarianism and their existing beliefs.
  • Why is the film set in Korea? Because the last Marvel film there was Avengers: Age of Ultron, where Helen Cho was using vibranium to create an artificial body for Ultron. It would make sense for T'Challa and Klaue to go after the vibranium there. There's also some Reality Subtext considering they're next door to an actual isolationist regime that hasn't really advanced in any fashion.
    • South Korea's existence serves as a nice counter point to Killmonger's ideology. Erik believes that the only relationship is between the conquerors and conquered. However, South Korea exists largely due to international intervention, but is still a proud sovereign nation whose prosperity comes from trade and cooperation.
  • In Civil War, Black Widow tries to talk T'Challa out of going after Bucky, to let the cops handle it. T'Challa just says "I'll kill him myself" and wanders off. Nat looks disturbed. The surface read is she's thinking about her own checkered past. But in this film, we see the immense resources T'Challa could bring to bear on killing Bucky, if he wanted to. He'd probably start all sorts of international trouble in the process, and expose Wakanda to the world before it - or the world - were ready. In a deleted scene, she even implies she didn't realize he was speaking literally.
  • The two fights between T'Challa and Erik Killmonger:
    • Erik won the first round against T'Challa when T'Challa was Brought Down to Badass after depowering his superhuman abilities as per Wakandan tradition. T'Challa, having fought with Black Panther powers for a very long time, was out of his league when he fought powerless against the battle-hardened Erik who have survived countless wars and conflicts as a Badass Normal. In the final battle, however, T'Challa once again becomes Black Panther, and while Erik also has powers and an armor similar to his own, he's not used to 'fighting as the Black Panther' yet, which is where T'Challa's advantage comes in. It shows in their fighting styles as well. Killmonger fights in essentially the same way both times, barely using the enhanced agility or senses that come with the powers of the Black Panther. T'Challa, however, is severely handicapped in the first fight, where he has to fight with weapons he is unfamiliar with and has neither the room nor the physical ability for the acrobatics he normally relies on; Erik's shorter weapons also prevented T'Challa from taking him down the way he took M'Baku down. But in the final battle, T'Challa fights more like a predator: he uses his surroundings by climbing and dodging, he uses more of the leaps and kicks from Civil War and the beginning of the film, and most importantly analyzes his environment. There's also something to be said about their choice of arsenals for the final battle. Erik still relies on the use of his swords and only really goes for hand-to-hand attacks if forced, whereas T'Challa has shown how much more comfortable he is fighting unarmed.
    • This is reflected in their philosophy and training in their backgrounds. T'Challa was a flexible individual that learned through the trials and errors in his ways. He grew to embrace the changing world and in his position as the protector of his people, he innately knew the strengths and weaknesses of his weapons and armor. As a result, while he is weaker in a straight fight, he excels the more resources he has once he has the freedom to move round. On the other hand, Erik's focus and training have only reinforced a single-minded drive to kill his enemy and goes straight for what he sees as the most effective solution. This means that in a closed match with limited movement, he is the better fighter. But once we branch out to include everything else, he still focuses on the knife as if it was the ultimate solution without realizing that T'Challa only cared enough about the knife as something to be aware of when it was right and that everything else was also fair game.
    • This is further extended to how they see vibranium as a resource. T'Challa has grown up with the knowledge that it can do many things and that above everything, it was versatile. However, Erik's first instinct on what it is has never left the single image that he keeps treating it as. A weapon.
  • Erik's last words. As he is dying, Erik says "Bury me in the ocean, like my ancestors who jumped from the ships." This is a poignant and stark line, but when you think about it, you remember that Wakanda was never colonized so no Wakandan ancestors were taken into slavery. What? Then you remember Erik's mother. We know nothing about her — no name, no picture — except that she is an American woman that N'Jobu fell in love with. Almost certainly she was a Black American woman, a descendant of slavery. In his last moments, Erik embraces his mother's ancestral legacy as well as his father's.
    • Additionally, many Africans are matrilineal, and the concept of a "motherland" is just as important as the more common "fatherland." A common difference is that the motherland is your literal birthplace, or of your mother's people—and for Erik, that's obviously America. Since his father died when he was so young, Erik's motherland—the painful, crime-ridden place he and his mother were born—is all he knew about being African-American. Obviously he heard stories about Wakanda's fabulous technology and its beautiful sunsets from his father, but a lot of immigrants tell their children "fairy tales." What's the difference between your Wakandan dad talking about spaceships or herbs that give you super-powers, and someone else's Filipino dad talking about aborted-fetus zombies who cry to lure people into picking them up so they can eat them, or horse-faced trickster spirits who like to smoke?
  • The Dora Milaje. We see on several occasions that Wakandans are quite willing to use the expectations of others to further their goals. M'Baku uses his and his tribe's intimidating appearance and reputation to troll people, but the whole masquerade is built around the idea that most people would simply not expect that a nation of farmers and mountain warriors surrounded by other poor countries is really a leading superpower. So a legion of female warriors and bodyguards makes perfect sense for the image that Wakanda tries to project. Dictators often surround themselves with beautiful women, including as bodyguards (though often for less savory reasons). The hereditary King of an apparent third-world country is exactly the kind of person who might do that, so nobody bats an eye when T'Challa shows up flanked by Ayo and Okoye.
    • To add to this, the comics detail the foundation of the Dora Milaje is a sort of "bride selection" for the King. The tribes would nominate their strongest female warriors to protect the King. This wasn't just a form a mutual cooperation, but to increase the likelihood of the King picking his Queen from those who are acknowledged by all the tribes to be strong, capable, and intelligent. This goes into Okoye's conflict between being loyal to T'Challa or the throne, as her purpose is to protect a king, not T'Challa specifically, so that the tribes don't play favorites. Then, there is the fact that there is no romantic element in this dilemma since she is/was in a relationship with W'Kabi.
  • The whole end of the movie is a callback to T'Challa's line in Civil War. Vengeance has consumed Killmonger. It is consuming Wakanda. T'Challa is done letting it consume him.
  • M'Baku playing up the Killer Gorilla stereotype. Of course, they think he's a man-eating savage because people believed that gorillas were cannibalistic beasts up until the 90s. So, it's no surprise to learn that he's a vegetarian, since gorillas have always been vegetarians despite their old reputation.
    • Or the fact that Jabari worship Hanuman and possibly Hinduism, which consider vegetarianism as a virtue.
    • Or when Nakia, Ramonda, Shuri, and Ross are on their way to offer M'Baku the heart shaped herb and the Wakandan throne. Ramonda pulls Nakia aside and asks if they're risking creating a bigger monster by offering M'Baku the powers of the Black Panther, and when they encounter the Jabari patrol, Ramonda puts herself inbetween Shuri and the Jabari, subtly showing just how she views the Jabari.
    • Gorillas are large, tough, powerful animals, qualities the Jabari tribe like to emulate. Gorillas also have a reputation for being savage killers, which the Jabari play up to intimidate their foes. But studies over the last few decades have shown that gorillas are intelligent, social, peaceful creatures (unless threatened). When one approaches the Jabari peacefully and respectfully, one sees their thoughtful, social, even gentle side. Of course a tribe that reveres gorillas would learn about the reality of the animals and the qualities they seek to emulate in them.
  • Why did T'Chaka die in Civil War when T'Challa was fine? He gave up his Panther powers when T'Challa became Black Panther, meaning he wasn't durable enough to survive an explosion while his son was despite being caught in the area of impact trying to shield his father.
  • Weapons:
    • T'Challa's and Killmonger's weapons are actually quite symbolic of their leadership styles. T'Challa's use of a sword and shield embody Odin's ideal king: one who is ready to defend his people in war but never seeks it out to conquer others. Meanwhile, Killmonger's twin (kinda) swords embody Hela's ideal ruler: One who takes what they want and what they believe will benefit their people best through violence and conquest, both of other civilizations and of any opposing subjects of their own kingdoms.
    • There's also a historical factoid behind Killmonger's choice to take the long spear and break the handle in half. Taking a longer, throwing spear and shortening the haft to make a better stabbing weapon was one of the innovations that helped the Zulu conquer much of its surrounding territory. Very much a warmonger's approach to weaponry.
    • The improvised ilkwa was probably an allusion to Shaka Zulu, a great African ruler...but a warmonger and a cruel tyrant who basically turned the society of his people into a war machine. In other words, exactly what Killmonger planned. Fridge Horror kicks in when you know that much of what we now call South Africa was essentially depopulated of native Africans for a long time in the 1800's because of Shaka, whose war policy was essentially Kill 'Em All. In a sad irony, this made white colonization much easier than it otherwise would have been.
    • Another weapon-related bit. A variety of African weapons appear: The Jabari have knobkerries, the Border Tribe have khopesh-like swords, Killmonger has an ilwoon, and both he and T'challa use iklwa. Which at first glance makes Nakia stand out, as her weapons look like an Indian chakram or a Chinese wind-fire wheel. In fact, certain East and Central African tribes had weapons similar to chakrams. Additionally, Killmonger's ilwoon looks similar to an Aztec macuahuitl, reinforcing (like the Golden Jaguar suit) that he has American roots.
      • Additionally, the only other instance we see someone using ring-weapons is when the Queen holds one to Ross's throat when he and Nakia first come up to her. It hints as a possible reason Nakia is exes with T'Challa. His mother is likely originally from the River Tribe as well, and they might have met when he was visiting mother-side relatives.
  • Klaue in the comics came to Wakanda to steal its resources and make them into weapons. The film has Killmonger take up this role and he kills Klaue instead.
  • Why does T'challa have such a hard time winning at ritual combat? Because he almost never uses weapons in battle. Think about it the Black Panther suit has no weapons outside of its claws which you would use in a way similar to your fist and how does T'challa beat M'baku and Killmonger? With unarmed combat techniques both times. He was losing against M'baku until M'baku got rid of his weapon and grabbed T'challa into a bear hug thus allowing him to get some strikes in and wins by submission hold. Against Killmonger, T'challa uses a flashy version of a common self defense technique, how to disarm an armed opponent when you have no weapon. Ritual combat worked against his combat training.
  • As Wakanda is so isolated, it is its own universe with many characters being Wakandan versions of other MCU characters.
    • T'Challa and his parents T'Chaka and Ramonda are Wakandan versions of Thor, Odin, and Frigga.
    • Wakandan spirituality, and their advanced technology, isolationism, and the fact they got that way through conquering and warfare (which they try to gloss over) is also like Asgard.
    • Shuri is a Wakandan (and female) version of gadget genius Tony Stark.
    • The Dora Milaje are Wakandan versions of Valkyries.
    • M'Baku the Boisterous Bruiser is a Wakandan version of Thor's ally the Hulk.
    • Zuri is a Wakandan version of the Ancient One (a spirit guide and mentor to the hero).
    • In a sense, this even makes Erik Killmonger fittingly an antagonist Wakandan version of Peter Quill. Both have been away from their ancestral home (Earth/Wakanda), both witnessed their single parent (mother/father) die one night in the prologue (cancer/mortal wounds), and both can instantly suit up (space mask/Black Panther suit). Not to mention both are devastated to learn who was responsible for said-parent's death (father/Zuri) and kills them. Killmonger has elements of Loki (willing to cross and double cross anyone at any time it suits him) and Hela (the exile who loves war, conquest, and suffering, and plans to bathe the world in blood), The Unfavorite children who are out for revenge, take the throne and use it as a weapon to punish the world for their pain.
  • Wakanda's historical isolationist policies actually make a lot of sense; in addition to the fact that their tech won't necessarily protect them from the sheer numbers of enemies the rest of the world could throw at themnote , the simple fact of the matter is that it makes a lot of political sense. Unlike African-Americans, who do share a "universal culture" based around their minority status within America, there is not a "universal African culture". Africans identify themselves by their nation, their state, or their tribe; they regard Africans from different parts of Africa in the same way that, say Americans regard Russians. It is, thusly, perfectly believable that ancient Wakanda would react to the colonization of Africa by going "I got mine, screw them" and ignoring what happens to their neighbors, a tradition that continued into the modern era. Until T'Challa chooses to end it.
  • The ultimate plot of Killmonger and his father before him is actually a huge Mythology Gag. See, long story short, when the Black Panther comic first came out, the character attracted controversy for the shared name between his superhero identity and the Black Panther Party, which was itself attracting controversy for its philosophy of empowering Afro-Americans by arming them for better self-defense and the confusion between itself and black supremacist movements. And now we have a film in which Black Panther must fight a black supremacist whose views are a more extremist interpretation of the Black Panther Party. Even more brilliant when based on the math of N'Jobu statements, he was "radicalized" in Oakland (birthplace of the BPP) in the '80s. His son subscribed to the same politics. This movie is about THE Black Panther vs A Black Panther. On top of that, it's set in 1992, the same year as the Rodney King riots and in fact is being broadcast on the TV in the background during the prologue.
    • Heck, the man T'Chaka kills in the opening sequence — Killmonger's father — is shown planning an armed response to the riots. He's all but stated to be BPP, and for all anyone knows, in the MCU sympathetic Wakandan spies such as him could have been instrumental in founding the Black Panther Party in the first place, even possibly suggesting the name in tribute.
  • In the comics, Klaue is turned into a being of living soundwaves. In other words, he's a soundcloud. When he encounters Ross in Korea, he jokes about working on a mixtape and offers him a link to...
  • After seeing Wakanda's use of vibranium to enable incredible feats of engineering and medicine and how they've done so for centuries, Ultron's frisbee line suddenly makes a lot of sense.
  • The shot of Killmonger walking up to the throne after becoming king as the camera is spinning around symbolizes how Wakanda's whole world is turning upside down. As if to stress the point his leitmotif, Rap and Hip Hop associated with modern African-Americans like he is, takes over from the far more traditionally "African" inspired background music Wakanda had before when he's acting as king. Its also a Call-Back to the scene in Avengers where Loki's Sceptre is influencing everyone to be more aggressive, complete with the camera focusing on Killmonger in place of the Mind Stone as the source of the sudden aggression.
  • A subtle one: When Okoye complains about having to wear a wig while undercover, the wig is tacky and unflattering. Had it been a little nicer — ie, something a black woman might actually wear — the scene would have carried an anvilicious and polarizing "Straight hair on black women is wrong!" message. Making it ugly makes her complaints more objective and valid; anyone would have looked "shameful" in that. It also keeps the focus on what was likely her real complaint, a shaved head seems to be part of the Dora Milaje uniform and discipline, the wig is an affront to that.
  • When T'Challa visits the spirit world in the first act of the movie, it appears to be twilight. Here the purple in the sky represents both the characters' royalty and adds to the other-worldliness of the place. The second time he goes, it appears to be dawn, symbolizing the start of a new era for Wakonda. The sky transition also shows T'Challa's growth from feeling unprepared to stepping out of his father's shadow and becoming a new king of the new era.
  • T'Challa's line about "in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers" takes on extra meaning when you consider that Wakanda stepping up to aid the world will be a huge factor in the next global crisis that follows. In a roundabout way, Killmonger's actions actually did end up saving Wakanda and the peoples of the world.
    • That line actually follows previous actions in the MCU. To prepare for a crisis, Nick Fury built bridges, connecting people and laying the foundation for what would become the Avengers, who saved the world. To prepare for the next crisis, Tony tried to build barriers, "a suit of armor around the world," ultimately resulting in the destruction of Sokovia and the near end of the world.
    • It also resonates throughout the film. T'Challa and his fellow wardogs were willing to work together with Ross in their attempt to capture Klaue and uncover the full extent of the long game Killmonger was playing. Without working together with Ross the weapons would have gotten out of Wakanda and caused untold loss of life around the world and tarnished Wakanda's reputation even if Killmonger dies. Meanwhile Eric Killmonger tried to build a wall out of spears and nearly destroyed Wakanda thanks to it
  • The challenge:
    • While T'Challa claims that his challenge with Erik isn't over yet since he neither died nor yielded, he's actually wrong — he would have died if M'Baku's men didn't retrieve and heal him (though at the time no one there but him, his immediate family, and Ross actually knows that). Erik is thus in the right to simply order T'Challa killed by his own men, as T'Challa had already received outside help. The honorable and proper thing would've been to just die, and/or accept Erik's victory. The brilliance kicks in when you remember what immediately preceded this scene: T'Challa telling his father and ancestors that they were wrong to stick so closely to tradition (such as isolationism), and Wakanda needs to change if it's going to survive. Thus, T'Challa abandons the tradition in order to retake the throne rather than let Erik lead the Wakandans to their deaths, handily showing both his attitude about modernizing his country (and leaving behind more problematic elements like "any noble who beats the king in combat can be the king") and what side of To Be Lawful or Good he comes down on.
    • One could say that tradition was almost thrown out the window from the moment T'Challa and Erik held their impromptu challenge battle when the elders point out that it would have taken days or weeks to prepare for.
    • Technically, the challenge was over the moment Zuri interfered to save T'Challa's life. Whether or not this meant both combatants got a "do over" or it meant an automatic victory in Killmonger's favor, the challenge was over.
    • Most brilliant thing of all? It doesn't matter which of the above theories are true: T'Challa still has every right to call out his cousin to fight one-on-one, and Killmonger's failure to accept still disqualifies him for the kingship. If their ritual combat is still technically in progress, then by ordering others to attack in his stead, Erik breaks the rules and forfeits the throne. If the combat was interrupted by M'Baku's men rescuing T'Challa, then the original challenge is most likely voided altogether (because the intervening parties didn't even know T'Challa's injuries were from a ritual combat), and T'Challa is still king. And even if Killmonger did legitimately assume the monarchy, guess what? Erik, himself, just established a precedent for a member of the royal family popping up unexpectedly, and issuing an immediate and legitimate challenge to a newly-enthroned king. Whether he holds the throne or not, T'Challa is still Erik's cousin, hence has just as much of a birthright to fight him for the throne as the reverse. By failing to accept his rival's valid challenge on the spot, as T'Challa always did, Killmonger officially forfeited his claim to the title.
  • T'Challa's final fight against Killmonger takes place on the tracks used for vibranium transports in a cave beneath Wakanda. They are fighting on the underground railroad.
  • At the beginning of the movie, when Killmonger grabs the African mask, Klaue says "Don't tell me that's vibranium, too." It seemed like just a joke, but it might be slightly more complex than that. After all, the Wakandans weave vibranium into their clothing, as Klaue himself tells Ross. If there had been a Wakandan mask there, it would have had vibranium in it.
  • Some have thought Shuri's "What are those?!" line was somewhat dated, but in actuality the film takes place about a week after Captain America: Civil War, which is about the time the meme gained momentum on Vine. (People can be thrown off by the movie saying "present day", but the actual opening is explicit in showing that T'Challa is returning home from the Civil War mess, so it's set in 2016). Alternately, it's quite normal for an isolationist country like Wakanda to be a little behind in pop culture — China, for example, is pretty far behind in many areas due to the decades of communist rule despite a booming economy.
  • How did a meteor so large that it formed a mountain and that Wakandans are still mining after having plenty left after several centuries of mining avoid causing an extinction level event? It's because the meteor was made out of vibranium, a metal that was described as completely vibration absorbent. This meant that the vibranium meteor absorbed most if not all the impact from striking the earth when it hit thus avoiding causing much if any destruction beyond the immediate impact area.
    • Alternately: the narration does simply describe the meteor as falling "millions of years ago". That doesn't necessarily preclude a timeframe of, say, sixty-five million years ago, even if it doesn't say "tens of millions" outright (and even if, technically, Africa and South America were one continent back then)...
    • It actually might have caused such an event as the narration says "Before man" and the tribes only found it much later
  • T'Chaka is indirectly responsible for his own death. Him sending his brother into the United States got him radicalized, which led to N'Jobu helping Klaue steal Wakandan vibranium, which was later purchased from him by Ultron, who used it to raise the Sokovian capital city from the ground, which when dropped during the battle with the Avengers killed Zemo's family, which caused Zemo to seek revenge, and which ultimately led to him bombing the UN in Vienna, claiming T'Chaka's life.
  • Speaking of Zemo, when apologizing to T'Challa about T'Chaka's death, he says that T'Chaka "seemed a good man." As we find out in this movie, T'Chaka wasn't nearly as good of a man as he seemed to be, which echoes in his words about how difficult it is for a good man to be a king.
  • T'Challa says that he believes not capturing Klaue for all these years was his father's greatest regret. T'Chaka's actual greatest regret was likely the related events with his brother and nephew.
    • Additional brilliance: Why did T'Chaka fail to find Klaue for all those years? Because if he had, Klaue would likely have revealed who aided him in obtaining the vibranium. And T'Chaka couldn't allow that, as it would undermine the Truth he had chosen to create.
  • In Captain America: Civil War, Ross comes across as much more of a Jerkass and Obstructive Bureaucrat. But in this movie, he is much more reasonable and helpful. Why the contrast? Think about what Ross was dealing with during his first appearance. There had just been major bombing at the UN during the signing of the Accords and the intelligence community was likely catching hell from all sides for not being able to prevent it. Not only that, but he had to help catch the main suspect, who happened to be a deadly super soldier, and deal with various members of the Avengers going rogue. In Black Panther, his original assignment is dealing with a black market arms dealer, which is probably a much more typical assignment for him, so he's more relaxed.
  • It makes perfect sense for why the teams in New York, London, and Hong Kong were the only ones to accept Killmonger’s offer of weapons. New York was where the Chitauri invaded, London was where the Dark Elves attempted to invade, and Hong Kong was where Dormammu nearly broke free from its prison. They most likely wanted to be prepared for when the next invasion occurs. They're also the locations of the three sanctums of the Masters of the Mystic Arts.
    • This need not even mean those locations are full of traitors or sympathetic to his cause specifically. Given that these three sites were the focal points of those invasions, it's not unlikely the agents assigned there have been trying to requisition more powerful weapons from home in case something like that happens again and thought that the weapons being sent to them was their new equipment finally getting through paperwork.
  • Just like Captain America: Civil War being the 13th MCU movie held special meaning, Black Panther takes a huge Growing the Beard leap with some Darker and Edgier trappings, and is no. 18, a common legal age in many countries.
  • When Killmonger said that the rest of the world is catching up to Wakanda, he's not kidding. Not only Stark's tech is rapidly evolving, we also have the remains of the Chitauri tech being salvaged and sold by Vulture. When even street thugs can get access to weapons that can "send people to the past", it's not hard to assume that maybe, just maybe, Wakanda isn't as special as it used to be anymore.
    • Shown best in Avengers: Infinity War, with Tony's creation of the Bleeding Edge armor, a nanotech-based suit that packs even more weapons that previous Iron Man suits and can reshape itself on the user's whim, completely surpassing the Black Panther suit in every way. The ONLY feature it lacks is the vibration absorption and the kinetic energy storage feature of the BP suit, and that's literally small potatoes compared to everything else it could do. The BE suit managed to keep Tony alive from a stab wound, where the Golden Jaguar suit lets its wearer bleed out.
  • According to M'Baku his tribe are vegetarians, as they live in a snowy mountain range it would be very difficult to raise livestock, they likely use some kind of greenhouse to grow their food.
    • Also the fact that they also worship Hanuman, a Hindu deity, meant that they also find it also beneficial to their beliefs that consider vegetarianism as a virtue even if non-beef products are not forbidden.
  • This one crosses the line into Fridge Tear Jerker. When Shuri is showing off her new designs for the Black Panther suit to T’Challa, she calls attention to two specific design features that make these suits distinct from the one T’Challa wore in Civil War: it can compress into a necklace and thus be worn with ordinary clothing, and it absorbs and weaponizes energy sent its way. Then, consider how the last Black Panther, her father, died — not as the kingly hero Shuri knew, but as a civilian in an explosion. Shuri’s updates to the Panther suit were made with her father’s fate in mind, to protect her brother from something like that happening to him.
  • According to Klaue, the Wakandans have been mining to vibranium meteor for millenia but only merely scratched the surface. This, however, makes plenty of sense when you realize that raw vibranium must be freaking hard to mine at all, given its hardness and properties to absorb vibrations. The original miners probably could barely chip at it at all with primitive tools. Sure, they've eventually developed adequate mining tools over the ages, like the one Klaue re-purposed into an Arm Cannon, but it sure must have taken them a long time. Not to mention that the extracted ore itself is very unstable and difficult to transport, as the trains surrounded by sonic neutralizers attest. And Shuri mentions those where a recent development; even after all this time, Wakandans are still working on increasing the efficiency of their vibranium exploitation. No wonder they've just "scratched the surface".
    • Most likely, even the primitive tools would've failed to make any dent at all; vibranium is incredibly durable. No doubt they had to make do with pieces of vibranium that had chipped/fallen off the main meteorite (which is likely, as while the material absorbed most of the impact, there was still enough force to make a crater); pieces they couldn't shape in any meaningful way. It would've take time and effort to make new properly-shaped tools/pieces, to say nothing of what to do after those were made.
  • The scene where M'Baku and his tribe silence Ross by hooting at him might be considered a reference to the 'monkey' insult often thrown at black people by racists.
  • Klaue easily stands out amongst a lot of MCU characters, even Deadpan Snarkers who love to hear themselves talk (like Stark and Loki), because he never shuts up even when he has nothing to contribute to a conversation (or scene). It's not just an amusing part of his character, it's another way to pay tribute to his comic character, who was made of what? Living sound. Also makes more sense why Klaue would have a love of music during the chase scene and said his group had made some of their own songs, as well as his singing (badly) during Ross' interrogation. Klaue loves to make noise.
  • Starting with this film and continuing into Infinity War, Bucky has ditched his Winter Soldier moniker and become the White Wolf. In addition to being a reference to the Black Panther comics, the names are roughly analogous. The color white and winter weather are often associated with each other. "Wolf" can be a synonym for someone who’s ferocious, especially in combat, like a soldier. The biggest difference is that White Wolf sounds much more noble than Winter Soldier, which reflects that he’s fully on the side of good now.
    • It's also an explicit reference to his race, subverting claims of a Double Standard regarding how it's somehow racist that black superheroes get to have "black" in their code names, but white superheroes don't.
    • Building off that, in America white people are the majority, so black superheroes get "black" in their codenames. But in Wakanda, black people are the majority, so Bucky's "whiteness" gets called out.
    • As for the second part of Bucky's nickname, calling a white American superhero "White Wolf" is also a good role-reversal on calling a black African superhero "Black Panther": wolves, to black youngsters in equatorial Wakanda, would seem like just as much of an exotic predator as leopards seem to many Real Life Americans. The more so, in that white wolves are native to cold regions, hence strange and mysterious to Wakandan lowlanders who've probably never seen snow.
  • Why does T'Challa have such a strong friendship with W'Kabi and the Border Tribe? Going by the colors of his clothes, Zuri was Border Tribe (implied when it was stated his parents were among those killed by Klaue when he bombed to border to escape with the Vibranium), and after T'Chaka killed his own brother to save his life, he obviously kept him close and in a trusted position. Given the tribal structure of Wakanda, this meant a rise in the prestige of the Border Tribe and increased chances for promotion, resulting in extended contact with the royal family.
  • M'Baku's first appearance is when he decries the other tribes' reliance on Vibranium technology. What ultimately saves T'Challa's life? Non-technological methods.
  • In the museum heist, Killmonger's leitmotif plays and it is easy to assume that it's Klaue's because it plays in Klaue's first scene in the movie and because Killmonger is seemingly his henchman/partner. However, once you learn that it's Killmonger's theme, it highlights that Killmonger is the one truly in power and that he is using Klaue.
  • While being interrogated, Klaue sings "What is Love?" which alludes to Killmonger's lack of a concept of love, except for his father, which leads to him remorselessly killing (or hurting like in the song) his girlfriend to fulfill his agenda of killing Klaue.
  • Killmonger declaring his intention to kill the children of anyone in power outside of Wakanda actually comes off as a smart move if one thinks about it; considering he himself was a child who grew up wanting revenge against the people who'd killed his father, he wants to make sure that nothing similar happens with the kids whose parents he'll be killing. To quote the Evil Overlord List, "If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead of waiting for him to mature."
  • Immediately before Klaue is killed, he quips that he thought Killmonger was "just another crazy American". Watch closely, and Killmonger snarls as he pulls the trigger. Seeing as how he viewed America as an oppressor, of course that would be an insult to him.
  • Okoye's apparent Heel–Face Turn is actually perfectly consistent with her previous actions. As she said herself, she serves the throne, not any specific king. Up until T'Challa showed up again, she believed Killmonger was, by the letter of the law, the rightful king, so she followed him. But, as T'Challa himself pointed out, he never yielded and never died, so by the letter of the law the challenge was never finished. And so she owed Killmonger nothing.
  • The Wakandan predilection for Enhanced Archaic Weapon is just another aspect of their obsession with secrecy and concealment. Because they look visually identical to the crude weapons of their "cover story" selves, outsiders can't tell what the Wakandan weapons are really capable of just by visual inspection.
  • The fact that the Border Tribe formed Killmonger's strongest supporters makes sense for at least two reasons.
    • First, the Border Tribe are the ones who are most regularly in contact with the nations around them. They see the poverty, the chaos, the slaughter, all the things that Wakandan knowledge, resources, and power might be able to avert. Note that Nakia, who as a War Dog has to deal with the same realities, is also in favor of intervention.
    • Second, the Border Tribe mostly live outside the dome, meaning that they directly suffer the limitations imposed by the masquerade in a way that no other tribe does. While they doubtless have a far higher standard of living than outsiders realize, they are nevertheless limited in their ability to enjoy their people's technological prowess by the needs of concealment.
  • M'Baku's strength as an unenhanced human even for an superhero movie seems excessive, until you realize that Vibranium has been confirmed to have infected Wakandian plantlife like the wood that the Jabari use, so his diet has caused a dilluted effect of a chemical process similair to the Heart-Shaped Herb giving him increased strength.
  • Stan Lee's cameo as a casino patron who claims Ross and T'Challa's winnings can be seen as a meta reference to the comic legend's widely known monetary disputes, accusations of fraud and elder abuse. Nice to see Stan "The Man" get at least some of his money!
  • Some fans have joked about certain similarities to The Lion King such as the T'Challa's sojourn into Spirit World resembling Mufasa's vision to Simba. It may seem like just a meme, but there is an similarity that ties it with another work: Hamlet. The Disney movie is an very lose adaptation of the story of an prince that wants revenge against for his father's death at the hands of his evil uncle who usurped the throne. Black Panther tells an similar story but with a twist: the prince (Killmonger) that wants revenge for father's death at the hands of his own brother is the movie's Big Bad, his uncle (T'Chaka) was actually the rightful king and killed his brother (N'Jobu) to protect another person and because he was traitor, but since the killer is dead by the time the movie takes place, the prince takes it out on his son who is the movie's actual hero.

Fridge Horror

  • With the film's reveal of War Dogs, how likely is it that those Wakandan workers who were blown up by Crossbones were members of them? Considering how the objective of the War Dogs are to help people, they may have been using their jobs as relief aid workers to help people. Their deaths may have been more important than people have thought.
    • Speaking of the War Dogs, imagine that a technologically-advanced civilization has agents spread out over the whole world, in every major city, just... watching. Waiting. Gathering Intel and standing ready to support the Wakandan government when they need to operate abroad. Erik taking control of the throne shows just how terrifying this concept would become, since while some of them don't agree with his orders to spread rebellion and revolution and upheaval across the word, enough do to make a difference. Where, specifically? London, New York, and Hong Kong. Three international metropoles that, if thrown into chaos like Erik plans, belong to countries that could easily kick off the next World War. Not only that, but as Zuri and N'Jobu prove, they are very good at blending in with the populace. One day they're just locals, maybe immigrants, living in your neighborhood... then the next day, their king becomes a dictator and they're laying waste to it with hyper-advanced weaponry.
  • As Ross points out, Killmonger's tactics in seizing Wakanda's throne are based on his training in undermining and destabilizing "hostile" regimes during his time as a covert operative. It's also brought up that Wakanda taking on the world may not work so well in the modern era, as the rest of the world has been closing the technology gap between them — which is even used as an argument to attack now. And Killmonger's entire rationale, as he himself states, is to avenge himself on the world by hurting everybody for his own painful childhood. Could Killmonger's plans have been to lead Wakanda into a Mutual Kill with the rest of the world? Seeking to not only wipe out the non-Africans who oppressed him, but to destroy the nation that murdered his father and abandoned him?
  • The above is very likely. Factor in that Killmonger had come a long way from his roots of inner-city poverty. He became a soldier for the US military, like a lot of poor and working class young men, and while there, he gained respect for his skills. The government likely paid quite well for such a skill set (he wasn't just a typical enlisted man, he graduated early from the US Navy Academy), in addition to other benefits he could access, like a subsidized college degree from the top engineering school in the country and access to health care (a very big deal in the US). He had many options to choose from; lucrative mercenary work, costumed heroism, working for a top company, starting his own company, politics... any one of those could have ended up making him very comfortable, if not wealthy, and turning those profits back to his neighborhood (a bit like how Bruce Wayne cleans up Gotham as Batman and addresses the roots of crime with the Wayne Foundation). But even with those opportunities, it was going to be too close to forgiving the oppressor in the US and the nation that abandoned him with Wakanda; only a revenge where both of those burned would do.
  • Killmonger apparently doesn't plan on there being a "the next king" to inherit the powers of the Black Panther from the Heart-Shaped Herb after him, thus ordering it to be burned. He doesn't care about having children to continue the royal line, leaving a legacy, or any kind of stability for Wakanda, just punishing the whole world in the here and now.
  • Imagine a mountain-sized lump of extremely powerful vibration-reactive metal. Which can be made dangerously unstable, as Shuri indicates. Had Erik known more about vibranium, he could've had an idea to use it to literally shatter the planet.
    • !+@_#)$($*%&%^ that, what if Ultron had known there was a literal mountain of Vibranium back where Klaue stole his stockpile from? OTOH, if the Wakandans had gotten into a rumble with Ultron, it could have disrupted all of CA:CW - from proposing the Accords to trusting Stark at all...
  • While the prologue does its best to gloss it over, Wakanda was built on conquest; the first Black Panther conquering the other tribes to take the throne (and one tribe choosing exile over subjugation), and the mosaic of pan-African influences in their dress and language would indicate they were just as much a conquering empire as everyone else until they decided (like the real-world Japan and China) that they had nothing more of value to learn or loot from their neighbors, built their walls, and shut the door. It probably served them well when they were centuries ahead in technology, but that vibranium is a limited resource and the rest of the world is catching up to them rapidly. In other words, an African version of Asgard. It remains to be seen if T'Challa's rule will save his people from the same kind of downfall Thor's people suffered when the nastier parts of their past caught up to them.
  • Killmonger's big plan was to use Wakanda as a weapon to hurt the world in revenge for his suffering. Yet, it turns out that all he ended up doing was having a brief and bloody combo of a coup and a civil war that left at least dozens or hundreds dead (even more so because of his decision to burn their best medicines. Just like Magneto, a Marvel villain with similar motives (and a similar name), his attempt to conquer the world so that he and his people would never be hurt again ends in tragedy; all he ends up doing is bringing more misery to the people he gives lip service to helping.
  • There's something utterly and completely Fridge Horror about the fact that ritual, and potentially lethal, combat is their best method for choosing a king and that there is absolutely no protections in place against a bloodthirsty asshole like Killmonger who can fight but is too insane to actually govern. It's a miracle Wakanda hasn't ended up picking fights with their neighbors and getting themselves nuked off the map well before this.
    • Presumably, if a nutbar like Killmonger had been gunning for the throne from within Wakandan society, all four participating tribes (five now) would have recognized the threat in advance, and would have put their own strongest warriors up to challenge the contender, one after another. (Remember, they normally have time to gather all the tribes' ranking members for a coronation ceremony, and candidates are normally people who've lived in Wakanda their whole lives.) Taking out one Brought Down to Badass monarch in single combat is hard; taking down four or five more Badass Normal rivals afterwards, each one fresh and uninjured while you're progressively more battered and exhausted, is going to be darned near impossible. And if even that won't stop you, there's always your own family to stand up to you if all else fails: are you ready and able to kill all them, if they refuse to yield? Because if you are, then that in itself is liable to get you rejected by the entire populace out of sheer disgust, much as even Okoye's duty to serve had its breaking point.
    • ^^^ This! The Elders even state that it would take time to gather the tribes, but Killmonger wants the challenge now. T'Challa should have agreed, then insisted on summoning the tribes so they could bring forth their best warriors to challenge the king. Basically taking out an insurance policy in case he lost that another would take Killmonger out. Heck, technically the moment T'Challa fell, Shuri could have stepped up and thrown down her own challenge since, as royal blood, it was her right for the throne as well. The only reason why Killmonger's plan worked was his CIA training to immediately destabilize the process and take over while everybody was off balance.
  • Killmonger's confrontation with Klaue: Well, of course, a white South African would certainly be marked as "oppressor and valid target" in his mind. So, the fact Klaue was killed as soon as he wasn't necessary to Killmonger's plans was no shock. The fact that Killmonger probably could have taken down the guy without killing his girlfriend in the process is what establishes Killmonger's character. Notice that his girlfriend appears to be African American like he is. He shoots her because she's not useful to him either. It establishes that for all the big talk he gives about getting justice for people like him, he's a selfish, petty man who just wants to make others hurt like he does. Again, compare to Magneto, who was more than happy to leave minions like Mystique out to dry when he no longer needed them to do his dirty work.
    • It also subtly foreshadows how Killmonger will have the Heart-Shaped Herb garden burned: he's showing he doesn't need a girlfriend, or a queen, or an heir. He doesn't intend to found a dynasty or leave a legacy, only to destroy T'Chaka's.
  • After Ross saves Nakia's life, T'Challa brings him back to Wakanda for medical treatment. In return, Ross basically saves Wakanda by sharing vital intelligence on Killmonger and piloting one of their craft against Killmonger's forces... An American intelligence agent just gave an unaligned country information on an American operative and fought in its Succession Crisis without authorization! Ross didn't commit outright treason — defined as "levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort" — but Wakanda is harboring two fugitives from the Accords, and General Ross and his allies aren't going to be at all happy about a CIA agent helping them in any way whatsoever.
    • What might mitigate the above was that Ross helped the Wakandans against Killmonger, an American operative gone rogue. But since Killmonger technically was an American operative, it's probably only a matter of time before all the things he did on Uncle Sam's orders starts coming out, which would be an international relations disaster. Between this, the Accords, and the utter corruption inside SHIELD, Captain America may want to consider what he did in the comics during the 70's; dropping the title and becoming Nomad.
    • Another mitigating factor: Who is the most likely person to eventually have to debrief Ross following the events of the film? CIA Deputy Director Marion James. Why will she not fire him? She is in desperate need of good publicity after the near fiasco surrounding William Rawlins, Billy Russo and Frank Castle, which happened only a few months ago in the timeline, and will most likely jump at the chance to tout how an American CIA Agent just publicly prevented an all out war between America and Wakanda.
    • Why would it come out what Erik did in the past? It's not in anybody's best interest to leak that. Wakanda wouldn't want the truth about its own spy activities revealed — just because they're sharing tech and wealth doesn't mean they're sharing all their state secrets — so it has no reason to admit Killmonger has any connection to them or to a decades-old inner city murder. The U.S. has no motive to blab about its legitimate ghost operatives, let alone one who'd gone rogue. So far as the outside world needs to know, Wakanda's new king decided to permit humanitarian and research support to neighboring countries because he's a compassionate guy, the museum robbery will remain unsolved, and some guy named Erik Stevens went off-the-grid and hasn't been heard from since.
    • The key thing to remember is Erik is a ROGUE agent. Ross saw his photo, knew he was a CIA operative, knew he was rogue, and also knew whatever he was doing in Wakanda was not good. As T'Challa just saved his life, he felt duty bound to let his hosts know "This guy? BAD NEWS" and if called on it by his superiors he can just say "One of our own was about start an unsanctioned coup of a sovereign country and once he took control was in the process of exporting powerful weapons to start similar revolts across the planet. Starting with New York City, you know, our own country?" At that point Ross would be let go and the mess covered up.
  • Bucky Barnes is very, very, very lucky to be alive. If T'Challa had been just a little more overwhelmed by grief and anger in Civil War, enough so that he would disregard The Masquerade in a blind craving for vengeance, he could have used any or all of the astounding technologies seen in this movie to locate, corner, and obliterate the man he wrongly blamed for T'Chaka's death.
    • On the other hand, Bucky may have survived Civil War simply because T'challa wasn't allowed to use the heart-shaped herb just for revenge. It's probably the same reason he had a mild freakout at the sight of Giant-Man.
  • If Wakandans have Hindu and Egyptian gods and understand western pop culture, they clearly must have heard of Abrahamic religions like Christianity and Islam. One can imagine that things like their strict monotheism or the Hajj would conflict deeply with Wakanda's philosophy in regards to leadership and secrecy, respectively. Is religious freedom even a thing within it, since everyone but the Jabari seem to worship Bast?
    • That's assuming that Wakandans have Hindu and Egyptian gods. Could be that 1) Bast and Hanuman are every bit as real as Thor or Odin in this 'Verse, and just happen to have visited both cultures, or 2) the Egyptians and Hindus have adopted Wakandan gods. Wakanda is a very old nation, and their spies have been everywhere for a very long time.
    • Even if they've heard about Christianity and Islam, what exactly about them would appeal to Wakandans? But if there are some who follow Islam, there's no reason to think they wouldn't be allowed to make the Hajj. We see Wakandans leave Wakanda undercover for various reasons in this movie, and in fact they wouldn't even need to conceal that they were Wakandan because it's not a secret that Wakanda exists, just that it's the most advanced country on the planet. And how does monotheism conflict with their leadership philosophy? If their neighbors believe that Bast blesses the royal family, it doesn't prevent them from believing that it's really Jehovah/Allah who does so.
    • One would think religious freedom is really damn important in Wakanda, given that Africa is ground-zero for Christian colonization and Wakandans call white people colonizers. Also, polytheistic worship isn't an all-or-nothing deal: If the bulk of people worship Bast, it's not because she's the ONLY goddess—it's because she's their favorite one, as the patron of the royal family and the legendary bestower of the Black Panther abilities. Most people have one "boss" as the head of their workplace, but how many other higher-ups do you report to, talk to at lunch, or ask to go behind the boss' back? Bast is the "boss" of the Wakandan pantheon, but there's probably a household deity, marriage deity, and harvest/fertility deity at the very least. Plus T'Challa repeatedly talks to his father on the spirit-plane, and since ancestor-worship is a HUGE DEAL in Africa, average citizens would undoubtedly have their own, less-flashy ritual of contacting their ancestors.
      • The issue is more with Christians and Muslims, which historically have had a poor track record with indigenous polytheistic traditions. Political instability between a group of "righteous rebels" and what is in their eyes an agent of Satan (who in this case keeps their nation hidden and enforces nationalistic mandate of heaven by cat) has been recorded again and again, from the infamous situation in the Roman Empire to more recent insurrections in China. This has a tendency of creating a vicious cycle.
      • Perhaps Muslims and Christians (especially Christian missionaries) are Numbers 1 and 2 on the "Never Let Into Wakanda" list.
  • Erik's accusation of Wakanda ignoring the suffering of their fellow Africans across the world takes an especially damning angle if you realize that some of the worst of it was in South Africa, right next door. Jerkass Has a Point indeed.
    • Just as similarly damming is that several of the worst suffering of Africans occurred at Wakanda's doorsteps. Assuming that Wakanda is located in southeast Africa, some of its neighboring countries would include Rwanda and Uganda. And what happened in those countries? Well, the AIDS epidemic, the bloodthirsty reign of Idi Amin, the Rwandan genocide, poverty, terrorism, and much more. It's one thing to not care about some random ethnic group on the other side of the globe and its another to ignore the pain of a neighboring country.
      • The map in Civil War places Wakanda firmly between Kenya and Ethiopia, so you can add things like the Derg in Ethiopia, or every other thursday morning in Somalia.
  • The personal Hell for Erik's father. Imagine being forever trapped in the place you died. You're stuck there for all eternity. You have no one to talk to, and you cannot leave the area. I'm surprised his dad doesn't go insane. The Black Panther Heaven is also a fridge horror. Notice you don't see any women there, which means only the husbands can go there. Their relatives and wives probably go to regular Heaven. If you think those are bad, Erik was technically still king when he died. T'Challa's ancestors would have to put up with this rude, controlling, and egotistical american-wakandan man for an eternity. It would be like being stuck in an elevator with your obnoxious neighbor.
  • T'Challa's dad treating his brother like a servant. He wouldn't hesitate to kill his own blood relative. I get the brother was a traitor, but he came out of the same womb as him.
    • 1) T'Chaka clearly Didn't Think This Through when killing N'Jobu—N'Jobu was getting angry and threatening Zuri, so T'Chaka panicked and stabbed him. 2) Royalty and other heads of state have VERY different rules than civilian families. N'Jobu being a traitor means that he's potentially putting HIS ENTIRE COUNTRY in jeopardy, with his plan to arm African-Americans with Wakandan technology. The council was going to put him on trial and execute him for treason, and if T'Chaka tells them "BUT HE'S MY BROTHER, DON'T KILL HIM," at least SOME of the Wakandan citizens might start a riot because the king put his brother's life over MILLIONS OF OTHER PEOPLE. T'Chaka had a duty to his country JUST AS MUCH as he had to his own family, and he openly viewed leaving his now-orphaned nephew behind in America as a Sadistic Choice. He didn't WANT to kill his brother or abandon his nephew, but The Needs of the Many outweigh his family.
  • If T'Chaka had miraculously survived Baron Zemo's attack, he would have been killed by Killmonger.
  • Fridge Tear Jerker: Do you wonder what happened to Erik's mother? According to Word of God, she was sent to prison for an unknown crime before the start of the movie's prologue, and N'Jobu and Zuri were preparing to break her out during their introductory scene before T'Chaka showed up. Had he not killed him, N'Jobu would have at least saved his wife and Erik would have at least one parent to raise him right. In other words, T'Chaka deprived his nephew of both his parents.
  • If the War Dogs in London, Hong Kong and New York were willing to follow Erik's directive and begin waging war, there was a significant chance of them destroying or damaging the sanctums located in each city. In his bloodlust, Killmonger could have accidentally unleashed Dormammu back on the world.


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