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Wakanda Forever has a big plot hole – but we can already explain it

Updated 3 weeks ago
Published Nov 6th, 2022 12:19PM EST
Shuri (Letitia Wright) in the first Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer.
Image: Marvel Studios

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11th, so we have less than a week to wait before seeing where this new MCU story takes us. But we don’t need to know the full Black Panther 2 story to tell you that Wakanda Forever already has a significant plot hole. Thankfully, it’s something that can be easily explained along the way.

Mind you, some spoilers might follow below.

In the massive weave of MCU stories, Wakanda Forever will be more than just the next chapter. It’ll also be a memorial to Chadwick Boseman and his T’Challa/Black Panther character. A story about grief and dealing with the loss of a loved one. That’s a crucial detail about Wakanda Forever, one that the audience has to be aware of. And that’s actually where the plot hole comes from.

Wakanda will be mourning its protector, and T’Challa’s death will be especially hard on the ones closest to him. Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), and Okoye (Danai Gurira) are the characters that were closest to T’Challa. Even M’Baku (Winston Duke), who once was a rival.

T'Challa's funeral is a heartbreaking celebration in Wakanda.
T’Challa’s funeral is a heartbreaking celebration in Wakanda. Image source: Marvel Studios

We know from that first emotional trailer that Marvel showed at Comic-Con, that we’ll witness T’Challa’s burial early in the movie. And we’re looking at a massive procession that will feature the main characters.

The big Wakanda Forever plot hole

This brings us to the movie’s obvious plot hole, although it’s a detail that might seem inconsequential at first. This wouldn’t be T’Challa’s first funeral in Wakanda.

Black Panther turned to dust at the end of Infinity War, which meant Wakanda had lost its superhero. In the days and months that followed, it’s very likely that the Wakandan people organized a similar celebration and put in place a succession plan.

It wasn’t just the King that died at the time. Half of all living beings were turned to dust, so Wakanda must have been dealing with immense grief. Plenty of Wakandans have probably died with the snap of a finger.

"T'ChallaImage source: YouTube

That means characters like Ramonda and Okoye will be attending this heart-breaking ceremony a second time around. T’Challa died in 2018, Wakanda buried and celebrated him. And moved on. He returned from the dead only to pass away again one or two years after Endgame.

Why is this a plot hole for Wakanda Forever? Well, in a way, many Wakandans have already been through this grief process, especially those closest to T’Challa. Also, Wakanda should have a clear transition of power in place that it had used before. Grief aside, the country should be in a better place to move forward without its King.

However, we, the audience, never got through that grief experience.

Moreover, the real-life death of Chadwick Boseman mandates this particular turn of events in the movie. T’Challa’s death might seem like deja-vu to MCU people, but we’ve never experienced that grief in earnest after Endgame. And the funeral scene will be honoring the actor, not just his memorable character.

The simple explanations

Honoring Boseman and T’Challa is a priority for Wakanda Forever. That’s why we need Wakanda to repeat a massive funeral ceremony for the fallen Black Panther. That’s how we can explain this plot hole right away. You can’t have Wakanda Forever without this funeral.

But let’s also remember that not all Wakandans had time to mourn the people who died in Infinity War. That’s because half of them were already dead. Characters like Shuri (Letitia Wright), T’Challa’s sister, is one of them. Leaks say she will be devastated after her brother’s death. But for her, this will be the first and only time she’ll witness his passing.

"ShuriImage source: YouTube

Not that it’s easier for Ramonda or Okoye to face T’Challa’s death a second time around just because they had already done it at least five years earlier.

T’Challa’s death will very much impact Shuri’s behavior in the movie, especially because she had never had to deal with it before. Also, this time T’Challa’s death is different. There’s no sliver of hope that it can be undone.

While you wait for Wakanda Forever to hit cinemas, you can listen to the soundtrack right now.


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Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.