The idea for making a sequel to Black Panther started soon after its blockbuster success in 2018. Development of the sequel began in mid-2019, but it all got interrupted by the shocking death of Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed T'Challa/Black Panther since Captain America: Civil War.
The in-production film underwent a major overhaul, and Marvel chose not to recast T'Challa, which is the most respectful decision. So how will be the new Wakanda without their beloved King? Black Panther: Wakanda Forever explores the question while traversing through grief and sorrow.
In parallel with Chadwick Boseman's death, T'Challa dies of illness in this film. The Wakandan throne remains empty; only Queen Mother Ramonda is present to protect it. T'Challa's sister Princess Shuri is still grieving from her brother's death and blaming herself for not being able to save him with her knowledge. Ramonda is also mourning for her son, albeit in her own way.
But Wakanda has little time for grief. The outside world is scrambling for Wakandan resources as the throne is still empty. Wakanda gets a bigger problem when a CIA expedition team triggers an underwater race while searching for valuable Vibranium deposits.
Here Namor enters the scene, who is the King of the underwater race, the Talokans. This powerful race remained in secrecy for centuries, and their leader Namor was enraged for being discovered by the outside world. So, Wakanda is threatened to be destroyed by him and his army lest they don't join forces with Talokans against the world.
Amidst all these problems, how can Wakanda move forward? Who is there to lead this advanced nation? It's only up to Shuri to take the mantle of Black Panther and become the Queen of Wakanda to save the nation. She goes through an emotional rollercoaster from mourning to accepting her role as the saviour. Letitia Wright portrayed Shuri wonderfully, and this might be her best acting performance.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is one of Marvel's best films to portray the sorrow and grieving of losing loved ones. Marvel did a mature job of not making this film overwhelmed with comedy like previous ones.
There is some humour scattered throughout the film, but the plot progresses in a mature tone that is praiseworthy. Moreover, this film still couldn't surpass the criticism of phase four films for rushing the characters' backstories.
Nevertheless, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is an emotional film worth watching as the last film of MCU phase four.