The Wakanda Forever Mid-Credits Scene Introduces a New Hope For Wakanda
This story contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
When I heard that Black Panther:Wakanda Forever clocked in at nearly three hours long, I was genuinely surprised. I knew there was a lot to cover, with a time jump following the death of T’Challa—played by the late Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020 after a bout with colon cancer.
But I’ll be honest: I'm of the opinion that a movie should be two hours, max. Clean story, well-timed arcs, drama, resolution. (Or, at least, a good cliffhanger.) As your friendly neighborhood Zoomer, my attention span has been somewhat stifled by short-form video, at least enough to make the idea of 160 MCU minutes seem taxing. Thankfully, after seeing Wakanda Forever in its entirety, I can confirm that the always-great director, Ryan Coogler, made every minute worth it—right down to not-so-secret mid-credits scene.
We see Shuri, T’Challa’s younger sister, performing a grieving ritual that her mother taught her. After she drops burial robes into a fire, Nakia, T’Challa’s former girlfriend, introduces her to a little boy. The child, she explains, is their son. They sent him to live in Haiti so he could have a normal upbringing. The cute, smiling boy introduces himself as Toussaint. It’s his Haitian name, he explains, but his Wakandan name is Prince T’Challa. When Shuri proudly looks up at him, beaming, I found myself smiling in unison. Finally, an emotional reprieve! Though Wakanda Forever was an absolute blast, it's far darker than its predescessor?—focusing on grief and how it quickly becomes anger.
Of course, grief never truly goes away, but Toussaint shines as a beacon of optimism—and hope—after such a difficult journey. Wakanda Forever begins with the African nation mourning King T’Challa’s death, who, like his real-life counterpart, succumbs to a heartbreaking illness. The film begins with Shuri trying desperately to save his life. When she fails to do so, her next challenge is preserving his legacy. As the story goes on, each effort is interrupted by another issue—from the loss of her mother, to the U.S. government's (constant) meddling in foreign affairs, and even a violent sea creature with superhuman strength.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever giving T’Challa a son will ensure that Chadwick Boseman’s legacy will be celebrated for years to come.
As everything she knows falls to shit, Shuri is forced to compartmentalize her emotions in order to save her country. The plight nearly destroys her kind spirit, which is only revived by a brief memory of her mother. Though she does save Wakanda in the end, I couldn’t help but worry about the future—for Shuri, the new Black Panther, and the franchise as a whole. After all, continuing the legacy of Wakanda is no small feat. Doing so without T’Challa—and in turn, Boseman—seems almost unfathomable.
That said, Toussaint’s arrival was the saving grace that everyone needed. For Shuri, Toussaint becomes the only family she has left, as a descendant of her late brother. For the rest of us, the child is a tribute to Boseman—whose impact will live on throughout future Black Panther movies. Eventually, Toussaint will likely take over as king. If we’re lucky, he’ll navigate the throne as well as his father did.
From: Esquire US