Black Panther 2 Themes Explained By Lupita Nyong'o

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Lupita Nyong'o, who reprises her role as Nakia, explains some of the themes present in the Marvel movie. Much of the conversation surrounding the upcoming sequel has involved the loss of leading man Chadwick Boseman. The late actor made his debut as T'Challa in Captain America: Civil War and reprised his role for 2018's Black Panther, an MCU entry that broke records for the franchise. Boseman also appeared in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame before his tragic passing due to colon cancer in 2020.


In the lead-up to Black Panther 2's release later this year, audiences have been eager to see how the sequel will honor the life and legacy of Boseman. However, while the film's characters cope with the loss of T'Challa, Wakanda gears up to protect their nation from invading forces led by Namor, who is the ruler of Talocan, an ancient civilization of underwater people. Based on the Black Panther 2 trailer, it appears Wakanda is now led almost entirely by women in the wake of T'Challa's death, with Letitia Wright's Shuri, Nyong'o's Nakia, Danai Gurira's Okoye, and Angela Bassett's Ramonda taking on prominent roles.

Related: Black Panther 2: Why Wakanda Is At War With Atlantis

During a recent interview with the New York Times, Nyong'o discusses some of the themes present in Black Panther 2, mainly Wakanda's positive attitudes towards women. The Nakia actor speaks about the lack of sexism in Wakanda and how she hopes audiences will be empowered by it. Read what she has to say below:

The undervaluing of women because of their gender doesn’t exist in Wakanda. We saw that in the first film, which is why it resonated. This new film continues with the conceit that this is a world where those things don’t exist. But the question we’re tackling is not their womanhood. It’s their beliefs, passions, loves and arguments, and it creates a robust drama. Hopefully, the world as we know it watches and is empowered by it, despite itself.

Black Panther 2 looks to begin with the nation's Queen Mother, Ramonda, temporarily in charge of the kingdom while she grieves the death of her son. Later on, Shuri, Nakia, and Okoye also rise up to defend Wakanda against invading forces. Wakanda Forever will empower each woman. However, as Nyong'o details, Black Panther 2 will be less about tackling these characters' womanhood, and more about exploring each of their individual characteristics and motives, which will be the key to creating "robust drama" and propelling the plot forward. These women are more than their gender; it sounds like Black Panther 2 will properly flesh out each character and raise them up to be the fierce defenders Wakanda needs amid its new crisis. Still, that the movie allows its female characters to be these heroes and symbols is to its credit.

Another intriguing aspect of Wakanda Forever will be which one of these female characters will likely succeed T'Challa as Black Panther in the MCU. The likeliest candidate is Letitia Wright's Shuri, the Princess of Wakanda who took on a larger role in the sequel following Boseman's death. Other candidates include Nakia and Okoye, although T'Challa's successor will likely be someone from his family. Perhaps Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's forthcoming full-length trailer will have some more teases in store before the sequel debuts in theaters.

Source: New York Times

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