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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever tells the heartbreaking story of Wakanda reeling form the death of their king, T’Challa. It also introduces the first mutant, Namor, and expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the undersea kingdom of Talocan. In this breakdown, we reveal all of the Marvel Easter Eggs, unleash a ton of theories on what will happen next, and I think we even spotted your mom.
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Written, Hosted, and Edited by Ryan Arey (http://twitter.com/ryanarey)
Additional editing by Harriet Lengel-Enright, Randolf Nombrado, Brianna McLarty, and Srinidhi Rao
#WakandaForever #EasterEggs #marvel
The movie’s backbone is symbolism associated with gods and the elements–earth, wind, air and [avatar, fire]. Both the Wakandans and the Talocanians draw their strength from vibranium–and the vibranium fed plants that imbue them with superpowers. The first black panther, Bashenga, was led to the heart shaped herb by the panther goddess bast, that herb grows in the ground, and the Wakandan vibranium is inside of a mountain. Making Wakanda a nation more closely associated within the earth.
But the Talocanians have a similar, parallel origin story. When their people were threatened by colonialism, the god of the rain, Chaac, led a shaman into the water, to endow all of their people with the ability to become of the water. So talocan obviously is a nation based around water.
Yes, but, they are also a culture that controls the air. Chaac was the god of rain–and rain is water that falls from the sky. In ancient Mayan history, it’s said that Kukulkan worked side-by-side with Chaac to bring rain to the lands. Kukulkan would fly in front, signaling the upcoming rain. And remember, the Talocanians think Namor is a god [clip]. In Mayan mythology, Kulkulkhan would fly before the god Chaac, warning of rain. We’ll talk more about this mythology later, but this explains Namor’s ability to fly–his people are based around the sky meeting the sea.
And this is where it gets interesting, because Wakanda is also a culture based around fire. Unlike Talocan, they have advanced electrocity, which runs on water–a kind of harnessed fire. And Shuri is the most brilliant mind in Wakanda-she is the master of this technological fire.
But the first scene in the movie shows her losing control of this power. She cannot use the technology to save her brother’s life.
There’s a crucial scene early in the movie, where her mother wants her to burn her ceremonial funeral clothes, as a way to let go of her grief. And Shuri says that she is worried that if she does that, then the fire of her grief will burn the world. IN other words, she’s internalizing her rage–the fire within her soul.
Fire was also heavily used in conjunction with Erik Killmonger in the first film. He burns the heart shaped herbs, symbolic of his desire to burn down the world [clip]. Shuri feels grief and rage similar to her cousin’s. Erik found his father’s body in their apartment, so this was the moment where his rage was born. This is the money he could never move p[ast. So, this is why he sees his dad’s spirit in this same apartment.
Shuri sees Killmonger for the same reason. She bears that same rage. She’s mad at Killmonger, and herself–and she sees him in the room where her mother died–the trauma she cannot overcome. So Killmonger lights this room on fire, to show how her rage would consume the kingdom in eternal war.
And here’s the thing–we all know that water douses fire. The only way fire can beat water is if it’s boiled–and that requires tools, or technology. Shuri wins by harnessing the technological fire of electricity through a modified ship, to heat up Namor–essentially boiling away his water. And fire is how she finally defeats him, by setting off an explosion– a fire that burns out of control.
So as we go through this video, you’ll see these themes of the elements, and the gods, recur over and over again.