Warning: This article contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
From the moment we met Shuri in Black Panther, it was clear the genius princess was wise beyond her years, with her technological wizardry giving even Tony Stark a run for his money. Still, at the same time, she also had a spirited sense of humor and a habit of mercilessly teasing her big brother that belied her youthful age. Fast forward to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, however, and Shuri feels a lot more mature and world-weary, due to the traumatic events she’s experienced in the time lapsed since the first movie.
At the beginning of the sequel, Shuri is lost in grief over T’Challa’s death, blaming herself for failing to find a way to save him from his undisclosed illness. Tragically, her story only gets sadder from there as she soon loses her mother, Queen Ramonda, during an attack by Namor and the Talokanil. Ultimately, Shuri is forced to take on the mantle of Black Panther and lead her people into battle with their underwater enemies. It’s a lot for someone of her age to take, but how old would that be?
How old is Shuri in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?
As no specific indication is given regarding Shuri’s age in Wakanda Forever, we have to revisit 2018’s Black Panther for details. That movie, set shortly after the events of Captain America: Civil War in 2016, also doesn’t spell out the princess’ age. That said, producer Nate Moore labelled her as 16 during an interview at the time. On the other hand, Black Panther‘s junior novelization notes that she’s actually 18, being born sometime in 1998. As the latter is an actual in-world source, we’ll take that age as canon.
Next, we need to factor in the fact that Shuri was one of those snapped during The Blip, so we can discount the period of time between 2018-2023. Easter eggs in Black Panther 2 suggest it’s taking place concurrently with both Thor: Love and Thunder and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. As the present-day of the MCU right now is 2025, that means we can conclude that Shuri must be around 21-22 years old in Wakanda Forever.
This fits her relationship with the 19-year-old Riri Williams in the film, as the pair are depicted very much as contemporaries, although Shuri is clearly the senior of the two. As Shuri seemingly abdicates the throne to spend time with Nakia in Haiti, it remains to be seen what our current Black Panther will do next. Hopefully she’s able to enjoy some downtime so she can chill and act her age for once.
Go see Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in cinemas now.