There’s one devastating move Marvel could make with ‘Black Panther 2’ that would truly change Wakanda Forever

'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' poster
Image via Marvel Studios

This week kicked off with some truly fandom-shaking news in the form of the first full trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which went ahead and finally gave us our first glimpse at the MCU’s new protector of Wakanda. Yes, just as most fan theories suggested, the much-missed King T’Challa’s genius sister Shuri was depicted in her own upgraded Black Panther suit in the trailer’s last moments. So, there we go, case closed, the mystery is solved… Or is it?

While it’s not outright specified this is Shuri underneath that suit, all the signs — including the character’s distinctive spotted costume patterning — are pointing in that direction. But just because we now know Shuri will take on the mantle of Black Panther at some point in the sequel, that doesn’t necessarily mean she is going to her older brother’s successor full-time. What if Marvel has heard fans’ cries for another character to take the role, and has listened? And they’re about to pull off a truly surprising — and devastating — twist.

It’s no secret that Wright is the subject of much controversy, with numerous rumors and reports pointing to her vocal anti-vaxx views causing problems during production, something which has considerably lessened the good will she won off the back of her turn in 2018’s Black Panther. So is Marvel really going to entrust this highly lucrative franchise in her hands indefinitely? It’s just possible that Wakanda Forever will write out the character of Shuri in such a way that would make every theater-goer’s jaw hit the floor.

Fans have long debated that Shuri, despite her technological whizzery, isn’t as capable in a fight as the other potential candidates for the Panther position. So what if that turns out to be the case and Shuri is tragically killed off at some point in the movie, during battle with Namor and the warriors of Talocan? Regardless of your feelings about Wright IRL, there’s no doubt this would be a heartbreaking way to write out a once-beloved character and establish a thrilling “all bets are off” principle for the heroes of the MCU going forward.

The rest of Black Panther 2 would then involve someone else having to take over from Shuri. The most obvious contender would have to be Michaela Coel’s Aneka, a character whose specific role in the feature has been suspiciously kept under wraps so far. Coel is a multi-award winning TV star who is clearly on the brink of a major Hollywood breakthrough, so it’s not crazy to imagine her assuming the reins of the BP franchise. But for this to happen, Marvel would first have to drop what would be one of its darkest developments ever and one that the fandom would no doubt discuss for years to come.

If you think there is no chance this is going to happen, may we direct your attentions to a particularly loaded line said by Angela Bassett’s Queen Ramonda in the original SDCC teaser, which has been curiously overlooked so far. “I am queen of the most powerful nation in the world,” she cries, in what promises to be an incredibly moving scene. “And my entire family is gone.” Obviously, Marvel is no stranger to creating moments specifically for the trailers to throw fans off the scent, but if taken at face value, this line heavily suggests that — although Wakanda may be forever — Shuri’s time as the Black Panther will be short-lived.