Warning: This article contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever pulled the chord with the Chadwick Boseman tribute. Without T’Challa, the kingdom of Wakanda tries to regain its place with Queen Ramonda in power now. But over the course of the film, it’s Shuri who finds herself faced with the prospect of ruling and being the Black Panther. And curiously, she gives up the old post to M’baku. Why? Let us explore.
M’baku comes out to face potential pretenders to the throne
At the end of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, after the big fight is over and Talokan and Wakanda have decided to reconcile/become allies, we see Shuri say there’s one more thing she needs to do. The scene cuts to the waterfall where in the first Black Panther movie we saw T’Challa challenged by other claimants to the throne.
We see a Wakandan ship coming from the horizon and hovering above the sky. But instead of Shuri, out comes M’baku, to face potential challengers to the throne. It’s a curious scene that raised many questions, but the main one is- did Shuri abdicate the throne to M’baku? And is he the ruler of Wakanda now?
Why did we see M’baku face Challengers?
There could be three reasons why M’baku faces challengers for the throne. The first is that he acts as Shuri’s champion who will face pretenders to the throne but does not actually rule. After all, he’s strong and Shuri isn’t in Wakanda anymore (as she’s in Haiti to visit Nakia). He therefore perpetuates the tradition for her, as a figure of her brother.
Second, that he is the ruling regent since he is someone Shuri can trust. Also, throughout the film, he has shown remarkable maturity and is the one who advises Shuri not to go to war with Namor. Along with this, at Ramonda’s funeral, he tries to be a shoulder for her to lean on as he had promised his brother that he would take care of her. So he could just rule in Shuri’s absence. And when she returns, she will sit on the throne and resume her royal duties as Black Panther and Queen of Wakanda.
Third, that he’s now the permanent king of Wakanda and that Shuri is just going to be the black panther and the superhero side of things. After all, she needs time to heal from the grief and anger of her entire dying family. Moreover, she does not know how to govern. She’s an inventor, not a leader. It’s a job M’baku is better suited for as he already leads the Jabbari.
We don’t know which of these three reasons is the official reason. But if we were to theorize, then it could be number three. It makes sense for Shuri to take a break and install M’baku as a ruler who can steadily manage the kingdom.
But what do you think? Do you think we lack a fourth option? Let us know.