The first thought I had watching the just released teaser for Wakanda Forever is "A Celebration Of Excellence," the released EP, is a combination of both the old and the new, which in a way, is what the teaser represents: the passing of the mantle. The EP is highly emotional even though it contains just three tracks, an embodiment of Black Excellence with the representation of African and Afro-Caribbean influence in the artists represented in the EP released alongside the teaser.
In the EP, we see the works of viral sensation Amaarae, Santa Fe Klan and the amazingly heartwarming voice of Terms. Music is a universal language, and it's interesting to see the direction Marvel will take when releasing the soundtrack for the movie. The most touching song of the teaser is Tems cover of Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry" which is a celebration of the life lived by those that came before us. I feel that through the direct connection of the song is to honour Chadwick Boseman; the thought behind using a cover version specially requested by Marvel is also to celebrate the life and work of Bob Marley. A representation of the Past and Present coinciding in this moment of inclusivity.
It's refreshing to see that Marvel decided to shift from solely American Musicians to including Africans and Afro-Caribbean artists in this EP; it's an exciting blend that makes me interested to see the entirety of the body of work.
As for the movie itself, it's clear we're getting a celebration of the life of Chadwick Boseman in the sense that there's no mourning, just happiness for a life well lived, which is reminiscent of traditional burials in my corner of this planet (Nigeria) and somewhat of funerals in New Orleans. There's an expectation of a slightly sombre mood in this movie, but I'm interested in what storyline they portray as the reason for the Black Panther's death, as we have no clear storyline for it at the moment.
We see the Women of the family taking charge of the empire and leading the nation through the loss of their leader as Wakanda transitions into a Matriarchy. There's a lot of confusion on who takes over as the Black Panther; it seems like Shuri may be the one from the context of several comic books, but we can't be sure of this.
This movie will genuinely shape the next generation of how Black superheroes are portrayed and black superhero deaths. It has already changed a lot with the first release, but there's a lot this second movie is doing differently from the first that will change the future of superhero movies. One of the first movies to have a soundtrack with a diverse combination of Non-American artists in recent times was The Gifted for The Lion King. With this teaser, this is likely to become more of a norm with African-centered movies made in Hollywood.
The movie's impact is already being felt as a wave of excitement takes over TikTok. The black community and its allies are making plans about the official attire for the premier and the weekend that follows, planning to go even better than they did in 2018 with the first movie's release. Chadwick Boseman, rest his beautiful soul, has genuinely changed the acting game, becoming more than a character on our movie screens to become a beloved family member.
In a couple of years, when the World will need the eventual reboot of Black Panther, I wonder if that version would live up to the shadow of the original and how this work will transcend the ages for every Superhero and Sci-fi fan to come. It's the equivalent of the first superman or The Flash for People of colour. I can't wait for the release on November 11th to see what else Marvel has up their sleeves with the music and the rest of the movie and storyline. This is most likely the most anticipated movie of the past few years, even more so with Chadwick's death and Emotional severity cause; in a way, this is the final goodbye we get as a public for Chadwick.