‘No more discourse. No more deliberation. No more excuses. No more mercy. We know what this is. It is war, and war is our nation’s trade. It has been so for generations. We are Wakanda. We will not be terrorized. We are terror itself.’
After T’Challa watched his father die, just feet from him, a war started within his heart. Not long after, a war broke out between friends and Black Panther found himself in the middle of it. He was hell bent on revenge as he stood as a cold and unforgiving man, but by the end of the film, he was able to see things differently. In a light that showed truth even when he didn’t first want to give the benefit of the doubt.
It showed a softness to T’Challa and also another facet of strength, thinking someone was responsible for killing his father to realizing that he wasn’t and then offering to keep him safe – it takes someone who believes in fairness and doing what’s right – someone who is not driven by pride.
Black Panther realized that in his father’s death, a new responsibility was thrust upon him, and it’s one he treats with the utmost importance. He also realizes that what Wakanda has built is sacred, and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep it safe, even if that means waging war against those he never wished to fight.
Chadwick Boseman spoke to EW on the set of Black Panther and had this to say about the move T’Chaka made in Civil War that eventually led to the loss of his life.
‘That hasn’t traditionally been their attitude towards the rest of the world. T’Chaka wanted to step out of those boundaries. It’s a like a new leader taking power and trying to figure out if he should do it the older traditional way. You would think the younger man would want to do something different than the father, but the father – for a reason that I don’t want to say – was thinking ahead and beyond those boundaries.’
So does that mean that in Wakanda they hold themselves higher than those around them? That’s not the case at all, it’s just that everything they’ve built has taken hard work and dedication – plus they’re advanced in wealth and technology much beyond anyone else in the world. They’re a nation torn on what to do next, and that feeds into another aspect of the film.
Kevin Feige had this to say about it.
‘Part of the story is about the isolationist state of Wakanda coming to terms with the modern day. There are other people in the story who say, ‘No, we shouldn’t do that.’ You get into conversations about refugees. You get into conversations about, ‘Should we help the people on the other side of that border, because they need help and we could help them …. but it would potentially endanger us.‘
Boseman gave more of an interview with EW which you can read it its entirety here. These were some of the leading questions to a big part of the plot that we enjoyed the answers to most.
The last time we saw T’Challa, he was giving sanctuary to a fugitive Captain America. What is Black Panther’s mindset at the start of this film?
It’s shortly after Civil War has ended so he’s still in mourning. There’s a guilt in terms of taking the throne. There’s a feeling that he wishes that his father would have been alive to see it, if he would have given up the thrown for being too old. That’s the ideal way. His mindset is one of guilt and unsureness because he doesn’t have [his father] there.
What are the major challenges? What’s the biggest crisis weighing on him?
Generally, there is unrest because there’s no leader on the throne. We’re dealing with a similar thing right now in this country. Just because a person was elected doesn’t mean everybody agrees with the things he’s going to do. Having to make the first decisions … what do you do first? What do you choose to do that’s going to get everybody on your side? It’s a political drama essentially.
So it’s a divided nation. But I’m guessing he’s not Donald Trump, though.
[Laughs] Yeah, he’s not Donald Trump! It’s funny watching the campaign because we were working on this before the campaign started, in terms of the prep. Watching how that ended, watching Obama leave office, and watching Trump take over … There are definite parallels there that you pull from.
Is Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) T’Challa’s primary rival, the other side of this divided nation, seeking to take his throne?
I can’t really say. Klaue is the real villain. I can say that I identify with Killmonger’s character. It’s going to be a fun character. He definitely has a different point of view. They are polar opposites. A superhero movie is only as great as its villains. I think they both provide a piece of that.
What specific danger does Klaue pose to Black Panther’s people?
You have Wakanda, which is an isolationist society, Klaue has entered that space and knows more about it than anybody else. Because of that, he is a threat. Not to mention that he’s accessed this gift that could also be a curse to the rest of the world.
You’re talking about Vibranium, and his plans to weaponize it.
A lot of times when we talk about Vibranium we talk about it as if it’s, like, nuclear. It’s not a nuclear weapon but with the flexibility and versatility of it, it can do a lot of things. The fact that he has accessed that and has the mind to use it for evil is the key thing. Most people don’t know what it is and what can be done with it.
Hearing about the plot from Boseman’s perspective makes us more excited for the film than we were before. More information about Black Panther is expected in the coming weeks and we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
‘…but I knew him’