Black Panther: Wakanda Forever landed in theaters on Friday, taking us back to the technologically advanced African nation as its people mourn the loss of King T’Challa. It’s the 30 Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, the sequel to the 2018 megahit Black Pantherand includes the most touching post-credits scene you could imagine.
T’Challa, who held the role of Black Panther in addition to his royal status, was played by Chadwick Bosemanwho died of colon cancer at the age of 43 in 2020. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has promised that Boseman would not be replaced in the role, and the film sees the debut of a new Black Panther.
And if you stick around past the credits, you’ll also be treated to an unexpected piece of T’Challa’s legacy.
Mid-Credits Scene: Prince of Wakanda
Having obtained peace with Namor and allowed herself to truly feel, for the first time, the loss of T’Challa, the new Black Panther Shuri (Letitia Wright) burns her funeral attire on a beach in Haiti, symbolizing the end of her grieving process.
After giving Shuri enough space, T’Challa’s former girlfriend, Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), steps out onto the beach with a little boy (Divine Love Konadu-Sun). She introduces him as Toussaint, the son she secretly had with T’Challa.
Shuri notes that Toussaint is a name with a lot of history – it probably refers to Toussaint louverture, the most prominent general of the Haitian Revolution. He is credited with leading the the most successful slave revolt in historythat led to Haiti declaring itself an independent nation in 1804.
The young Toussaint was hidden in Haiti to protect him from pressure from the Wakandan throne – explaining why Nakia did not attend T’Challa’s funeral – but mentions that Queen Ramonda was able to meet him before his death. The charming kid instantly bonds with Shuri and decides to reveal a secret: Toussaint is his Haitian name, but he also has a Wakandan one.
“My name is Prince T’Challa, son of King T’Challa,” he said.
Excuse me, my eyes got a little watery revisiting that moment.
What does it mean?
Marvel made sure someone named T’Challa lived on in their epic cinematic universe. It’s probably too early to tell when this young man will become King Wakandan or Black Panther, since we’ve seen M’Baku challenge the nation’s throne while Shuri wears the heroic cloak.
For now, Prince T’Challa is a potential snapshot of a next generation of MCU heroes – he represents hope for the future (after Thor: Love and Thunder, the second Marvel movie in a row that ends with the child of a Marvel hero). This scene is also a stylish and emotionally fulfilling twist on the post-credits tradition of teasing future storylines.
In the comics, T’Challa is still alive and serves as both Black Panther and King of Wakanda. He does not have a son with Nakia, however, and his most important relationship was with Storm of the X-Men (which has yet to be introduced in the MCU). They were married, but that ended after the Avengers came into conflict with the X-Men.
Is there a post-credits scene?
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever doesn’t include a post-credits scene but does include a message to make sure we haven’t seen the last of these characters.
“Black Panther will return,” it reads as the credits come to an end.
What does it mean?
We don’t know where Black Panther will appear next, since the third movie has yet to be announced. A Wakanda-centric Disney Plus series was announced last year, but there has been no update on it since.
It also appears that the morally questionable CIA director Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is forming the Thunderboltsa team of superheroes made up of characters with dark pasts, for nefarious purposes.
Given Val’s involvement in the events of Wakanda Forever and her acknowledged desire for vibranium – a rare metal found primarily in Wakanda – it’s possible she’ll target the nation once she assembles his superhuman pawns. Thunderbolts is slated for a theatrical release on July 26, 2024.
Wakanda Forever is the final MCU Phase 4 movie, but Shuri could appear in just about any movie announced for Stages 5 and 6. These three phases are collectively known as The Multiverse Saga, reflecting Infinity Saga of Phases 1, 2 and 3.
It currently looks like Kang the Conqueror (whom we will meet next February Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania) will be the main villain of this era, but maybe a villain more arch than him will emerge in the years to come. Either way, future global and multiversal MCU threats will almost certainly make their way to Wakanda.