Though a lot of MCU movies are big hits, there’s no doubt that Black Panther is one of their most successful movies. Not only was it a great box office success, but it had the most awards nominations, including seven Oscars, three Golden Globes, eight Grammys, and one BAFTA. It was a lot of firsts too, including the first superhero film to have nominations in the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards’ Best Picture category. It also remains the highest rated MCU film on Rotten Tomatoes, proving it was not only an audience favorite, but a critical favorite as well.
Unfortunately, the star, Chadwick Boseman, passed away in 2020. His performance was so impactful that Marvel Studios decided not to recast him and instead wrote the next movie and the rest of the MCU around his death to honor and remember him. The movie’s sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forevercoming Nov. 11th, relies on other characters we’ve met in Wakanda to lead the story instead, and introduces a few new ones as well. Refresh yourself on the old characters and meet the new ones before the movie comes out.
T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman)
T’Challa was first introduced to the MCU in Captain America: Civil Warand was played by the late Chadwick Boseman. When a UN bombing killed T’Challa’s father, he was next in line to become King of Wakanda. After getting involved in their fight, he returns home and faces even more challenges there.
He is challenged for the throne by M’Baku but manages to win, but struggles afterwards to figure out how to please everyone in Wakanda. The biggest threat is his long-lost cousin who comes in with new ideas and plans to take over the world with Wakanda’s power. Since Boseman’s passing, however, the MCU has decided T’Challa has also passed, meaning in any upcoming movies there will only be the memory and mention of him.
Shuri (Letitia Wright)
Shuri is T’Challa’s younger sister, who is also the head of their science department, helping to advance their technology even further than it already is. Played by Letitia WrightShuri is responsible for many of the technology upgrades we see in Wakanda, including T’Challa’s suit upgrade. She also helped heal Bucky Barnes of his brainwashing, and healed Everett Ross when he took a bullet to his spine for Nakia.
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Even though she’s more of a scientist, that fact didn’t stop Shuri from trying her best to help fight off Killmonger when the time came, using weapons she created for her hands that helped to stabilize vibranium and therefore worked as an effective weapon against those with the metal. From what we’ve seen though, she won’t be taking over the throne after T’Challa’s death.
Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett)
Queen Ramonda is T’Challa and Shuri’s mother. She is first introduced in Black Panther, where we see her played by Angela Bassett. However, she takes on a minor role, not appearing as often in some scenes due to her age and lack of fighting abilities. She’s still strong though, standing up for T’Challa when she needs to and even helping everyone escape with the herb they need to make another Black Panther. We’re expecting to see more of her in the coming movie, as Shuri is either still too young to take the throne or simply doesn’t want to, so Ramonda rules over Wakanda instead.
Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o)
Nakia, played by Lupita Nyong’owas T’Challa’s love interest. It’s been clear since the moment of her introduction that she believes in helping the people, especially those less fortunate than she and the rest of Wakanda are. She helps T’Challa decide that they are going to open their borders and begin to help the world grow just as Wakanda has, and she was a highly skilled warrior as well. Nakia is returning for the second movie, now given the title of ‘War Dog’ in the official movie synopsis. She will be an integral part in the movie and helping protect Wakanda as they figure out what’s next.
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Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje
Okoye, played by Call Gurirais the leader of the Dora Milaje, a special group of women warriors who have pledged themselves to the Wakandan throne and will do whatever they can to protect it. She was always by T’Challa’s side while he was king, helping him in any way she could, including facing down her own husband. There’s no doubt she will do the same for Queen Ramonda and anything she may face in the new movie. Alongside Okoye, we will also see the return of Ayo (Florence Kasumba) and a new face with Aneka (Michael Coel), the trainer of the Dora Milaje.
Everett Ross (Martin Freeman)
Everett Ross was an important character in the first movie despite not having any previous connections to Wakanda. Played by Martin FreemanRoss is a CIA agent who is after Ulysses Klaue, a notorious criminal. He gets involved with T’Challa and the rest of the Wakandans when T’Challa, Nakia, and Okoye arrive at the same place also after Klaue, who broke into Wakanda before and stole some of their vibranium. After being brought back to Wakanda to save his life after he saved Nakia’s, he gets involved and helps them defeat Killmonger before then helping them visit the UN and open Wakanda’s borders to the world.
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M’Baku (Winston Duke)
Before Wakanda was ruled by one king, there were several different tribes who lived in the same land and often fought together. M’Baku is the leader of one of these tribes, and his tribe is the only one that refused to join together under one rule, moving up into the mountains. Played by Winston DukeM’Baku first appears as an antagonist as he fights T’Challa for the throne. Upon losing, T’Challa gracefully lets him live instead of killing him, and M’Baku warms up to him.
He even made every attempt he could to keep T’Challa alive after he washed up on their land from the fight for the throne with Killmonger. Then, he joined the final fight to help T’Challa and the Dora Milaje win the day and return Wakanda to normal once again. M’Baku is set to be one of the main characters in the coming movie, once again proving he is willing to ally himself with the rest of Wakanda to protect their country.