For the cast, this emotional element stems directly from their interactions on and off the set. “[T]he preparation process coming back into this was definitely a spiritual one,” confessed Letitia Wright, who returns as Shuri, T’Challa’s sister and likely successor as Black Panther. But she and the other performers found solace in each other. “The beautiful thing I found was that I wasn’t alone,” Wright elaborated. “Coming back to the world of Wakanda, I felt like I had family that understood.”
We know that the familial aspect will certainly be an important part of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and not just because it is highlighted in the trailer. Among the many achievements in the original film was its ability to build a new world and populate it with well-rounded and interesting characters. The movie may have been about T’Challa reckoning with Wakanda’s misdeeds as he becomes the new king, but that journey came through the influence of Nakia, Okoye, and even antagonists M’Baku (Winston Duke) and Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan).
Where so many superheroes demonstrate their strength by standing alone against opposing forces, Black Panther’s strength came from his ability to learn from others, to listen to the rich community that surrounded him. That community made Black Panther a very different type of superhero movie, and now it allows Wakanda Forever to be a very different type of sequel.