Yes, We’re Still Crying Over The Wakanda Forever Trailer

Photo: Courtesy of Marvel.
The trailer for Wakanda Forever, the sequel to Marvel’s critically-acclaimed, fan-favorite film Black Panther, is finally here and its drop,  brought with it a slew of emotions from fans. I, for one, watched the trailer twice; once with my sisters in emotional silence and then for a second time by myself, and was rendered speechless except for one word that kept reverberating through my mind: majestic. 
The visuals are stunning, regal, and mind-blowing — from the cinematography to production design to the stunning action sequences — and it’s clear that director Ryan Coogler is back with another banger. It’s incredible that Coogler and the rest of the cast and crew pulled off such a labor of love in the midst of unimaginable grief. The absence of the late Chadwick Boseman (rest in power, King), who played the titular character in Black Panther, weighs heavy on all of our hearts. There is so much love apparent in the trailer  which is why  it left me, and so many other viewers, incredibly emotional. The trailer is almost devoid of dialogue — instead the visuals are carried by a beautiful and moving mix of Nigerian artist Tems’ rendition of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright.” Despite its short two-minute run, this trailer emerges as one of the best Marvel Cinematic Universe movie trailers, which sets up even more anticipation for the actual film.
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Boseman crossing his arms over his chest as King T’Challa and yelling “Wakanda Forever” is an image that stays forever in my mind. I can still hear the rally cry. Though I will miss seeing his incredible performance, it’s clear his presence will be greatly felt in this film. I’m not the only one who is missing Boseman — other fans were clearly affected by the sad reminder that Wakanda will be mourning its king along with the rest of us. Many people tweeted that they were moved to tears, and while I didn’t cry (I held them in like a G), I did feel an immense and overwhelming sense of sadness at the thought of Boseman’s absence in the film, and at the very process of creating this new film. 
PHoto: Courtesy of Marvel.
From the scenes in the trailer, it’s clear that the film is not only a labor of love, but also, an exercise in working through grief. In the trailer, the only words spoken are by Queen Ramona (Angela Bassett): “I am Queen of the most powerful nation in the world, and my entire family is gone,” she cries. “Have I not given everything!?” This absolutely broke my heart to hear, not just for Bassett’s character and Wakanda the fictional nation, but also for the cast and crew who actually lost a dear friend. Boseman was a superhero to many of us on screen but off, he was a colleague, a friend, and a real person. The grief that clearly wracked the cast was on display as they cried in each other’s arms at the San Diego Comic Convention panel after premiering the emotional trailer. 
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It’s a grief that Hannah Beachler, the production designer for Wakanda Forever and Black Panther, spoke about on Twitter She wrote, “grief was actively happening as we made this film,” and said she hopes fans feel “the loss, the LOVE, the determination, and the fight to make it through.” My heart goes out to everyone who worked on the film, and I think it’s beautiful that they worked through an insurmountable tragedy and created a piece of art that will honor Boseman and his legacy.
 The trailer  shows that Wakanda will be mourning the loss of their beloved king and I’m really excited to see how the story plays out because T’Challa’s (Boseman) absence leaves the power in the hands of the women of the nation: his mother, Queen Ramonda, his former love, Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), his little sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), and the Dora Milaje, the all-female bodyguards of the Black Panther led by Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba). The trailer felt very female-forward and it’s amazing to see women take center stage in one of the biggest and most important films in the MCU — and in the culture.
As for that much-buzzed about shot of a new Black Panther taking up the mantle in the upcoming film, some fan theories are naming Nakia. Others believe that Shuri is the next successor (which would be in line with the comic books and some toy leaks). Some even think Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) could be back from the dead. But all we know for sure is that Wakanda Forever is going to be one of the best movies of the year, and I will be watching.
Wakanda Forever will be in theaters on November 11, 2022

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