Written by Taylor Bowne
Isolationism, Ritualistic Combat & The Mysteries of Wakanda: Five Intriguing Elements of the Black Panther Teaser
Beyond the hints of big action sequences, an all-star cast, and that hot Run the Jewels track, there was a lot to take away from the Black Panther teaser which dropped on Friday night.
Here are five intriguing elements from the teaser.
With only a teaser for the film released so far, it’s hard to get a feel for what the movie is going to be like when it comes out next year. I do get the sense though that this film may follow in the footsteps of Guardians of the Galaxy, and operate somewhat outside of the main MCU narrative ecosystem (at least, for the majority of the film). For Black Panther, this would play well thematically considering how isolated Wakanda is from the rest of the world.
Kevin Feige has said that this film is about Wakanda stepping out of the shadows and onto the world stage. Wakanda is very unique compared to some of the other more real world locations of the MCU, and keeping the spotlight on it is the only way to really do it justice.
2. A diverse population:
Although we only get very quick glances in the teaser, the filmmakers seem to be going to considerable lengths to establish the diversity of the citizens of Wakanda. In the comics, there are various tribes and clans that populate Wakanda, and the movie seems to be drawing on that concept as well. None of the different clans are mentioned by name, but i think the clothes they wear are a good indication of where they fall in the overall layout of the region. Wakanda is very much its own ecosystem, so I look forward to seeing how the different factions come together (or clash) in terms of both combat and ideology.
3. Ritualistic combat:
The brief glimpse of a fight involving Erik Kilmonger (MIchael B. Jordan), and a man I’m assuming to be T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), immediately reminded me of a scene in the film The Protector starring Tony Jaa. If you’ve seen that particular martial arts flick, then you know the comparison is a compliment. With a crowd of onlookers behind them, this particular fight seems like it could be some sort of trial by combat between the two men. The reasons for it are unknown, but the implications add some insight into the culture of Wakanda
4. Everett Ross gets woke:
It’s interesting to note that someone as high ranking and well connected like Ross (Martin Freeman) is so in the dark about Wakanda. I understand that Wakanda is a very isolated region, but I find it kind of hard to swallow that someone in Ross’s position would need to be educated by the likes of Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) about the true nature of Wakanda. IS he really not in the know? Is he bluffing? Only time will tell.
5. How has Wakanda been so effective at keeping the rest of the world in the dark about their society?
This is one I hope they clearly address in the film. Based on what Ross says in the beginning of the teaser, the U.S government, and presumably the world at large, seem to be under the impression that Wakanda is a “third world country.” This comment has some pretty interesting implications; somehow Wakanda has pulled off one of the greatest acts of misdirection ever. How is this done? Is it magic? Their technology? I think it’s a combination of both. This is a tremendous ruse, no matter how it’s done.