The first trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever stole the show at San Diego Comic-Con in July. Let’s break it down.
Funeral for a king
It seems obvious from the first sad strains of No Woman, No Cry, that T’Challa’s death is reverberating through Wakanda. “Good friends we have, and good friends we’ve lost,” the lyrics proclaim, as quiet, elegant scenes of T’Challa’s teary family and friends are shown. The cause of his death isn’t explained in the trailer, but we assume the movie will eventually address what happened. T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) and mother Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) are seen walking somberly in what appears to be a funeral procession, with Shuri holding the Black Panther helmet.
Namor is born
A pregnant woman is seen, and then she appears to be giving birth underwater. It’s not stated, but it looks like the wing-footed baby born is Namor the Sub-Mariner, who will be played as an adult by Tenoch Huerta. Namor is the child of a human male and a princess of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. An adult Namor is later seen in several scenes in the trailer, such as at 1:36, when he and others are blasted with energy while standing on a beach, and M’Baku (Winston Duke) leaps at him from a boat.
It sure looks as if the movie will pit Atlantis, led by Namor, against Wakanda, led by whoever’s trying to step in for T’Challa, and though we don’t know the background of the movie conflict, the two lands are notorious comic-book enemies. CIA agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) shows up looking worried.
You’ll see a lot of characters with light blue skin in the trailer. Those are Namor’s fellow Atlanteans, but apparently, because his father is human, he doesn’t share that skin color. Atlantis itself seems to be inspired by the Maya civilization.
An anguished Queen Ramonda is heard screaming that she is the queen of the world’s most powerful nation, and her entire family is gone. Shuri isn’t dead in the movie, but T’Challa and T’Chaka, their father, are both gone. Some have speculated that Ramonda is speaking after the Thanos snap, which took both Shuri and T’Challa, though they were later restored. Or could Shuri be thought dead in the film’s setting, due to some other event?
At 1:33 in the trailer, Riri Williams/Ironheart is seen, played by young actress Dominique Thorne. She seems to be building her own Iron Man-style suit and is shown cutting out a heart symbol, signifying her name. There’s a touching scene, too, where she and Shuri share a handshake in Shuri’s lab.
Aneka in blue
The Dora Milaje, Wakanda’s all-female army of defenders, also makes an appearance. One of them, dressed in blue, is Aneka (Michaela Coel); she has an interesting backstory in the comics, where she was stripped of her rank in the group for killing an abusive chieftain, so we’ll have to see how much, if any, of that history makes it into the movie. The blue armor is that of the Midnight Angels, an elite group within the Dora Milaje.
A new Black Panther emerges
In the very last seconds of the trailer, someone who appears to be wearing the Black Panther suit is seen unleashing claws. Many have speculated that this is Shuri, taking over the role from her late brother, but of course, Marvel’s not letting that spoiler slip too early.
The music in the Black Panther Wakanda Forever trailer
You’ll first hear Bob Marley’s No Woman, No Cry in the trailer, performed beautifully by Nigerian singer Tems. Then the music switches to incorporate Kendrick Lamar’s Alright.