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Home > Why M’Baku Become King Of Wakanda In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Why M’Baku Become King Of Wakanda In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Black Panther

A New Era In Wakanda Is Dawning

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, now streaming on Disney+, sees the kingdom of Wakanda mourning the death of their king, T’Challa (played by the late Chadwick Boseman), the Black Panther himself. The movie follows Shuri (Letitia Wright) as she grieves her brother and, later on, her mother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), who dies when Namor (Tenoch Huerta) attacks Wakanda. One of her most reliable sources of counsel comes from the leader of the Jabari tribe, M’Baku (Winston Duke), who promised T’challa to look after the princess. 

After the attack on the capital city of Wakanda, all citizens get temporarily relocated to Jabariland. Shuri works to reproduce the Heart-Shaped Herb and assume the mantle of the Black Panther while the elders bicker about finding a new leader for their nation. Shuri, now infused with the power of the Black Panther in her own suit interrupts the elders and announces that they will be performing a retaliating attack against Namor. M’Baku is the first to celebrate Shuri as the new Black Panther and support her plan.

Sometime after the final battle, the ceremonial challenge for the throne arrives. Everyone is expecting Princess Shuri, but in her place arrives M’baku saying, “The Black Panther sends her regards.” This is M’Baku’s final moment on screen, implying that he has become the new ruler of Wakanda. This information was later confirmed by Winston Duke in an interview with Esquire. 

Is M’Baku Worthy of the Throne?

Absolutely. Throughout the movie, M’Baku is a noble character that strives to protect the people of Wakanda. During the attack on the capital city, he jumps into the river to rescue people on a capsized boat without hesitation, then hastily goes to confront Namor himself. Not only does he care for his people, but he also cares deeply for Shuri, offering his sympathies and aid to the princess and consistently being one of her most prominent allies. When he shows up to Warrior Falls to challenge for the throne, his dialogue implies that he has Shuri’s blessing to become the leader of Wakanda.

Black Panther

This offers something interesting to think about though. Traditionally, the mantle of the Black Panther is reserved for whoever is king of Wakanda. However, there is a clear distinction between the two, with Shuri continuing to be the Black Panther after forfeiting her place on the throne to M’Baku. The only similar instance of this happening is in Captain America: Civil War where T’Challa is the Black Panther but his father, T’Chaka (John Kani), is still the residing king. This is a very different scenario, however, because T’Challa has been given the role of Black Panther partially due to the king’s old age. 

Regardless of the specifics, no one is seen challenging M’Baku for the throne, implying that he did become king. His actions throughout the movie, and his character progression between both Black Panther films, show that he is the most worthy person to lead Wakanda.

Why Did Shuri Step Down?

There are several reasons why Shuri may have wanted to give up the throne. The first is that she has a very scientific and technological outlook on life. Obviously, with her being a genius inventor, but she also doesn’t believe in tradition. This is touched on at several points throughout the movie, with her not being interested in rituals that her mother and others try to lead her through, as well as not believing in the spirit world until she experiences it firsthand. 

Shuri is also still very young and has lost almost every important person in her life. She needs time to mourn and to heal. That’s not really possible to do while trying to lead a country. At the end of the movie, she travels to Haiti to meet with Nakia and make an attempt to grieve her mother and brother in a healthy way. So it’s clear that Shuri is taking the time she needs for herself.

Black Panther

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) Official Marvel Studios Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Lyus is a musician, illustrator, and writer. She is currently studying illustration at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. She is the drummer in a hardcore band. She loves cartoons, comics, and poetry.