How Ryan Coogler Honored Chadwick Perfectly [OPINION]


Jada Cousin

With the killer opening weekend, estimating $180 million in the US and $331.3 million globally, it would be no doubt that “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” was one of the best movies of this year. As someone who was concerned about how Ryan Coolger was going to handle Chadwick’s passing, he undoubtedly honored him in the best way throughout the film. 

From beginning to end, “Wakanda Forever” commemorated his death while being consistent with the storyline. Besides the fact that Coolger was able to tie his passing into the story, there was more than one moment of silence in the film to honor Chadwick, one at the beginning and the other in the mid-credit scene. 

The first moment of silence was in the title sequence, instead of the basic one that consists of all of the heroes in the MCU, it was a montage of scenes of Chadwick, met with 32 seconds of complete silence. The second moment of silence occurred before the mid-credit scene as Shuri was thinking of her late brother, which lasted for about 30 to 60 seconds. Both of those moments were the most emotional periods of time that I experienced while watching a movie. 

It would be an understatement if I were to say the movie was a tear-jerker.  

Due to Chadwick’s death, we lost our beloved main character, T’Challa. Through his passing, Coolger was able to transfer the mantle of the black panther to Shuri, his younger sister, while still maintaining comic accuracy.

We are also able to see how Shuri develops throughout the film. While she was once the comedic relief side character, she slowly became a mature, vengeance-seeking powerhouse. Losing T’Challa helped Shuri become the main protector that Wakanda had lost, while also honing in on the values and beliefs that her brother had expressed throughout his time of being the Black Panther. 

Besides the plot, the precise and small details that were put into the film were also able to effectively honor Chadwick. From the many parallels between the first film to a mural of T’Challa that was shown during his funeral, Coolger was able to remind the viewers of the film’s main focus —  paying tribute to Chadwick but also showing the grieving process of Wakanda, specifically Shuri. 

A lot of thought and dedication was put into this film which resulted in a beautiful story, both visually and emotionally. In all, the film was executed perfectly and I believe that no other director would have been able to make this movie the way that Ryan Coolger did.