In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, King T’Challa’s death has a profound impact on Princess Shuri, leaving her with a crisis of faith. While her mother, Queen Ramonda, wants her to let go of the grief, Shuri holes up in her lab, haunted by how she failed to recreate the Heart-Shaped Herb and save her brother. Still, science has been her rock, so she ignores the queen’s attempts to remember their heritage that healed them in the past, focusing on gadgets and weapons.
It leads to a spiritual conundrum and emotional maelstrom inside, tearing at her as she tries to cope. In the process, Wakanda Forever dissects a very intriguing tradition vs. technology debate that has Shuri pondering the steps forward for herself and her kingdom. And unsurprisingly, when she does find the answer, it ends up being Wakanda’s saving grace.
Black Panther 2’s Shuri Merges Technology and Tradition
When Shuri and Riri escape the Talokan empire, Namor takes the life of Ramonda. However, Shuri has a necklace Namor gave her, whose fibers were made from vibranium-enriched soil. Coincidentally, this was passed down from Namor’s mom, Fen, to the vindictive king, which now allows Shuri to extract the compounds, use her brother’s DNA and make the Heart-Shaped Herb again.
Shuri then imbibes the serum, not caring for the ritual with the ancestors, as she’s got no time. It leads to her meeting Killmonger in the Ancestral Plane, but ignoring his corruptive ways as she becomes the new Black Panther and beats Namor down. Eventually, they call a truce, with Shuri certain she made her family proud over what she did with the mantle. It’s a brilliant way of merging technology and tradition, reminding Shuri that new methods and old-school ways can work together.
Black Panther 2’s Shuri Still Wants a Subverted Evolution
Shuri told Killmonger in the mystical realm how Wakanda’s hopes and dreams died with her mother. But while she’s come to her senses, she knows change has to happen, especially as they can’t trust the outside world. And that’s why she doesn’t attend the sacred waterfall ritual to see who’d lead the African nation, sending M’Baku. Instead, she meets Nakia in Haiti, where she discovers her nephew, T’Challa.
This absconding speaks to Shuri trying to find her purpose after enduring so much loss but sticking to what her mom handed down. After all, she does go through the funeral rite and burning the white garb, proving she has rediscovered her passion for heritage and culture. Admittedly, she’s not as religious as Ramonda wanted, but the young lady’s faith has been rocked after losing her parents and sibling in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But ultimately, she believes in the Black Panther symbol and what her family stood for, so once she starts believing in herself, she’ll surely return to Wakanda to decide how to blend generations, knowledge and dynasties.
To see Shuri’s journey, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in theaters.