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Black Panther - Discussion with SPOILERS


#224

And the film says that Wakanda was wrong to be isolationist for so long and so inflexibly.

But they also, in the opening animation, set up exactly why.

Wakanda would’ve had to colonise the rest of Africa themselves, become the Wakandan empire, to really change history. They chose not to do that, and empires are horrible, so that’s a moral choice I can support.

But they left the continent to exploitation and slavery instead, which is moral choice that is far more troubling.

The movie is about that choice. It’s not incidental, its the core of the film.


#225

Aha thanks for pointing that out. I guess I missed that.


#226

I’d contend that the notion of revealing itself to the world in prior decades would have seemed suicidal.

We can infer from the source material that Wakanda would have to be decades, perhaps even centuries ahead of the rest of the world for most of its history- for instance, the first spy satellites are more than a half century old, so it would have to have had cloaking technology for its cities since at least then. It follows that their defensive abilities must have been similarly far ahead for most of this time.

That said, a look at the geography of the MCU version of Africa suggests that Wakanda is a fairly small nation. It isn’t unbelievable that a smallish nation with a limited population might not want to squander precious lives deterring much larger, more populous, if more primitive nations. It’s also suggested that it has natural geographical barriers that restrict migration across its borders, but I’ll get to that in a second.

Also consider what the word deterrence means in this context. The entire concept of deterrence is a fairly new concept: it implies a certain level of sophistication in international institutions and mass media. It’s largely (but not entirely) a doctrine of the atomic age, when nations couldn’t just casually embark on adventurous wars to expand their territories, as the European nations did for much of the last thousand years.

So the possibility of “deterrence” has only really been on the cards for maybe a century or so, and really only the last few decades (bluntly, the feudal era is out). And what has the rest of the world been doing during this era?

Well, there’s been the colonial era (when the populations around them were being conquered, enslaved, stripped of people and resources and client states installed) from four centuries ago until roughly seventy years ago, when two massive planetary conflicts ravaged the world. Following from this, a Cold War where two massive nuclear armed alliances threatened to blow up the world (have a thought about what knowledge of Wakanda would have contributed to that situation). After that, the world is then dominated by a single nuclear-armed superpower with a history of overthrowing uncooperative nations and a notorious reputation regarding its treatment of people of colour. It’s also the only nation to ever use its nuclear weapons in a conflict.

You’re the ruler of Wakanda at any point until recently, what do you do? Your population is relatively small, but is safely out of sight. Remember, if you openly venture beyond the natural geographic borders that enclose your kingdom to help your neighbours, you’re committed- there’s no way back from that. At what point would that not look incredibly dangerous? At what point, as Steve points out, would that not have virtually committed them to their own imperialism out of sheer survival?

Frankly, if I was T’Challa, I’d have been tempted to have kept my mouth shut.


#227

I don’t think it’s that intense. Someone named the Disney Corp is really PRing the crap out of an entertaining film and people have enough good will to go along. It doesn’t express anything significant even compared to less successful or expensive Indy movies but we can pretend it does without entirely risking damnation for it.


#228

I think some of the blandness of T’Challa is inherent in the character. He always seems to work best as a foil, whether it’s for the FF, Everett K. Ross, or in Coates’s run for Wakanda itself. I think that’s why he popped more in Civil War, being positioned against Cap, Iron Man, and the Winter Soldier.


#229

Honestly, he came off as positively crackling when compared to Freeman’s Everett K. Ross.
More boring than paint drying.


#230

I’m hoping for a long-term swerve with Ross, where he ends up becoming an antagonist due to his loyalties.


#231

I was surprised that they dropped the smug arrogance from Civil War and made him just a generic good guy. Though honestly, he was completely pointless in the film. If they had stripped out him and the trip to Korea the film doesn’t change at all.


#232

Yeah, it really doesn’t change a thing.

I like Priest’s run, but just adding in characters because they were in the comics is always a bad move.
Unless it’s Jose and The Pussycats and they just add useless comic characters to make a quick joke about how they’re just useless comic characters.

Then it’s 10/10 masterpiece level.


#233

Side bar: Priests Deadpool is seriously underrated. I loved it more than Kelly’s run.


#234

Ross is probably there as a connection to the wider MCU, which would otherwise not get a look in at all. He’s been called the token white guy but he doesn’t really serve that function. Audience identification is with the main cast, no matter what ethnicity the viewer may be.

But films like this evolve, so he may well have had a more important function at one time, and that got whittled down to occasional comic relief and MCU reminder.


#235

Klaue serves that function too - he appeared first in Age of Ultron.


#236

True, and we see a little bit of ‘Winter Soldier’ as well, so a clip from an actual other MCU film.

Klaue is more important than Ross.


#237

Plus, Black Panther was in Civil War. Honestly, they could have just used Bucky if they wanted a further connection to the MCU movie universe. He was on Wakanda, after all.


#238

There’s some of Civil War in there too, with the explosion at the UN.


#239

Post-credits! :slight_smile:


#240

I say that somebody looks like Thom Cruz sometimes and just get weird looks in return. It seems like quite an underrated run, though I haven’t read in almost ten years.


#241

#242

#243

I finally managed to catch it today. 4pm showing on a sunny afternoon here in la Jolla and still pretty much full. This film is just bizarre in its popularity.

I thought it was pretty solid. Great cast, great visuals, fairly tight story. It didn’t feel like more than 2 hours.which is a good indicator.
I’m not sure it is really good enough to deserve it’s current box office, but I guess it captured a Zeitgeist or something.