After Black Panther and Endgame, Wakanda Forever Reveals W’Kabi’s MCU Fate

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The arduous burden of following up one of the best superhero films ever produced in the middle of a terrible tragedy fell to director Ryan Coogler. Nearly everyone praised “Black Panther,” which was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won three of them. But when star Chadwick Boseman passed away in August 2020, the sequel’s future was left up in the air.

With “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” being formally in cinemas, the world can now witness how director Ryan Coogler was able to portray a grand, tragic tale of loss and suffering while also establishing key narrative themes that will be developed further in upcoming installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Boseman’s T’Challa may be no more, but characters like Shuri and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) continue to carry on his legacy. T’Challa dies in the movie from an unknown sickness, leaving his family and friends to lament his passing. This is a reflection of real life. T’Challa is not the only “Black Panther” figure missing from the follow-up, though.

Daniel Kaluuya’s character W’Kabi is likewise absent from “Wakanda Forever.” He initially supports T’Challa in the first movie until switching sides and joins Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger. In the sequel, where is he then?

The in-universe explanation for W’Kabi’s absence

In the aftermath of “Black Panther,” W’Kabi’s destiny is revealed in a crucial line of dialogue. When Okoye (Danai Gurira) returns to Wakanda from her search for Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) in Boston, she is brought before Queen Ramonda for judgment (Angela Bassett). Okoye loses Shuri and Riri to Namor and Talokan during the operation, and at this point in the film, they are unsure of their survival.

As a result, Ramonda deprives Okoye of her membership in the Dora Milaje, and as she is berating her, she discloses that her husband, W’Kabi, was held captive. She doesn’t go into great depth, but it’s understandable why she wouldn’t.

W’Kabi and the other Border Tribe members collaborated with Killmonger in “Black Panther.” It would be reasonable to expect those responsible for the treachery to suffer some type of penalties for their acts, and it appears that these included imprisonment.

Additionally, it is presumed that Okoye and W’Kabi’s relationship is over. Although there are few details, it makes logical. Given that they engaged in combat in the “Black Panther” finale and that W’Kabi is now behind bars, it makes sense that Okoye has moved on.

Why Daniel Kaluuya didn’t return

W’Kabi’s absence from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” had a perfectly reasonable reason, but Marvel allegedly wanted Daniel Kaluuya to play the same character again. Marvel contacted the actor, according to a Variety article, but he had an issue with his schedule. He was unable to return to repeat his role because he was filming Jordan Peele’s “Nope” at the same time as “Wakanda Forever” was in production.

It’s intriguing to consider how W’Kabi might have returned for the sequel. Maybe the idea was for Okoye to go see her ex-husband and ask for advice after having her titles taken away. Or perhaps the idea was for W’Kabi and the other Border Tribe members to reunite with Wakanda during the titanic final conflict with Talokan.

Daniel Kaluuya made a wise decision, despite the fact that it’s a bad W’Kabi couldn’t come back. “Nope” received rave reviews after its debut and received an 82% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Additionally, there’s always a potential W’Kabi may return for “Black Panther 3” given the fact that he is at least still alive in the Marvel universe.

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