T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) role as a scientist in Black Panther will be a key feature of the film, but his sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), will be the real genius. Thanks to the character’s arrival in Captain America: Civil War and the marketing for Black Panther, audiences know that T’Challa is a warrior and a king in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s also becoming increasingly clear that the character will walk the line between technology and spirituality, a core aspect of Black Panther’s roots in the comics.
Black Panther’s latest trailer finally offered a glimpse of the spiritual world of Wakanda. In addition to the comments T’Challa made to Black Widow, the Panther God from the comics will also factor into the upcoming film. What’s more, Shuri will become the chief technologist in Wakanda, designing everything from weapons to Black Panther’s high-tech suit. After all, her intelligence is expected to rival Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) intellect. What we’ve yet to hear, however, is if T’Challa will also display his genius from the comics.
CNet recently spoke with Boseman about tackling the role of T’Challa in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, and the discussion hit on a number of topics. Among them was talk of T’Challa’s scientific know-how as well as Shuri’s role as a woman of color in the field of technology, something the film will heavily lean into.
“If anyone doesn’t think there’s a place for women in tech, it’s completely demolished in this movie. Her role is the most important. In the comic book, T’Challa is a scientist and a king, but my sister is the whiz kid. She is the one with that gift. She’s the Tony Stark of Wakanda. She’s witty, she’s cool, she’s funny. Now T’Challa is good in science too, but she’s the whiz. That’s the way the story’s been told forever. T’Challa is technologically sound. He’s a scientist as well, but she’s the minister of technology.”
Along with brains, it seems that Shuri will be a match for Stark in terms of both wit and swagger. Shuri is expected to appear in Avengers: Infinity War, which means a pairing between the two characters is certainly a possibility. In the meantime, however, Shuri looks as if she’ll be making her mark in the Wakandan corner of the MCU.
It’s also reassuring to hear Boseman’s claim that T’Challa will be a scientist in the film. The character specializes in in biology and physics and is considered one of the smartest comic book characters of all time. His intellect has even afforded him membership into the Illuminati, alongside Stark, Reed Richards, and other mental powerhouses of the Marvel Universe. So far, however, we’ve had no indication of whether this trait would carry over the MCU.
T’Challa certainly seems like an intelligent and capable leader from what’s been revealed of him so far, but his scientific acumen has yet to be touched upon in trailers for Black Panther. Luckily, it looks like as if he’ll exhibit his genius in Black Panther alongside Shuri’s own knack for invention.
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