The Black Panther audio commentary has finally revealed the inspiration behind the famous Wakanda Forever salute. For a long time, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans would whisper "Hail, Hydra" into each other's ears following the release of Anthony and Joe Russo's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but that trend tapered off as time went on. Now, it seems the next trend might just be the Wakanda Forever salute, something that even got lots of cheers during the final battle in the Russos' Avengers: Infinity War.
Although Chadwick Boseman made his debut appearance as T'Challa, aka the Black Panther, in the Russos' Captain America: Civil War in 2016, it wasn't until earlier this year that the character and his home, Wakanda, were fully introduced on the big screen in Ryan Coogler's Black Panther, which was co-written by Coogler and screenwriter Joe Robert Cole. In that film, one of the things that stood out and was truly accepted amongst the fans was the Wakanda Forever salute, which Wakandans appear to use quite often.
In the scene when T'Challa is buried and travels to the Ancestral Plane to speak to his father, T'Chaka, he awakens in the plane with his arms across his chest, thus performing the Wakanda Forever salute. According to Ryan Coogler, that salute was crafted by taking inspiration from the way Pharaohs are laid to rest as well as from West African sculptures. Furthermore, Coogler points out that it also means "hug" in American Sign Language (ASL). The combination of the three is what led to Black Panther's Wakanda Forever salute.
In addition to the Wakanda Forever salute, Black Panther fans have truly taken to the character's world and especially his home of Wakanda. MCU fans have traveled to cosmic and exotic locales on the big screen before, such as Asgard, Xandar, Sakaar, and many more, but the one place they've seem to be most enamored by is Wakanda. Perhaps that's because it's on Earth and it feels like something that could exist out there somewhere, with more believable technology, of course. As much as everyone would want their own nano-technology suit that can form out of a necklace, that's something that will just have to stay in the movies for now.
Although Avengers: Infinity War will have audiences believe that Black Panther's future is in doubt, the Black Panther movie was more than successful enough to warrant a sequel, which is something that Marvel Studios is keen on making. When that comes out, audiences will get another chance at diving into the culture and world of Wakanda... and the Black Panther.
Black Panther is out now on Digital HD, DVD, and Blu-Ray.
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