With the release of Black Panther on the ever-imminent horizon, Screen Rant sat down with producer Nate Moore to talk about how the advanced technology of Wakanda is and the spiritual place it holds in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (aka. MCU) at large.
Black Panther is going to be an MCU first in several respects, and its vibrant African setting is certainly one of them. Wakanda is an incredibly imaginative city, and one of the more realized locations in the Marvel Comics. Having discovered vibranium earlier than the rest of the world, Wakanda is a technological marvel to behold, and the city is technologically 20 to 25 years ahead of the rest of the world.
Moore elaborated on that during our Black Panther set visit, saying, "The Golden City is, we think the most amazing city in the world in a way that also feels grounded." As for how much of that technological advancement will take place in the film, expect a great deal of it:
"What we were very afraid of was making Wakanda almost too Kirby-esque and by that I mean making it feel almost like they’re alien and not human. The truth is they’re human. They’re just 20 or 25 years ahead of us. Having a city built on Vibranium allows them to have all these advances and have wealth beyond our wildest imaginings and that’s a big part of the movie."
Wakanda is a fictional nation from the Marvel Comics, located in Africa and home to T'Challa, king and protector of Wakanda, and his people. Along with the technological advancements compared to the rest of the world, it is a rich and vibrant nation. Wakanda will even take the MCU into space! In fact, T'Challa is said to be even richer than Tony Stark, although Moore says the film won't explicitly say this. "There are so many characters in the Black Panther world that we wanted to explore, we didn’t want to rely on cameos from other movies," Moore explained.
Aside from the technological marvel, Wakanda is also a nation of great spirituality and religion. The people celebrate and worship a series of deities that trace very far back into the ancient days of the African nation, and they fall into separate sects of religion that most notably worship Bast the Panther Goddess, Ghekre the Gorilla God, and Sekmet the Lion Goddess. But more than anything, Moore says Wakanda is a nation that not only embraces its spirituality, but also the history of its spirituality:
"What’s interesting about Wakanda that we always found fascinating was it’s not only the most technically-advanced civilization in the world but it has a very strong ancestral history that was never eliminated in a way it has been in other places because they were never conquered. So imagine a place that still has standing monuments that are centuries old, next to the most modern skyscrapers in the world. In the same way, they haven’t lost a lot of their cultural touchstones that other places have. They still worship, potentially the same gods they did when they first started. They still have rituals that are centuries old because they never had that sort of cultural imperialism that you’ve seen across the world. So it’s a place that really sits between being technologically advanced but also having a high value on their traditions."
In addition to the spirituality of the people, Wakanda has been deeply affected by the meteorite of vibranium that crashed into its land thousands of years ago. The vibranium has gone so far as to permeate a great amount of Wakanda's vegetation, sprouting the Heart-Shaped Herb which gives Black Panther his increased reflexes and senses, similar to that of the Super-Soldier Serum. Moore referenced the importance of the herb in the film saying, "I think in addition to Vibranium, a big part of the movie is the heart-shaped herb and with that comes the more spiritual and ancestral side of Wakanda that we explore."
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