Dropping after the red carpet premiere of Thor: Ragnarok, the first full-length trailer for Black Panther is finally here. Fans will get their first taste of Director Ryan Coogler’s vision for Black Panther and Wakanda. T’Challa will show Wakanda under the backdrop of Vince Staples’ “BagBak” and the lyrics of Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”
The new trailer adds new levels to plot and design. While the grander details are fairly self-explanatory, we’d like to parse through some of the finer points that piqued our interest.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
The trailer formally introduces a view of the Wakandan throne room to fans. At first look, it could have been a call back to the old Wakandan kings. Upon closer inspection, the man at the center is, in fact, M’baku (Winston Jones); also known as the villain, Man-Ape.
In the comics, M’baku is the leader of the Jabari Tribe in Northern Wakanda that worship the White Gorilla. In the comics, White Gorrila religion, which included cannibalistic traditions, was banned by Wakandan society in the comics. He appears to be a minor villain and we suspect that he will probably aid the primary antagonist, Erik Killmonger.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe did a remarkable job showcasing the hidden nature of Wakanda. It was T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the new King of Wakanda, who stepped out into the limelight that his father left bare in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War
Like Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), we can’t help but be amazed at new footage of the technological wonders of Wakanda. Previous teaser trailers showed the grand city and its fearsome Panther statues from afar. The trailer gives us more of these statues, with one of them standing guard at an entrance. We suspect that this may be the entry point to the Vibranium mines of Wakanda – the lifeblood of its economy.
There are also street-level views of the Wakandan capitol, where we see traditional motifs of African culture blended with a technological flair. Check out the lady on the lower left, in chic attire and inspecting a woven basket. Afrofuturism, indeed!
This is probably one of the biggest surprises of the trailer.
Unlike the people of the Jabari tribe, T’Challa and his people worship the Panther gods. In the comics, the Black Panther gains his superhuman abilities from eating the Heart-Shaped Herb. In the grounded, more realistic take of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is an enigma whether they would take on this aspect of the lore.
We’re waiting to see if this scene is just a dream sequence; or if T’Challa really is communing with the Wakandan Panther gods.
There’s more of the titular protagonist Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). Interestingly, in his declaration to “burn it all down,” we see his body covered with what is possibly ritual scarring.
The comics version of this character is one of the Black Panther’s greatest foes. In fact, he was able to defeat T’Challa to take on the ceremonial title of Black Panther. Additionally, he even joined the Avengers at one point. This is probably the inspiration as to Erik in a Black Panther suit with gold lining. And it is highly possible that Erik is successful in his uprising, getting his own version of the suit.
Andy Serkis returns as another one of the Black Panther’s archenemies, Ulysses Klaw. If you all recall in Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, Klaw lost his left hand. And yet, here he is – whole again – with some significant upgrades.
Interestingly, Klaw utilized a sonic cannon attached to his hand in the comics. We suspect that this appearance is likely a direct homage to that material. However, Klaw in the comics is a being of pure sound. It is highly unlikely that Klaw in the film will go through the same fate.
Overall, the trailer looks fantastic.
The music brings a nice urban beat to the movie set in Africa. Additionally, the song lyrics are a direct homage to the original Black Panthers group, specifically “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised“.
Interestingly, the cast is star-studded: Forest Whitaker plays mentor Zuri. Angela Basset brings a sense of regality as Ramonda, mother of T’Challa. Moreover, Letitia Wright gets a special shoutout as Shuri, T’challa’s sister. Fans may try to replicate the special gestures between the siblings after the film’s release.
Lastly, given that we have three villains in this already large cast, we hope that Marvel Studios doesn’t merely resort to killing Erik Killmonger or Ulysses Klaw.
Black Panther hits theaters February 2018! Did you guys like the trailer? Tell us what you think in the comments!