Black Panther 2's Biggest Plot Holes & Unanswered Questions
There are many intersecting arcs and characters in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever that lead to some plot holes and quaint mysteries appearing.
It's safe to say that there are many moving parts in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. As a result, there are more than a few plot holes in Wakanda Forever, as well as some unanswered questions. This leaves the movie, while an emotional, nuanced experience, still feeling a bit wonky. At the core of the story is Shuri and her mom, Queen Ramonda, getting over the death of King T'Challa due to a mysterious illness. This tests Shuri's resolve, leaving her torn over taking on the Black Panther mantle.
Throw in Namor trying to force her into an alliance with the Talokanil, and the film ends up being a brutal affair regarding politics and exactly how these conflicting world powers view themselves when it comes to the rest of the world. With Riri Williams being the catalyst for the war, it's easy to envision how so many characters with different motivations could lead to cracks in the narrative appearing.
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Namor tells Wakanda a scientist on land created a vibranium-seeking machine that has disturbed his undersea kingdom. Namor blames Wakanda for informing the greedy world about vibranium, so this is Ramonda's mess to clean up. However, if Talokan's forces are so isolated, how do they know about the scientist? This makes Riri the target, but the Talokanil doesn't have spies on the surface, nor does Namor leave any humans alive to get information, so it'd be nice to know how he gleans all this intel.
In Wakanda Forever, Namor's entire mission is to keep his kingdom off-grid. He thinks if they stay hidden, the outside world can't affect them. But seeing as Thanos' Snap occurred, it stands to reason some of his empire's citizens vanished and then reappeared. Not to mention, there's literally a giant Celestial stuck in the sea from Eternals. Thus, Namor should want to know more and connect with the surface as his very territory is under threat, even by staying secluded.
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Shuri and Okoye head to Boston to find Riri and take her to Wakanda for refuge, but after evading the cops, they're ambushed by Talokan's forces at a bridge. It's never explained, though, how Namor's contingent could track them down. Again, the Talokanil have no spies, nor do they use tech to monitor Shuri. This is quite convenient, especially as they play their luck right, somehow anticipating Shuri's crew would be near the water in the getaway chase.
After Boston, Namor's people take Shuri and Riri hostage, trying to broker a deal to attack the surface. Nakia ends up using a suit and a small vessel to sneak into an underwater cave and rescue them, but Wakanda Forever never explains how she remains undetected. Namor, after all, picks up on the machine in the Atlantic Ocean early on and warns Ramonda he'll sense if Wakandans try to slip in. Thus, Nakia's arc should have been padded with some technological revelation affirming why she could stay hidden.
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Namor's initial warning to find Riri comes when he somehow swims past Wakanda's borders and emerges from a river. Now, it's easy to assume he knows secret waterways across the planet no one else does, but Wakanda's the kind of nation that should have defenses across land, sea and air, especially with Shuri's tech. Yet, it's all a mystery how he breaches their barriers and then does the same in Wakanda Forever's second act with an army to kickstart the invasion arc.
When Shuri takes on the mantle after Namor kills Queen Ramonda in the invasion, she battles the Sub-Mariner on a desert island in Wakanda Forever's climax. He's dried out and vulnerable, but the brawl culminates in him impaling her with a spear. Shuri breaks it off, is healed by her suit, and then beats him down. The problem is that the spear goes right through her, so this is indeed a killing blow. It's understood she's superhuman due to the heart-shaped herb and the suit, but it feels like a stretch to have her survive this stabbing. It's also weird that Namor wouldn't go for the head, as he knows the Panther's more powerful at this point.
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Shuri knows Namor has vibranium weapons, yet she traps him in her ship with his spear to dry him out in an evaporation chamber. It's never revealed why her crew doesn't try to separate him from his spear, though. Having it would allow him to fight her, destroy the chamber or crash the ship in the ocean, where he'd re-energize. Luckily, him jabbing the spear into the floor and blowing the ship up works in Shuri's favor as they end up in the sand, but it's an awfully short-sighted strategy from Shuri, who should know better.
Throughout Wakanda Forever, Ross is working with the CIA while claiming to be loyal to Shuri and Wakanda. But he knows about Riri's work and how his ex-wife, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (the new CIA director), and the government were initiating vibranium-exploring projects. There's obviously anti-Wakanda sentiment, too, so he could have found a way to let Shuri know what's up, especially as Ramonda and the Dora Milaje did visit the United Nations to warn about incursions and theft of resources.
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When Namor gives Shuri a tour of Talokan, he shows her how they created an artificial sun underwater after hiding out for over 400 years. Yet the science team isn't shown, nor is it ever explained how they plot their weapons strategy. They do have aquatic bombs, so one has to wonder why the soldiers wouldn't wield blasters and such. They end up feeling unnecessarily simple with blades and spears, despite Wakanda Forever teasing that they have explosive scientific potential that just never gets fully detailed.
In the comics, Namor's dad was a human ship captain, Leonard McKenzie, who had him with an Atlantean princess, Fen. But his background is changed in Wakanda Forever, having Fen take a mystical concoction that mutates Namor when he's born underwater. He isn't blue-skinned, though, plus he's got his ankle wings, which is why Namor's revered as a god. But while his mom grows old and dies, it's never confirmed if his father died years before during the plague in the 16th century. Seeing as vibranium was altering the landscape, insight into his dad's identity could have hinted at why Namor became this anomaly and, eventually, a messiah.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently streaming on Disney+.
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