I don't normally spend several thousand words on a trailer. I don't normally read what people have to say about trailers, either, but come on folks - we all know Black Panther has to be an exception. It's the most exciting looking American blockbuster in forever! After seeing what the last trailer had to offer (here's a hint: Afrofuturism pouring out of every orifice), it only makes sense to see what new hints we now have about the world of Wakanda thanks to trailer number 2.
We're starting right up top with with Queen Mother Ramonda, because Angela Bassett, obviously. She's sporting a headdress found in Xosa and Zulu cultures, which makes sense since she's an outsider to Wakanda and happens to be from South Africa. It's nice to know even Wakanda's pan-African tapestry has room for specifics! Now that we've gotten the single most important character out of the way, let's check this stuff out in the order it shows up.
Whatever that is, it's an incredible image to introduce us to Wakanda after we've flown through the waterfalls. It appears to be the HQ of the ape-worshipping tribe of isolationists led by Winston Duke's M'Baku (the artist formerly known as Man-Ape) and all those hanging structures, made of either bone or wood, appear to house lighting as well.
How did Wakanda stay hidden for so long? Well, apparently the whole damn country has a cloaking device, which is what T'Challa's Royal Talon Fighter seems to be making it way through here.
Who's flying the fighter and how, you ask? We've already seen Danai Gurira's Okoye, head of the Dora Milaje, but what we haven't seen so far is how any of the Wakandan vehicles work. By the look of it, this particular plane seems to be motion controlled! How cool is that? (Whether it's just through the motion of her hands or through some sort of nano-technology remains to be seen, but there are a couple of more clues as to the tech involved later in the trailer)
Birnin Zana, Wakanda's capital city, feels like it's bursting at the seams with traditional flavour. Even its crowded streets, surrounded by technology on all sides, feel infused with that distinct marketplace feel right of any postcolonial nation. Notably, this is how a lot of white science fiction creators tend to code alien worlds (from Star Wars to Valerian), so it almost feels like the reclaiming of that M.O.
In what might be the most delightful part of the trailer, Shuri and T'Challa greet each other with a handshake that feels almost like an inside secret, at least as it's presented in the trailer. The cross-armed motion is also performed by the Dora Milaje, so it could just be a kind of cheeky, high-five variation on some traditional Wakandan salute, but I guess we'll find out in four months time. Expect this to become a regular occurence by then!
Not only is Shur T'Challa's sister, she also appears to be his Q. As the creator of the new, nanotech-infused Black Panther suit (which we see in action later on!), she's probably the smartest human in the Marvel universe. Catch up, Stark!
Speaking of which, T'Challa putting on his helmet and dropping through the floor (and into the sky!) feels reminiscent of Tony's intro in Iron Man 2, only the Black Panther seems to be doing it without any sort of flying apparatus.
He does, however, seem to be equipped with these little blue spherical devices that flatten out before latching on the invading jeeps below, though what they actually do remains to be seen.
Probably the most gorgeous-looking part of the trailer, and one that our own Phil Nobile Jr. points out is reminiscent of this dream sequence in Paul Schrader's Cat People (1982). T'Challa coming face to face with the panthers that represent his tribe could certainly be literal, but the look of this scene also makes it feel like some sort of etheral experience where, much like the comics, he connects with the souls of the previous Black Panther leaders.
Another fantastic little detail, T'Challa rocking some kente on his day off, i.e. the colourful inter-woven cloth fabric native to the Akan people of West Africa (places like Ghana and Ivory Coast). Shout out to Quebecois singer Gage for pointing it out on Twitter.
Back to Shuri, what the HELL is going on with this car she's driving in Korea? What does it run on, dreams? I can't tell if the purple lighting is just the physical manifestation of something motion-controlled, or there's some seriously crazy nano-tech stuff going on here. The next shot might actually have some answers.
Something I really love about Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze's current run on Black Panther is the purple colour-scheme of Wakandan technology as it pertains to T'Challa's suit, and it's especially potent when it forms around him seemingly out of the blue. Tony Stark's Extremis armour has had him conjuring his outfit out of nowhere for years (well, not out of nowhere, but it sure seems like it), though Black Panther appears to be the first superhero to get that kind of upgrade in the movies.
T'Challa's going to need all the upgrades he can muster since Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger seems intent on burning Wakanda to the ground, starting with the Hall of Kings.
We have no idea what he's look for at this exibit, but he and Andy Serkis' Ulysses Klaue make a pretty forbmidable team. Klaue's aged quite a bit since his apeparance in Avengers: Age of Ultron (the stress of losing an arm can do that to you; don't @ me about the MCU timeline), but the real highlight of this shot has to be Killmonger's glasses. What a nerd!
Turns out this nerd's been hitting the gym, in addition to getting scar tattoos similar to the Mursi and Surma peoples of Ethiopia. Apparently there's some big secret behind why he has them, but for all we know it could just be to house a whole bunch of nanobots. (Also pictured: Daniel Kaluuya’s W’Kabi draped in a Basotho shawl)
See? Nanobots! Dude's got a gold-laden Black Panther suit and everything! Some folks seem upset that he's cut from the same cloth as T'Challa in the design department, but that makes total sense since he comes from a completely different cultural background (America; his family was exiled from Wakanda) where gold is more common and more valuable, and he's also fighting T'Challa for the title of Black Panther!
The purple and gold colour schemes are also going to make them easier to tell apart when they do high-speed battle right by some trains, which is pretty much as comicbook-y as design decisions get.
The thing about Klaue is, once he loses his hand in the comics, he gets it replaced with some kind of fancy looking sonic canon reminiscent of a small satellite dish. He seems to have a regular hand in this movie, that is until his fingers split apart and the canon the emerges from between them! There are clearly fun little details we haven't been shown yet, like Okoye reportedly tossing her wig at someone in the footage shown at Comic Con, and I can't wait to see what else this movie has to offer.
I have nothing interesting to say about this particular shot, I just love the way it looks and I love the fact that after flipping off buildings and SUVs, Black Panther's finishing move is scratching out someone's tires.
What do you folks think? Anything in particular stand out to you in this new trailer? Sound off below!