Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia in Black Panther Wakanda Forever

Welp, Let's Talk About That Black Panther 2 Mid-Credits Scene

I'm not crying, you're crying.

by Ani Bundel
Marvel Studios

The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t like most movie franchise. It’s series within series, stories that intersect and break apart again. Even when the movie itself does not set up a connection with other forthcoming Disney+ shows or films within the plot, it connects via mid- and post-credits scenes. Usually, Marvel films have two, one that sets up the sequel to the film viewers just watched and one that touches the larger picture. However, Black Panther 2 only has a mid-credits scene, introducing a character named Toussaint. It’s a break from tradition, but one fitting for Wakanda Forever.

Warning: Spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever follow. Black Panther’s sequel is wholly different from the first film and sits in a separate space from the rest of the Marvel Universe. That’s due to the passing of Black Panther’s original lead, Chadwick Boseman. Instead of being a film that furthered his story as T’Challa, it focused entirely on the upheaval within Wakanda as those left behind cope with the loss following T’Challa’s death. Marvel films have been many things, from action adventures and comedies to spy films and zombie horror flicks. A tribute to losing one of its own is a different kettle of fish; a post-credits scene connecting to the larger universe would have probably felt cheap.

Wakanda Forever sets up enough spinoff sets up within the film as it is, introducing Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, the future titular star of Ironheart. It also brings back Countess Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, putting her on the path to set to form her own anti-Avengers crossover in the forthcoming Thunderbolts movie. So it’s not surprising that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever only has one mid-credits scene, and that it focuses solely on the future of the Black Panther franchise.

Losing Boseman’s T’Challa meant Black Panther: Wakanda Forever didn’t have its titular superhero, so most of the plot was designed to lead Shuri (Letitia Wright) to follow in her brother’s footsteps. It also took out Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), leaving Shuri as Wakanda’s ruler and protector — without any living family to support her.

Or so Shuri thought. The film’s mid-credits scene shows otherwise. Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), T’Challa’s love interest in the first film, who left Wakanda and resettled in Haiti, has become a teacher. At first, it seems she’s done it to bury herself in her grief, but the mid-credits scene proves otherwise. She settled in Haiti because T’Challa wanted her to. She was pregnant, and he worried the pressure of growing up the son of a king would be too much for his boy, especially once he knew his time was drawing to a close.

In the mid-credits scene, Nakia introduced Shuri to the son she had with T’Challa, named for his father but currently going by his middle name, Toussaint. Shuri was no longer alone in the world; she had a nephew and a sister-in-law. Just as significantly, Wakanda will no longer depend on Shuri to have children to continue the royal line. Prince T’Challa lives on, and one day will return to Wakanda to take his rightful place as the Black Panther.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters now.