Avengers: Endgame effectively changed the game in the MCU upon its arrival in April 2019, setting the stage for a new world in Phase 4 and beyond. One of the franchises that was hit the hardest in this regard was the Black Panther story, which now has the responsibility of ending Phase 4 in November with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Wakanda was in the midst of opening its borders to the world at the end of Black Panther, before Thanos snapped his fingers and eliminated half of all life in the universe. This left the country without both King T'Challa and his sister Shuri while Okoye became a more official member of the Avengers, though Wakanda stepped triumphantly into the battle at Avengers Compound against Thanos and his army.
Now, the country looks to find a sense of stability after regaining those lost during The Blip, which comes coupled with the greater challenge of losing the late Chadwick Boseman's King T'Challa. Now, ahead of the country's return to prominence in Black Panther 2, one of its biggest stars recently went into detail on what Wakanda has been though since the MCU's Phase 3 ended.
M'Baku Star on Wakanda's Post-Endgame Status
Speaking with Collider, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Winston Duke explained how the last two Avengers films changed the way Wakanda operates for the future.
He looked at how Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame brought the Jabari tribe fully back into Wakanda after their long isolation. M'Baku saw that his people couldn't "really exist in isolation anymore," embracing his place as part of his nation:
“I think the events of Infinity War’and Endgame really showed that the Jabari are now full-fledged members of Wakanda. M'Baku was a part of every single conflict; every event, and I don't think they could really exist in isolation anymore. They have open borders, and we saw that M'Baku was really Wakandan. His entire community has expanded.”
Duke also discussed how M'Baku sees the new Wakanda, which he compares to the real world having to adjust to daily life in a post-pandemic environment. He sees a number of similarities with "figuring out how to move forward," which he said will be explained fully in the sequel:
“Now we get to see how he figures out a brand-new world for Wakanda; a brand-new world like we've had to experience. A world post-COVID; a world post-pandemic or mid-pandemic. Much like us, he's going through a lot of the same things and figuring out how to move forward. This movie really deals and dives into that a lot.”
How Endgame Changed Wakanda Forever in Sequel
The Snap and The Blip from Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame changed everything about the way the universe moved forward, including the previously-hidden nation of Wakanda.
Most positively, those movies showed that all five of the country's tribes were unified as one nation, including the Jabari under M'Baku's leadership in the films. The group of warriors had previously stayed intentionally isolated from the rest of the Wakandan people for generations before the events of Black Panther, and their inclusion will be that much more important as Wakanda fights its next set of battles.
On top of the physical conflicts against Namor the Sub-Mariner and his nation, Black Panther 2 will also show how much Wakanda has to adapt and grow after both Endgame's final battle and King T'Challa's death. While Letitia Wright's Shuri and other powerful women will be the leading forces behind this movie, Duke's M'Baku will have that same responsibility to make sure Wakanda lives on and stays strong in difficult times.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will debut in theaters on November 11.