Warning: This article contains spoilers for the season finale of What If...?.
Season 1 of Marvel Studios’ What If…? has officially come to an end on Disney+, giving fans the first full team-up effort from the Guardians of the Multiverse. Combining the efforts of countless Infinity Saga heroes, many of whom had largely never interacted before in the live-action movies, this universe-bending adventure put a whole new spin on a globally iconic set of theatrical stories.
Fans got a glimpse of just how insane the MCU could get in animated form with long-standing characters taking on new roles throughout the galaxy, including Peggy Carter becoming Captain Carter and Spider-Man hunting zombies. One of the earliest episodes even introduced a story where Prince T’Challa took on the mantle of Star-Lord after the Ravagers took him from Earth instead of Peter Quill.
Played by the late Chadwick Boseman, this new legendary outlaw became a revered figure throughout the galaxy before joining forces with other leading heroes to defeat Infinity Ultron and, eventually, his other-dimensional cousin Killmonger. After the climactic final episode, news came to light that this show may not have been the end for T’Challa Star-Lord in another universe.
The T'Challa Story That Never Was
In an interview with Variety, What If...? director Bryan Andrews revealed that Marvel Studios had plans for an animated T'Challa Star-Lord spinoff following the Season 1 finale of What If...?.
The late Chadwick Boseman had reportedly "recorded his Star-Lord T’Challa stuff early," although his final voiceover work came very shortly before his untimely passing in August 2020:
"Chadwick had recorded his Star Lord T’Challa stuff early. But we had those later episodes that he appeared in sporadically, and it was a long stretch before we got him [again]. And it was not long after the final recording that he passed. I think it was maybe just a few months, or a month. None of us knew, obviously. But, um, we got him in time to have everything [for Season 1]. I think he was also trying to make an effort because T’Challa was so important to him — and also this new version of Star Lord T’Challa was so important to him. He dug it."
Andrews then admitted that Marvel had serious plans to "have Star-Lord T’Challa spin off into his own show" set in the same universe as the story from Season 1 of What If...?. Although Boseman passed before this series could become a reality, Andrews was "very excited" about the possibility of making that story happen:
"I don’t know if he knew this, but there was planning to have Star Lord T’Challa spin off into his own show with that universe and that crew and that whole thing. We were all very excited. We know he would have loved it, too. And then, you know, he passed, and so all that’s in limbo. So, who knows? Maybe one day."
A Whole New Multiverse For T'Challa Star-Lord
After Chadwick Boseman lost his battle with cancer in August 2020, fans and crew members alike had all eyes on what would come with his new version of T'Challa in What If...? Season 1. What came as a happy shock was just how much the actor enjoyed this take on the Wakandan king as he adapted to life as the intergalactic Robin Hood.
Thus far, Hayley Atwell's Captain Carter is the only character from Season 1 confirmed to continue in future seasons, although this news would have meant big things for the animated T'Challa as well.
Marvel had plenty of potential stories to explore with Boseman's hero, either during his solo run as Star-Lord or after his experience with the Guardians of the Multiverse. This new take on the character was even something Boseman wanted to bring to the big screen in some form for his Black Panther sequel, proving just how invested he was in every version of the Wakandan icon.
Marvel has already confirmed that T'Challa won't be recast for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and it seems likely that the case will be the same for T'Challa's Star-Lord unless he recorded enough material for Season 2.
All nine episodes of What If...? are available to stream on Disney+.