Toward's the beginning of the third act of 2018's Black Panther things look grim. T'Challa is preumed dead, having been thrown off of a waterfall by Erik "Killlmonger" Stevens. Not only that, but the villainous Killmonger sets fire to the garden of the heart shaped herb.
Now, for the initiated, the heart-shaped herb is what gives any who ingests it enhanced strength, durability, and speed. Traditionally, the herb is given to Wakanda's protector, the Black Panther. And when Wakanda's supply of the superpower granting plant was destroyed, it could have spelled the end of the Black Panther.
However, Killmonger probably wasn't counting on T'Challa's genius little sister.
Via Syfy, a new MCU tie-in book called "The Wakanda Files" notes that in-universe Shuri has attempted to synthesize her own version of the heart-shaped herb, potentially using vibranium as a stabilizing agent.
The book also reveals that Shuri is very compelled by Dr. Maya Hansen's work on Extremis as seen in Iron Man 3, with Shuri believing that the concept "has potential."
The book's Wakanda tech section also includes mentions that the remote driving technology that Shuri utilizes during T'Challa, Okoye, and Nakia's South Korean mission could only be used for cars manufactured later than the 1970s.
WHAT THIS MEANS
With the herb garden set ablaze in Black Panther, Wakanda would not be able to produce a biologically enhanced Black Panther after T'Challa, so it makes perfect sense that the brilliant Shuri is working on a replacement. Could this be something that plays into the sequel?
Additionally, for those who don't fully recall the events of Iron Man 3, Extremis is an experimental form of genetic manipulation that Hansen was working on with Aldrich Killian and AIM. It's also extraordinarily volatile and caused some of its users to explode. It's implied that Tony Stark was able to stabilize the formula by the film's end, but that's never explicitly stated.
However, if there's anyone in the MCU who could stabilize Extremis with ease, it would be Shuri. Could we eventually see her picking up where Maya Hansen left off and further refining the formula? With Marvel Studios' penchant for following up on long-dormant plot threads, it's certainly possible!