Why Angela Bassett’s Queen Ramonda should’ve been the new Black Panther in ‘Wakanda Forever’

Why Angela Bassett’s Queen Ramonda should’ve been the new Black Panther in ‘Wakanda Forever’

Had she not given up everything? Give her an action sequence!

Lester Fabian Brathwaite

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

And while I thoroughly got my entire life from Wakanda Forever, I couldn’t help but feel a bit… cheated. Sure, Shuri (Letitia Wright) as the new BP was great — very yas, literal queen literally slay — but what about Angela Bassett‘s Queen Ramonda? What was her spin in that high tech catsuit?

We would discuss the ideas and try to extrapolate the story and the most impactful choices — what’s a great journey. co-writer Joe Robert Cole recently told Rolling Stone. “And where do they go after the film in terms these characters?” M’Baku was certainly a character that got kicked around a bit.”

Angela Bassett in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’; the new Black Panther

Angela Bassett in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’; the new Black Panther

| Credit: Eli Ade/Marvel Studios

Ultimately Cole and his co-writer, director Ryan Coogler, picked Shuri, who has also served as Black Panther in the comics, because they felt there was “a natural organicness” to the choice. Meanwhile, Queen Ramonda, after running away with every scene in the film — and if there’s any justice, running away with an Oscar next year — suffers the fate of every mentor figure in a Marvel movie: a dramatic, selfless death.

According to Cole, Ramonda’s death was in the service of Shuri.

” This exploration of Shuri’s journey and her mother’s journey — who lost a son and lost her husband and is trying to help Shuri through her grief — was a hugely impactful for Shuri and the nation. We felt Ramonda would be lost in the flood. Cole explained that Shuri’s pivot is based on that and that Wakanda will follow suit. He also said that it “launches our characters in new directions.”

The death of a loved one, particularly a relative, as impetus or inspiration is one of the more tired tropes of MCU films: The first Black Panther had T’Challa cradling Forest Whitaker‘s dead Zuri and yelling, “Noooooooo!” T’Challa was thrown into the abyss after he cradled his dead father T’Chaka (John Kini) and yelled, “Nooooooooooooo!” in Captain America: Civil War. Ramonda needed to die. It feels a little too much like (pardon my pun) death in a movie.

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

| Credit: Marvel Studios

Even Bassett seems to agree. “It’s horrible,” she told the New York Times of Ramonda’s death. “And they believed me. [Laughs.] Although I didn’t fight my director, I did fight him on that. I lost, of course. I won’t fight for long. But I respect him. It was like, “Ryan, no. Ryan, please. Really? It’s going to be a horrible experience. This step will be a nightmare. ‘”

But let’s just say she had to die. We could have given Angie Bass at most one badass fight sequence to become the new Black Panther. I’m sorry, Killmonger, but Queen Ramonda was not allowed to ingest the heart-shaped herb in the ritual to become the ancient protector Wakanda. Technically, Ramonda couldn’t have been the Black Panther unless Shuri was able replicate the herb with an artifact she received from Namor (Tenoch Uerta).

Had Ramonda lived and Shuri had created the heart-shaped herb anyways, Ramonda, Queen of Wakanda would have been entitled as the new Panther. She is the nation’s protector and ruler. What I wouldn’t have given to see Angela f—ing Bassett slinking away from a burning tank a la that classic moment from Waiting to Exhale.

Giphy

Imagine this, but as the Black Panther. You’re welcome.

If we’re still on a dying kick, she can be killed in battle, Shuri can become BP and everything can go according to plan. Besides, it’s not as if Bassett doesn’t know her way around a fight scene — she fought alongside cinema combat MVP Michelle Yeoh in Gunpowder Milkshake.

Some dreams cannot be fulfilled. But, as compensation, I will gladly take Angela Bassett winning the Oscar for her bravura turn as Queen Ramonda — an award she should’ve won in 1994 for her bravura turn as Queen Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It.

Please and thank you to Wakanda for your support.

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022 movie)

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