Full spoilers follow for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has arrived in theaters – and we know you have questions about its ending and mid-credits scene, as well as its wider impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). You can also watch Wakanda Forever on Disney Plus from 1 February.
If you need answers about the last MCU Phase 4 movie’s final moments, or a simple refresher about what happened, we’re here to help. Below, we’ll guide you through the finale’s main plot threads, provide details on the superhero movie’s only post-credits scene, and explain what the future holds for Black Panther in the MCU.
Before you dive in, make sure that you read our spoiler-free Black Panther: Wakanda Forever review to find out what we thought of it. Additionally, make sure you’ve actually seen it as we’ll be diving into full spoiler territory from now on.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ending explained: who is the new Black Panther?
After burying her mother – Queen Regent Ramonda – following Namor’s devastating attack on Wakanda, Shuri refuses to grieve for her mother and T’Challa, or move past the anger raging inside her. Instead, at Nakia’s urging, Shuri tries to recreate the heart-shaped herb – the plant that grants superpowers to its user – synthetically. Remember, in the film’s opening act, Shuri failed to make an artificial version of this herb to save T’Challa’s life.
Using the bracelet Namor gifted to her in Talokan, Shuri successfully crafts a man-made version of the heart-shaped herb with almost 100% efficacy. She’s only able to do so because the bracelet, which Namor’s mom handed down to him, contains DNA from Talokan’s own version of the vibranium-infused plant. This is how the Talokanil, Namor included, obtained their own superhuman abilities.
With Nakia and Riri Williams watching over her in case she goes into cardiac arrest, Shuri consumes the herb to travel to the Ancestral Plane. However, she finds herself spiritually transported to Wakanda’s throne room instead, where Erik Killmonger – the villain of 2018’s Black Panther – is waiting for her. He goads her for wanting him to show up and explains that Shuri is seeing him, rather than T’Challa or Ramonda, as she doesn’t truly believe the Ancestral Plane exists. Killmonger also convinces Shuri that T’Challa didn’t have the courage to kill Killmonger and the only way Shuri will be at peace is if she does what T’Challa couldn’t, i.e. kill Namor. As Killmonger puts it, he and Shuri are alike because they want to burn the world down for the trauma they’ve endured.
Returning to the real world, a shaken Shuri refuses to tell Nakia and Riri about her vision. Instead, she turns her attention to fighting Namor. Suiting up as the new Black Panther – thus confirming we were right in our predictions over the new Black Panther’s identity – Shuri gatecrashes a Wakandan meeting in the Jabari tribe’s mountain realm and informs the elders of her plan to kill Namor.
M’Baku, though, isn’t convinced. Clearing the room, he tries to persuade Shuri that she risks waging eternal war between Wakanda and Talokan by murdering Namor and that vengeance isn’t the answer. T’Challa taught him that and, while his wisdom speaks to the character growth M’Baku has undergone since 2018’s Black Panther, Shuri refuses to listen. Despite one final effort on M’Baku’s part to convince her that her mom wouldn’t approve of this violent and dark turn, Shuri tells M’Baku that he’ll help her end Namor’s life.
Shuri’s forces lure Namor’s army into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, with a new vibranium-detecting device made by Riri, and spring their surprise attack via a battleship. Nakia, M’Baku, and the other Wakandans battle the Talokanil, while Shuri and Riri – in her vibranium-boosted Ironheart Mark II armor – trick Namor into flying high above the ocean (he draws power from the water on his skin) before ensnaring him in a Wakandan ship, which is fitted with a UV light-style prison cell. Shuri’s plan is simple: dry Namor out to weaken him before finishing him off. However, Namor uses his depleting strength to destroy the ship’s engines, forcing it to crash-land on a nearby beach.
Meanwhile, the other Wakandans, with the aid of late arrivals Okoye and Aneka – complete with their new Midnight Angels supersuits – gain the upper hand over the Talokanil. However, Namora disables the battleship’s power source, allowing more Talokanil to join the fight and quickly overwhelm Wakanda’s army.
As Namor’s forces close in for the kill on the Wakandans, a fierce one-on-one between Shuri and Namor is simultaneously playing out. Buoyed by the synthetic herb, Shuri mutilates a weakening Namor, clawing his back and ripping one of the wings on his ankles off. But Namor turns the tables on her before impaling Shuri on a tree stump using his vibranium-laced spear. He heads for the ocean to heal, but the wounded Shuri breaks his spear in two, gets between Namor and the sea, cries “Wakanda Forever!”, and crosses her arms, which detonates the ship’s engines and fatally burns Namor.
Grabbing Namor’s spear, Shuri holds it to his neck to inflict the telling blow. It’s an emotionally fraught shot, juxtaposed against the Wakandans being encircled by the Talokanil to thematically symbolize Wakanda’s downfall if Shuri kills her foe. In the nick of time, though, an Ancestral Plane-bound Ramonda reveals herself to Shuri, imploring her daughter to mercifully “show him who we are”.
Seeing sense, Shuri removes the spear from Namor’s neck and gives him an ultimatum: yield, let Riri live – remember, Namor wants to kill Riri for making the vibranium-detection device in the movie’s first act – and return to the sea. If he agrees, she’ll ensure Talokan is never bothered by outside forces. Namor accepts her terms and the pair race back to their respective forces to end the battle.
With peace restored, Wakanda begins to rebuild following Talokan’s attack. Shuri creates a new garden for synthetic herbs to grow. Riri heads back to Chicago with her father’s repaired car, though Shuri prevents her from keeping the Ironheart Mark II suit. Nakia returns to Haiti, while Okoye frees CIA agent Everett Ross (who had been arrested by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine for aiding the Wakandans) from his prison transport truck. In Talokan, Namora berates her cousin Namor for giving in to Wakanda. However, Namor tells her the surface world will eventually wage war on Wakanda for its vibranium, and Shuri will have no choice but to enlist Talokan’s help, thus putting Talokan back in control.
Meanwhile, Wakanda’s tribes gather to swear Shuri in as the kingdom’s new monarch and Black Panther. Surprisingly, M’Baku emerges from the ship supposedly carrying Shuri to her coronation day. M’Baku says he’ll be standing in as Shuri’s challenger, though it’s unclear if he’ll permanently assume the mantle of Wakanda’s protector-in-chief moving forward.
So where’s Shuri? After initially turning down Nakia’s request to join her in Haiti, Shuri takes Nakia up on her offer. She arrives at Nakia’s home and poignantly decides to burn T’Challa and Ramonda’s funeral attire to finally be free of her grief. As she does, scenes of T’Challa from 2018’s Black Panther intermittently play on the screen as manifestations of Shuri’s memories. She weeps for her brother in a quiet and profoundly moving final scene before the screen cuts to black.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever post-credits scene explained: who is Toussaint?
Nakia approaches Shuri at her campfire and asks if “we can join you”. Surprised by the plurality of her request, Shuri agrees.
Nakia and a young boy sit next to Shuri – and it’s here where Nakia makes a startling revelation: she and T’Challa have a son, aka the young boy accompanying her, who they named Toussaint.
Nakia explains that she and T’Challa agreed on him being raised away from the pressures of being heir to the Wakandan throne. She also reveals that T’Challa prepared them both for his eventual passing. Stunned, Shuri’s deeply emotional response is clear to see. She was wrong in her assumptions that she had no family – now, she has a nephew to fawn over and, alongside Nakia, bring up in a way befitting of her brother.
Shuri and Toussaint quickly bond over their shared dry sense of humor before Toussaint reveals he also has a Wakandan name – heartwarmingly, it’s T’Challa. Shuri shares a tearful smile and hug with Toussaint and Nakia before the screen cuts to black for a second time.
How many Black Panther: Wakanda Forever after credits scenes are there?
There’s only one post-credits scene in this Marvel movie.
There were rumors that Doctor Doom, the Fantastic Four's iconic archnemesis who has ties to Black Panther through Namor and vibranium, would make a crowd pleasing appearance in a Wakanda Forever post-credits scene. Multiple Marvel leakers claimed Doom would make his MCU debut here, while some apparent concept art showed Victor von Doom meeting some scientists to acquire some of Wakanda's precious metal.
However, Marvel producer Nate Moore has denied that the fan favorite supervillain was ever a part of discussions (per Phase Zero). Maybe we'll never know the truth, but Marvel made the right call by not including a post-credits scene, given the emotional enormity of the film’s ending and mid-credits sequence.
Will there be a third Black Panther movie?
Yes, there should be. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever officially ends with the confirmation that “Black Panther will return”, so we suspect a third film is in the offing.
There’s no word on whether that’ll be the case, though. Black Panther – Shuri, M’Baku, or even an older Toussaint – could appear in a different MCU project, such as Avengers: The Kang Dynasty or Avengers: Secret Wars.
Additionally, there’s also the prospect that Black Panther will appear in one of Wakanda Forever’s multiple spin-offs, such as the Disney Plus shows starring Ironheart or Midnight Angels, which director Ryan Coogler is also overseeing. Furthermore, Black Panther could crop up in a future Namor spin-off, although Wakanda Forever’s Talokan actors have no clue if a Namor movie or TV show is in the works. Keep your eyes trained on TechRadar for official news from Marvel when we have it.
For more MCU-based content, check out every Marvel Phase 5 movie and TV show currently in development, which includes Ironheart on Disney Plus. Alternatively, find out how to watch the Marvel movies in order.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is available in theaters worldwide now.
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.
An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.
Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.
Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.