“We cannot allow the whims of a grieving woman to sway the fate of our great nation,” Okoye’s uncle says, as if Ramonda didn’t just lead with grace and power after losing her son. He’s getting into some strategic territory here that clearly makes Okoye a bit uncomfortable, even if she is on the outs with the Dora Milaje at the moment -– especially when he tells her to “lay low until the drum beat of war builds.” The scene ends unresolved, with Okoye giving her uncle a look of something like shock or disgust as he walks ahead of her.
In the theatrical cut of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” not only is Okoye not made queen, but the leadership of Wakanda gets a bit muddled in the film’s third act. There’s no immediate ritual at Warrior Falls to replace Ramonda; instead, Shuri takes on the mantle of the Black Panther while Ayo (Florence Kasumba) takes over the Dora Milaje. Okoye’s honor is restored, so there’s not really a reason for her to plot like this, and it’s M’Baku (Winston Duke) who ultimately shows up at Warrior Falls for a smackdown that we don’t get to see … yet.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” arrives on Disney+ on February 1, 2023, with a home media release set for February 7, 2023.