The heart-wrenching way ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Bring your tissues.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” addresses both the death of King T’Challa and Chadwick Boseman — the beloved late star of the 2018 blockbuster that launched the superhero franchise — in its opening credits.

Typically, any Marvel film opens with the galaxy of its superheroes, but this time it only features Boseman as Black Panther. And instead of the usual Marvel theme playing, there is nothing but silence.

It’s a touching tribute to Boseman that has had fans in their feels right from the beginning of the highly anticipated sequel, which opened in theaters on Thursday night.

“Okay I saw Black Panther last night and during the opening sequence when they were flipping through pics of Chadwick . . . I’ve never heard a theatre that quiet in my life,” tweeted one moviegoer.

Letitia Wright as Black Panther in "Wakanda Forever."
Letitia Wright wears Black Panther’s vibranium suit in “Wakanda Forever.”
©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Eve

Another tweeted that “the silence in the theatre during the opening sequence dedicated to Chadwick was deafening.”

“Wakanda Forever” finds a new character wearing Black Panther’s vibranium suit after Boseman’s tragic death, at just 43, from colon cancer in 2020. Shuri (Letitia Wright), T’Challa’s younger sister, carries on the family legacy.

Other actors returning for the second “Black Panther” installment include Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Florence Karumba (Ayo), Winston Duke (M’Baku) and Angela Bassett (Queen Ramonda).

Angela Bassett in a scene from "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
Angela Bassett’s Queen Ramonda mourns her son King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Eve

Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” — the first single from the “Wakanda Forever” soundtrack, which opened at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week — also served as a tribute to Boseman.

The 34-year-old pop superstar — who had been largely absent from music since releasing her last album, “Anti,” six years ago — also dropped another “Black Panther” ballad, “Born Again,” on Friday. The somber song plays over the end credits of the film, ensuring that there there will be more feels as you exit the theater. 

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