One of the many fantastic things about bringing the world of Wakanda to the big screen is the wealth of rich and fascinating characters that have been apart of the Black Panther’s story over the years. From what we’ve already seen of Black Panther, you can tell that Kevin Feige, Ryan Coogler and company did some serious world building for Wakanda and part of that is bringing characters to life for what is hopefully just the beginning of their MCU journey.
Letitia Wright will be bringing one of those characters to life in Shuri, the sister of T’Challa. We’ve already heard that Shuri is Wakanda’s resident tech genius and according to Nate Moore, she’s also the smartest person in the MCU!
Moore also described Shuri, the 16-year-old sister of T’Challa who’s head of the Wakanda Design Group, as being “the smartest person in the world, smarter than Tony Stark.” She sort of acts as Q to T’Challa’s James Bond, providing gadgets and know-how to assist in his duties. One of those gadgets is an updated costume.
We’ve already seen some of Shuri’s designs in the trailers and clips, including a Panther suit that allows T’Challa to absorb the kinetic energy from the bullets being fired at him, and the comparison to Stark are interesting for a couple reasons. Fans can remember just how incredible the Iron Man armor looked when it was first realized on the big screen, but Shuri’s designs have already reduced some of Stark’s best work to the equivalent of a 7th grade science fair project. It’s also worth pointing out that the comics currently feature Riri Williams (another teenage supergenius) using an armor she created based on the Mark 41 Iron man armor, as Ironheart. While comic book fans might be looking forward to seeing Shuri take over as the Black Panther down the road, maybe we’ll see her move into a role more similar to Tony Stark’s before that happens.
Whatever Marvel Studios has planned for Wright, they 24-year old actress certainly has youth on her side. Given Shuri will only be 16 when we see her in Black Panther, we’re counting on seeing MUCH more of her down the road as we get to know more about the world of Wakanda and its citizens!
Black Panther will be in theaters February 16th!