The King has returned. T’Challa and the Afrofuturist paradise and visual feast that is Wakanda is back again, and this time we got a full theatrical trailer, unlike the mini-trailer that dropped during the NBA Finals. In this one, we get a glimpse of Erik Killmonger, portrayed by Michael B. (some call him Bae) Jordan, and as he reveals his fantastic leopard suit with gold accents, we see that T’Challa is not the only one in possession of a slick, futuristic, and we can only assume Vibranium-assisted suit.

Their clash is a key piece of the trailer, and though some may lament the CGI work, I hope that this clash serves to highlight a long-overlooked or underdeveloped point that there is precious little separating the now crowned King and his would-be usurper.

Director Ryan Coogler appears to have a fantastic grasp on just how advanced Wakandan technology is, as in the trailer when T’Challa’s ship breaks the border of Wakanda, the facade of a jungle rips away and we are left to marvel (pun intended) at what we see, at what Wakandan civilization looks like, at the Dora Milaje’s combat prowess, at the seamless integration of technology into everything. The narrator even touches on this by saying in the trailer that he has never seen anything like Wakanda, and he wonders what else T’Challa is hiding within his borders.

Chadwick Boseman, the star of Black Panther, says of T’Challa: “He has his own arc and his own things that he wants and desires. He only changes that when something strikes a chord at his core. It strikes a chord at what I think is his lineage and heritage and what he’s been taught, at what he’s been groomed to be. He can’t make that shift at the end of the movie unless he’s been groomed to make that shift already. And even though we don’t see that grooming, that’s actually the first glimpse into Wakanda before you see that tag at the very end.”

Coogler says of Wakanda during pre-production: “Wakanda has to be impressive and it has to be unique and that’s one of the things we’re looking at right now. That’s one of the things we’re working with my production designer, Hannah Beachler, to try to find. Trying to find out what Wakanda is, what Wakanda looks like and how that relates to the relationship with the other technologically advanced cities that we’ve seen before in film. We’ve seen a lot of those recently. So that’s one of the biggest challenges right there.”

Gotta say, Coogler looks like he has Wakanda all figured out, but we can’t get there until February 16th. Black History Month is gonna be extra lit!

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