Black Panther: Wakanda Forever delivered a power-packed punch that took the breath of billions of people away. But it was comprised of a simple crew comprised of Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, and of course, the brilliant Angela Bassett. With Ryan Coogler at the helm, forging the path ahead, even the blinding dark and imposing grief that they stepped through hadn’t succeeded in cowering them. At the end of the day, these artists and performers stepped up and gave their all in remembrance of their brother and leader, Chadwick Boseman.
Danai Gurira Almost Stepped Down From the Dora Milaje
After the quiet exeunt and inextinguishable grief that Chadwick Boseman had left behind post-August 2020, a lot of things had changed around the world, the least of which included how a film’s production would pan out in the coming years. But Marvel managed to take the age-old concepts of heroism, adversity, and sacrifice and create a beautiful vision that is other-worldly in its sheer potential. But a masterpiece has several failed attempts that are not for the public to see and for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, those attempts manifest as alternate endings and character arcs that will now forever rest in Marvel’s cutting room floor.
Danai Gurira, however, makes an exception and brings news to the fans about what an alternate script had in store for her character, the ever-loyal soldier of the Dora Milaje.
“Then there’s another [deleted scene] of mine, which is really my character saying bye to Shuri, and she just catches her in Haiti unexpectedly, and Shuri’s like, ‘Are you going back to the Dora?’ and my character says no. And she said, ‘Where are you going to go?’ and I was like ‘Wherever my blue suit takes me’, and she just walks off…
[Coogler] was saying it’s like that kung fu show, where the guy just walked the earth. She just walks off. We don’t know where Okoye’s going. And she’s sort of letting go. She was fighting to keep that position, and then she lets it go. That’s kind of her arc, that she lets go. And we don’t know where that leads to.”
Even though that sounds like Okoye marking her exit from the franchise, the current iteration is the farthest from the idea of witnessing a Dora Milaje without the enduring and almost motherly presence of the former general.
Okoye’s Redemption Arc in the Black Panther Duology
History repeats itself when Okoye once again fails Queen Ramonda in Black Panther 2 and leaves Wakanda weak at the knees in an hour of great trouble. Following the repetitive mistake that Danai Gurira’s Okoye commits, Queen Ramonda is only right to strip her of her rank and authority within the service of Wakandan royalty and her exile marks her path to rediscovering herself outside the position and status of the Dora Milaje. As such, if Okoye had in fact managed to walk off into the sunset, it would have made for a better redemption arc than her current reinstatement into the service of Wakanda as the Midnight Angel.