In Black Panther one of the big moments in the movie is the parallel/ foil between T’challa and Killmonger. T’challa’s first appearance in Captain America: Civil War showed us the relationship between him and his father in the short screen time they had together. A big thing to note is that in that movie T’challa, overcome with grief and rage at his father’s death and that he was unstoppable and virtually unswayable when it came to his revenge. He refused to wait or to investigate further into who had actually killed him. This story happens within a few days of the explosion and the final battle. T’challa having figured out the truth instead chooses to spare/save the life of the true killer. In that moment he became a bigger man and better ruler even helping the man he originally thought was the killer. Now with Killmonger his father was killed while he was still a child, he had most of his life to come to terms with the death. Though Killmonger had to unfortunately face the hard truth of being born between two different worlds, having been born in America and seeing all the injustice his family had to face. Him also seeing his dad to take action against this injustice and being killed for it further cemented his hatred for Wakanda, his father’s home.
I think one of the biggest symbols I’ve noticed the most is the Akofena “Swords of War.” The crossing of the two swords representing the symbols of courage, valor, and heroism. This specifically reminded me of egyptian poses used for burials, paintings, and statues. As far as I know it is used to discern royalty as well, which Richardson also lists as representing a legitimate state of authority. The Akofena is used in the Wakandan symbol of crossing the arms, and depending on who is doing this gesture the context of the symbol changes. Take Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), T’challa’s love interest. In promotional images and posters she is posed holding her ring weapons and arms crossing over the chest. When first introduced in the movie she is risking her life to save lives, though she does not have to. I feel out of everyone in the movie she best represents Akofena, even when I went back looking through promotional and official movie posters she and T’challa are the only ones in the pose. Though I feel I was more likely to see T’challa not doing the pose and instead looking at his hands conflicted. There are a string of these posters where it seemed like it was obvious they were supposed to be in this Akofena pose, but their own inner conflicts were preventing them from doing so.