In a virtual press conference attended by /Film’s Bill Bria, Letitia Wright spoke about the Shuri arc in the two “Black Panther” films, discussing in detail the character’s place in the first film:
“We met him in the first film, and he was a ray of sunshine. He was so dressed and protected in royalty and love and proud of his older brother who took this step and followed his father’s legacy. He just wanted to create. I love the first Shuri because there’s no limit to him either. He’s the one whose brother went for his protection, his armor. He pushed that. His family pushed him to be a genius and to be terrifying and amazingly made.”
Shuri’s love for her family, as well as for creating, is something that will be explained in “Wakanda Forever,” when Wright goes further into detail on how Ryan Coogler created the full arc for the character:
So we proceed from that [in the sequel]. What does it feel like when your heart is broken? I think it was Ryan’s guide on ‘How do we make this full human arc this young lady go through something with her fellow family members and generals and Wakanda?’ […] We were able to bring something that felt real, that felt right, and I was able to bring my heart to it and give Shuri a full bow, and hopefully, people can resonate with that and find some healing with us with that.”
From the promotional materials and initial reactions, it looks like “Wakanda Forever” will naturally carry the strong family ties and dynamics of the first film. Letitia Wright and her characters may have been forced into more prominent roles, but still, the characters that result from them are expected to be emotionally cathartic and thematically relevant to the film.