Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther is irreplaceable

by Sara Rott, Contributor

When Black Panther” came out in theaters back when it was safe to go, people stood in awe at the wonderful world known as Wakanda. The person who made it possible? Chadwick Boseman.

He is the man that brought the character of T’Challa to life and the announcement of a sequel brought fans to rejoice at the news that the story wasn’t finished.

Being a huge fan of all Marvel has to offer, I had no doubt that the sequel would be as fantastic as the first. How could it not? The beauty and graphics of Wakanda pulled me in and I was excited to return.
However, the news soon came that beloved actor Boseman had passed.
I was shocked. There was no previous news before this report. I don’t remember ever seeing an article or headline about him being sick. With the shocking news, everyone wondered how “Black Panther 2” was going to turn out. Marvel had announced it months before his passing, what happens now? 

Will T’Challa be recast? 

Will Disney create a CGI Boseman as they did for Carrie Fisher in the recent Star Wars installments?
With confusion and rumors circling, Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president, put them to rest at Disney Investors Day. He announced that the character T’Challa would not be recast and “Black Panther 2” would still release as planned.
Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual who affected all of our lives professionally and personally. His portrayal of T’Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past,” Feige said. “We’re not going to have a CGI Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa.” 

Throughout his battle with colon cancer, Boseman suffered in silence, while still working on “Black Panther 2.” Not even the film’s director Ryan Coolger knew.

If this doesn’t tell you he was “The Black Panther”, I don’t know what will.
Feige was correct in saying Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa is unparalleled and ubiquitous. I knew Boseman as “The Black Panther” and that’s how I refer to him and many others do as well. 

“Chadwick Boseman truly was Prince T’Challa,” journalism and media studies junior Morgan Ray said. “He embodied the role in so many ways and carried that regal grace off-screen too.”

Marvel Studios has a large absence to fill, I only hope that they properly honor Boseman in the next phase. 

I hope they set the stage for the character of Shuri, T’Challa’s sister, played by Letitia Wright, to don the Black Panther’s mask, like in the comics. It’s a possibility too. In the past, Marvel Studios has taken inspiration from the original comics while putting a more movie-friendly spin on them.

Boseman was more than just an actor playing a character. He took it a step further. There are so many that look up to him. He inspired people of all races, small children and Marvel fans like myself. 

Thank you, Chadwick Boseman, for the lives you changed and for the people you have inspired. You are dearly missed and I hope in “Black Panther 2” your legacy is honored. Wakanda Forever. 

Sara Rott is a junior studying journalism. Follow her on Twitter @sara_rott. 

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