Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Reveals Where Nakia Was During The Blip

Note: this article includes spoilers from "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

Three years after "Avengers: Endgame" assembled a massive team of heroes to face off against Thanos, Marvel's latest film has finally explained why one of Wakanda's cleverest warriors was missing. Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) ended the first "Black Panther" movie on a high note as the leader of the Wakandan outreach center that would serve an important role as Wakanda made itself known to the world.

But then, Nakia vanished. We never heard that she was a victim of Thanos' Snap, which extinguished half of all life on earth, but she also never showed up for the final battle in "Avengers: Endgame." Stranger yet, it appeared she was originally going to, as shared concept art revealing that the member of the War Dogs was originally meant to join the fray.

Six years gone

Nakia's absence went unexplained for so long that I figured that by now, the franchise would simply keep it ambiguous. And at first, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" seemed poised to do just that. But when the film did finally share the whole story of Nakia's absence, it was in one of the most poignant moments in the whole MCU: the revelation that Nakia had a son with King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman).

Nakia doesn't make her first appearance until a good chunk of the way into "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," and when she does, she's working as an educator at a Wakandan outreach center in Haiti. She seems to have a peaceful life, away from the chaos that came with her work with the War Dogs, and the kids there all clearly love her. But we also learn that she's been gone for six years (since "Avengers: Endgame" included a five-year time jump from 2018, we know the MCU is now a year or two ahead of real life), and that she didn't return for T'Challa's funeral. What gives? At first, it seems like she was just too torn up about losing the love of her life to make an appearance, but all is revealed in the film's beautiful mid-credits scene.

A beautiful legacy

The scene in question takes place after the film's climactic battle, as Shuri (Letitia Wright) joins Nakia for a ceremonial burning of her mourning clothes. Nakia tells her to go on ahead, that "we" will be right down. This is a good hint at what's coming, but the film's final pre-credits scene is so emotional that it's easy to forget about it until Nakia finally joins Shuri on the beach during the credits scene, accompanied by a young boy. She introduces him as Toussaint, but he tells Shuri his Wakandan name: Prince T'Challa.

Nakia wasn't just away during the Blip: she was away raising her baby with T'Challa. She explains that the Wakandan king, who apparently knew he was sick, didn't want his son to see his funeral, and we even learn that Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) got to know her grandchild. The first script for the sequel was reportedly written before Boseman's passing, so it's tough to tell whether Nakia and T'Challa's child was a planned reveal, or an instance of screenwriters Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole making the best choice they could when faced with the task of telling this impossibly tough story. Either way, it's a beautiful legacy for T'Challa, a fitting backstory for Nakia, and an emotional endnote for a film whose heart ached with Boseman's absence.