The Plugged In Show, Episode 155: Wakanda Forever and Taylor Swift’s Midnights

Wakanda Forever and Taylor Swift's Midnights


How can you make a Black Panther movie without Black Panther? That was the question faced by the folks behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Over the course of four films, Chadwick Boseman had become practically synonymous with the Marvel superhero. It wouldn’t be easy to move on.

But move on the MCU did with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever—a movie that’s fittingly not just about frenetic fight scenes and CGI, but grief, goodbyes and new beginnings. In this episode of The Plugged In Show, Adam Holz and I settle in and talk about the flick for a bit, unpacking Wakanda Forever’s positives, negatives and unexpected spiritual depth.

And if a Black Panther conversation isn’t enough for you, well, hold onto your Wakandan crowns. We talk about Taylor Swift’s latest album, too: Midnights. It’s so titled because the songs revolve around thoughts, feelings and experiences that have kept Swift up at night. And while we’ve all had similar sleepless evenings, only the megastar could shake them off and turn them into the biggest album of the year.

Yes, it’s a big, big podcast this week. Who could ask for … Namor? (Oh, wait, he’s in there, too.)

And then chime in with your own thoughts, about Wakanda Forever. Or Taylor Swift. Or both! Let us know on Facebook, Instagram, or send us a nice, retro email at [email protected]

And, of course, click on the links below to read about everything we talked about.

Additional Resources:

Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

2 Responses

  1. – I think it is a little harsh to take Valentina’s character as being meant to speak for the entire country of America, even if she is CIA director. Anyone familiar with who she is in the comics would already assume she is being set up to be a major future villain, probably with her own secret agenda. We have seen similar characters to her before in past movies, like Thunderbolt Ross.

  2. – Also…*big spoilers ahead* skip if you haven’t seen the movie

    The biggest thing that bugged me about the movie is how Namor experiences almost no consequences for what he did throughout the film. I know they just introduced him and are not going to kill him off so quickly, but after everything he did in the film, he basically gets almost everything he wanted, and only has to endure getting his butt kicked by Shuri. He probably should have been thrown in a Wakandan prison for a few decades, or at the very least have to have Wakanda oversee his rule of Talokan to make sure he stays in line, but instead Wakanda “shows mercy” and lets a ruthless ruler who directly murdered their citizens and queen go free and clear back to his country, with promises of protection even, so that he can just continue to plot the surface’s demise and return in a later movie. Showing mercy is one thing, but that’s like if America caught Osama Bin Laden after 9/11 and then decided to let him go free because killing/executing him would be “giving into vengeance”.

    And that’s another thing; I was kind of disappointed that the end of this movie imitated the last third of Spider-Man NWH (maybe its just a coincidence, considering the production time on these things), and even tries to invoke the exact same moral. But it’s one thing to have Peter Parker struggle over whether or not to kill a villain in vengeance, but when you bring the politics of nations and war into things, the issue is not entirely as black and white as the movie seems to make it. I honestly kind of feel, given the circumstances of the story, that killing Namor actually WOULD have been morally justified on the part of the nation of Wakanda, if not necessarily by Shuri herself. And what kind of confuses it more is that back in the first movie, T’Challa killed Killmonger in their duel, and no one, whether other characters or the movie itself, made a big deal about it or called into question T’Challa’s character. it was “ok” for T’Challa to kill Erik in the first movie, but its not ok for Shuri to kill Namor? Isn’t it kind of a double standard?

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