After what's felt like an eternity of waiting, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is out now in cinemas worldwide, and both the critical and audience reception has generally been solidly positive, albeit with some fair caveats.
It's an inherently strange film given the unique and unfortunate circumstances of its creation, what with Chadwick Boseman's passing back in August 2020, and it's as such one filled with its fair share of odd moments, both for better and for worse.
Wakanda Forever is certainly a messy film in places - an unpredictable, unexpected, and quite surreal piece of work that pushes some major emotional buttons even as it arguably overdoes it with the subplots and side characters.
And so, poring back over all of its 161 minutes, these are the most bizarre, shocking, and ridiculous moments, whether offering up pleasant surprises or simply leaving viewers scratching their heads.
In the very least, for a film released in the shadow of its planned star's death, it somehow feels pretty damn coherent for the most part, which given the potential for otherwise is a mightily impressive achievement...
23. T'Challa's Death
By far the biggest question mark surrounding Wakanda Forever's release was how the filmmakers would deal with Chadwick Boseman's real-life death.
And while the trailers made it clear that T'Challa himself had also passed away, the actual cause of death was kept firmly under wraps until the movie's release.
As it turns out, Wakanda Forever opens with Shuri (Letitia Wright) desperately attempting to create a synthetic heart-shaped herb - after Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) destroyed them all in the previous film - to cure her brother of an unknown illness, all while T'Challa's vital signs begin to fail off-screen.
Though she's urged to be with her brother in his final moments, she keeps working on the cure until her mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) informs her that T'Challa has passed on.
It's later mentioned that T'Challa suffered from an "undisclosed illness," and Shuri also mentions that he kept his condition secret for a long time before coming to her for help, rather mirroring Boseman's own death from cancer after keeping his illness secret from the general public.
Following an emotional funeral sequence for T'Challa, his casket is beamed aboard a Wakandan ship, and when the Marvel Studios logo appears, it's quite movingly adorned with images of Boseman as T'Challa, all while the typical triumphant fanfare is replaced with near-silence.