Analysis of Black panther

Summary The movie revolves around Wakanda's defense against Namor's threat of war. After King T'Challa's death, Queen Ramonda defends Wakanda's vibranium policy while mercenaries attack a Mali outreach center. Wakandan forces foil the attack, and a group of military-types embark on a deep-sea mission to find vibranium, leading to tragedy. Namor seeks Wakanda's help to prevent further mining of vibranium. Shuri successfully recreates the Heart-Shaped Herb, becoming the Black Panther again, and presents a plan to weaken Namor through dehydration. They capture Namor and confront him about his violations of their agreement. In the end, Ross is taken into custody, Shuri says goodbye to Okoye, and reminisces about her brother T'Challa.

Screenplay Story Analysis

Story Critique The plot is convoluted and lacks a clear direction. There are too many subplots that distract from the main story. The stakes are not clearly defined, making it difficult for the audience to become invested in the characters' journeys. The dialogue is often overwritten and lacks authenticity. The fight scenes are elaborately described but lack tension on the page.
Suggestions: Simplify the plot by focusing on one or two primary storylines and defining the stakes clearly. Streamline the dialogue to be more naturalistic and character-driven. Cut down on the exposition and focus on showing the audience what is happening rather than telling them. Tighten the action sequences to increase tension and create a more cinematic experience. Consider having a clear theme that ties the various storylines together.

Note: This is the overall critique. For scene by scene critique click here

Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:


Shuri is a brilliant and inventive princess of Wakanda. She is curious, resourceful, and driven, with a deep fascination for technology. Shuri struggles with grief and anger after the death of her brother, T'Challa, but is determined to protect Wakanda and its people at all costs. While sometimes impulsive, she is also a principled and strategic leader who is willing to make difficult choices and sacrifices for the good of her country.


Ramonda is a proud and regal queen who challenges tradition and seeks alternative solutions in times of crisis. She is a strong and savvy political leader who is willing to stand up for Wakanda's policies on vibranium, but also deeply cares about her family and people. Ramonda is wise, thoughtful, and strategic, with a deep love for her country and its history. She is a concerned mother who is determined to find her daughter and protect her people from external forces.


Okoye is a fierce and dedicated warrior who is fiercely loyal to Wakanda and its traditions. She is the leader of the Dora Milaje and serves as a trusted advisor to the Wakandan royalty. Okoye is an expert fighter and strategist, skilled in both combat and piloting. She is known for her stoic demeanor and willingness to put her duty to Wakanda before personal relationships. Despite her tough exterior, she cares deeply for her loved ones and will do anything to protect them and her country.


Aneka is a headstrong, rebellious, and loyal member of the Dora Milaje. She prefers using energy daggers to traditional spears and has personal doubts and conflicts. She is struggling to find her place after leaving the Dora Milaje and to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy that happened to her people. Aneka is a dedicated fighter who deeply cares about Wakanda and is deeply devoted to Okoye and the Midnight Angels.


Namor is a proud and powerful leader of an underwater civilization. He is determined to protect his people and their resources, even if it means breaking agreements and resorting to violence. His backstory and personality make him a complex character with a strong sense of duty and a moral gray area.

Everett Ross

Everett Ross is a resourceful, quick-witted CIA agent who initially viewed Wakandan affairs from a skeptical yet helpful perspective. Over time, he becomes more involved with the Wakandan royalty and their mission. Though at times his motivations and loyalties are unclear, Ross develops into a loyal ally to Wakanda.

Riri Williams

Riri Williams is a brilliant and gifted MIT student who is passionate about engineering and inventing. She is driven and independent, but also guarded and protective of her inventions and privacy. Riri is wary of outsiders and initially hostile towards Okoye and Shuri when they approach her about her vibranium detector. However, she is fiercely loyal to those she cares about and will do whatever it takes to protect them. Riri's intelligence and skills make her an invaluable asset when it comes to solving problems and creating new technology.


Riri is a skilled inventor with a fierce determination and bravery. She is street-smart and sarcastic, but initially panicky. Gradually, she calms down and becomes more inquisitive and intelligent, with a thirst for knowledge and adventure. She is tech-savvy and often acts as a sounding board for Shuri. Riri is focused on building a new Ironheart suit and has a passion for justice and helping those in need. Grateful to Wakanda for protecting her, she is willing to put herself in danger to repay the favor. She proves to be a valuable ally in the battle against Namor and uses her technology to help protect Wakanda and its people.


Ross is a dedicated spy who will go to great lengths to complete his mission. He is resourceful and quick-thinking, relying on technology and strategy to complete tasks. Ross is a loyal ally of Wakanda who is eager to help find Shuri and Riri, but also acknowledges the government's suspicions towards them. He is cautious and unwilling to act without evidence but feels pressure from the US government. Ross is taken aback when Val reveals that she's been listening to his conversations, and when he is captured, he is shown to be vulnerable and unsure of his fate.


Nakia is a innovative, resourceful, and skilled warrior who is fiercely loyal to Wakanda and its people. She has a history of seeing other nations destabilize from within, and is willing to do what it takes to protect her country. She is haunted by the killings she had to commit to save herself and her companions, and struggles with conflicted feelings of the friends trying to help Shuri. Nakia is dedicated, resourceful, and always ready to protect her friends and country. She is a former lover of T'Challa and an ally of Wakanda who reveals her secret son and the plan to raise him outside of Wakanda to Shuri.


Namora is a strong-willed warrior who is deeply dedicated to the safety and prosperity of Talocan. She is skilled in underwater combat and has a fierce determination to protect her kingdom at all costs. While she initially supports Namor and his decisions, she becomes increasingly uneasy as his actions begin to put their kingdom in danger. Namora's loyalty to Talocan and her sense of duty drives her to question Namor's alliances and put herself in the line of fire to protect their people.

Character Arc Critique Suggestions
Shuri Shuri's arc begins with her grief and anger over the loss of her brother, which drives her to seek revenge against Namor and avenge her mother's death. She grows in strength and determination as she confronts Killmonger and refuses to be swayed by his words. Along the way, Shuri faces failure and disappointment, but ultimately shows her intelligence and strength as the Black Panther. As she leads Wakanda through its crises, she begins to reconcile her grief and learns to find hope in the future of her people and her country. The character arc for Shuri is well-developed and consistent throughout the movie. However, it would have been interesting to see more exploration of her character's emotions and internal struggles, as her grief and anger are important driving forces for her actions. Additionally, while Shuri's inventiveness and resourcefulness are integral parts of her character, at times they seem to overshadow her other qualities and make her appear one-dimensional.
To improve Shuri's character arc, it could be useful to explore more of her internal struggles and emotions related to her grief and anger. This can help create a more nuanced and complex character that is relatable to audiences. Additionally, showing Shuri's vulnerabilities and moments of doubt can make her more multi-dimensional and compelling. Balancing her inventiveness and resourcefulness with other aspects of her character, such as her leadership strengths and loyalty, can also add depth to her arc.
Ramonda Throughout the movie, Ramonda goes from a grieving mother to a strong and confident leader. She learns to challenge tradition and seek alternative solutions, even if it means making difficult decisions. She grows to become a wise and thoughtful strategist, navigating the challenges faced by Wakanda with grace and determination. In the end, she emerges as a powerful diplomat and negotiator, able to find a peaceful solution to the conflict between Wakanda and Talocan. Overall, Ramonda is a strong and well-developed character, but the arc could use more clarity. While there is growth and change, it is not always clear what motivates Ramonda or what she is struggling with. Additionally, some of the transitions could be smoother and more impactful, with greater focus on the emotional journey of the character.
To improve the character arc, it might be helpful to add more specific goals and challenges for Ramonda to overcome. This could include exploring her relationship with her daughter and the trauma of losing her son and husband. Additionally, by giving Ramonda more agency and decision-making power, her growth could feel more impactful and meaningful. It could also be beneficial to explore the emotional journey of the character more fully, with greater attention to the internal conflicts and motivations that drive her actions.
Okoye Throughout the movie, Okoye remains fiercely loyal to Wakanda and its traditions but is forced to confront the challenges of a rapidly changing world. She struggles with the loss of T'Challa and Shuri, as well as her own place in Wakanda's hierarchy. She is tempted by the offer to become Queen and restore the honor of the Border Tribe but ultimately chooses to remain loyal to her duty and her people. She develops a close relationship with Aneka and begins to consider a possible future together. In the end, Okoye remains a strong and skilled warrior, but also finds hope for the future and a sense of fulfillment in her personal life. Overall, Okoye's character arc is well-drawn and compelling. However, at times her stoic demeanor can make it difficult for the audience to connect with her on an emotional level. It would have been interesting to see more of her personal life and relationships outside of her duty to Wakanda. Additionally, although her relationship with Aneka is hinted at, it could have been developed more fully to add greater depth to her character.
To improve Okoye's character arc, it could be helpful to include more scenes that reveal her personal life and relationships beyond her duty to Wakanda. This could help to humanize her character and make her more relatable to the audience. Additionally, further exploration of her relationship with Aneka could add greater emotional depth to the character and help to develop her beyond just her role as a warrior and leader.
Aneka Aneka starts as a member of the Dora Milaje who clashes with Okoye over her preference for energy daggers. She leaves the Dora Milaje and experiences personal doubts and conflicts, but finds redemption through her acceptance of the offer to become a Dora once again. The character arc is a bit simplistic and lacks depth. While Aneka is an interesting character, her journey could benefit from more challenges and obstacles to overcome.
To improve Aneka's character arc, consider adding more layers to her personal doubts and conflicts. Have her face more challenges and struggles in finding her place, but also give her moments of triumph and growth. Additionally, explore her relationship with Okoye and the Midnight Angels in more depth to add more complexity and depth to her character.
Namor Throughout the movie, Namor starts off as a mysterious and powerful figure seeking help from Wakanda. As the story progresses, he becomes more focused on protecting his people at any cost, leading to conflicts with Wakanda. However, his weaknesses begin to surface as he faces his past betrayals and discovers the consequences of his actions. Ultimately, he shows vulnerability and regret, highlighting his internal conflict over aligning his kingdom with Wakanda. The character arc for Namor is well written and provides a complex and compelling narrative. However, some of his actions, such as killing innocent Wakandans, may make it difficult for the audience to sympathize with him. Additionally, there could be more development in his relationships with other characters, particularly with Shuri and Riri.
To improve the character arc, it may be helpful to show more of Namor's personal relationships and conflicts with other characters, particularly Shuri and Riri. Additionally, his actions could be portrayed as more morally ambiguous, rather than outright villainous, to allow the audience to sympathize and connect with him on a deeper level.
Everett Ross Throughout the movie, Everett Ross's character arc takes him from a skeptical outsider to a valuable and loyal ally to Wakanda. As Ross becomes more involved in the affairs of Wakanda, he starts to see the country in a new light. Initially, his priorities were aligned with those of the CIA, but Ross's experiences with the Wakandans gradually shift his loyalties towards their mission. By the end of the movie, he becomes a willing and valuable ally of the people of Wakanda. The character arc of Everett Ross is a bit underdeveloped, particularly in the early stages of the film. While he starts off as a skeptical outsider, his shift towards becoming a valuable ally is not as clearly defined as it could be.
To improve the character arc of Ross, clearer motivations could be given at the outset of the film. Additionally, further exploration of Ross's struggles and changes during his time in Wakanda would create a more well-rounded character arc. Improved dialogue and more meaningful interactions with the Wakandan people would also help create a more compelling character development.
Riri Williams Riri's journey in the movie begins with her being a talented student who has created a vibranium detector for a school project. She is initially hostile towards Okoye and Shuri when they approach her about her invention, but eventually agrees to come to Wakanda to help them. Throughout the movie, Riri continues to struggle with being away from home and adjusting to life in Wakanda. She also faces challenges when it comes to working with the Wakandans and relying on others for help. However, over time, Riri learns to trust and work with others, and she ultimately creates a powerful Ironheart suit that helps save the day. By the end of the movie, Riri has not only become a valuable part of the team, but she has also grown as a person and learned to open up to those around her. The character arc for Riri is well-developed and realistic. However, it would be beneficial to see more of her struggles and conflicts earlier in the movie so that her growth and development feel more earned.
To improve the character arc for Riri, it would be helpful to show more of her struggles and conflicts earlier in the movie. This could include scenes that highlight her difficulty adapting to life in Wakanda and trusting others. Additionally, incorporating more moments of vulnerability and emotional depth would help the audience connect with Riri on a deeper level and make her growth feel more satisfying.
Riri Riri's character arc starts with her initial fear and reluctance to participate in dangerous missions. Through her interactions with the other characters, especially Shuri, she gains confidence and courage. Her passion for justice and helping others drives her to build a new Ironheart suit. In the final battle, she sacrifices herself to protect Wakanda, displaying bravery and determination. The character arc is well executed, but there could be more development of Riri's relationships with the other characters. For example, her interactions with Nakia could be explored further since they are both outsiders in Wakanda. Additionally, her sacrifices in the final battle could be foreshadowed more to make it feel less sudden.
To improve the character arc, Riri's relationships with the other characters could be further developed. More moments of bonding and conflict could be shown to highlight the growth of her character. Additionally, her sacrifices in the final battle could be foreshadowed more, perhaps through a moment in which she explicitly declares her willingness to lay down her life for Wakanda.
Ross Ross begins the movie as a dedicated spy who is willing to take risks to complete his mission. He is a loyal ally of Wakanda but also cautious under pressure from the US government. Throughout the film, Ross becomes increasingly torn between his loyalty to Wakanda and his duty to the US government. When he is taken captive, he is forced to confront the consequences of his actions. In the end, Ross chooses to side with Wakanda and helps them take down the villain, signaling a shift in his loyalties. The character arc for Ross is too predictable and lacks nuance. It's clear from the beginning where his loyalties lie, and there aren't any significant obstacles or challenges that he faces that make his decision more difficult to make. Additionally, the arc could be improved by showing more of Ross's internal struggle and his conflicting feelings about his duties to Wakanda and his country.
To improve the character arc, the film could include more scenes showing Ross's internal conflict and make that more of a focus. For example, they could have Ross questioning whether or not he's doing the right thing and struggling with his loyalties. Additionally, the story could introduce more obstacles that test Ross's resolve and make his decision to side with Wakanda more significant.
Nakia At the beginning of the movie, Nakia is sought out by Ramonda for help rescuing Shuri, showcasing her innovativeness and resourcefulness as well as her loyalty to Wakanda. As the movie progresses, she is haunted by the killings she had to commit and struggles with conflicted feelings towards her friends. However, she remains dedicated and resourceful, always ready to protect Wakanda and its people. In the end, she reveals her secret son and the plan to raise him outside of Wakanda to Shuri, indicating her strong connection to and love for her country. While Nakia's character is strong and loyal, her arc could benefit from a clearer and more well-defined conflict. Her inner turmoil and struggles could be explored more thoroughly and could have a deeper impact on her character development.
To improve Nakia's arc, the conflicts she faces should be made more explicit and explored more thoroughly throughout the movie. By further delving into her inner struggles and showcasing her growth and development, her character could become even more dynamic and compelling.
Namora Namora's character arc involves her grappling with the conflicts between her loyalty to Namor and her sense of duty to her kingdom. While she initially supports Namor's alliances and decisions, she begins to see the danger he presents to their kingdom. Namora begins to question her own loyalties and comes to the realization that she must put Talocan's safety above all else. She becomes a key player in protecting their kingdom and ultimately helps to take down Namor when he becomes a threat. While Namora's character arc is compelling, it would benefit from deeper exploration of her internal struggles and motivations. Additionally, her arc could be strengthened by showing more explicit moments of her growing concern and unease with Namor's actions. This would help to build her character arc more naturally and give the audience a stronger connection to her journey.
To improve Namora's character arc, consider incorporating more moments where she is shown grappling with her conflicting loyalties. Give her more explicit moments where she questions Namor's decisions, such as in conversations with other characters or internal monologues. This will help the audience understand her character arc more fully and create a stronger emotional connection to her journey.
Theme Theme Details Themee Explanation
Death and LossKing T'Challa's death, mourning, and grieving are prominent throughout the screenplay.The theme of death and loss is about coming to terms with the loss of loved ones and accepting the inevitability of death, coping with grief, and moving on.
RedemptionAneka seeks redemption after her past actions, and Namor offers it to her. The theme of redemption deals with the idea of making amends for past misdeeds and finding a way to make up for past mistakes.
TechnologyShuri's development of new technology and the creation of a new Black Panther are central to the plot of the screenplay.The theme of technology is about innovation, scientific progress, and the impact of technology on society.
BetrayalRoss's ties to Wakanda are revealed, and he is placed under arrest. Namor violates an agreement and is held accountable.The theme of betrayal explores the idea of trust and loyalty and the consequences of breaking them.
Family and HeritageShuri and Nakia's relationship with Toussaint and the revelation of his identity as Prince T'Challa are significant to the plot.The theme of family and heritage deals with the importance of relationships with family and cultural heritage, including traditions, customs, and ancestry.
ResponsibilityShuri assumes the responsibility of developing new technology, creating a new Black Panther, and leading an attack on Namor.The theme of responsibility explores the ethical and moral obligations that come with power, leadership, and authority.
Culture ClashMultiple instances of tension arise between different cultures: Wakandan, American, Haitian, Mayan, and Atlantean.The theme of culture clash deals with the clashes that occur between different cultures as a result of misunderstandings or differences in values, beliefs, or customs.
Overcoming AdversityThe characters face multiple obstacles and challenges, including the death of a loved one, hostage situations, betrayal, and attacks on their city.The theme of overcoming adversity is about persevering through difficult circumstances and coming out stronger on the other side.

Screenwriting Resources on Themes


Site Description
Studio Binder Movie Themes: Examples of Common Themes for Screenwriters
Coverfly Improving your Screenplay's theme
John August Writing from Theme

YouTube Videos

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Story, Plot, Genre, Theme - Screenwriting Basics Screenwriting basics - beginner video
What is theme Discussion on ways to layer theme into a screenplay.
Thematic Mistakes You're Making in Your Script Common Theme mistakes and Philosophical Conflicts