Forest Whitaker's 'Black Panther' Role Has a Big Twist

The latest film from Marvel Studios is a largely self-contained affair, but it's packed with moments that will surprise even the diehard fans of the cinematic universe.

One of the biggest twists in Black Panther came in the form of Forest Whitaker's character Zuri, who was thought to be little more than a spiritual advisor and source of wisdom for the new King of Wakanda, was more than meets the eye.

Zuri was actually directly responsible for the rise of Erik Killmonger, alongside T'Challa's father T'Chaka.

While the Wakandan Prince N'Jobu was stationed as a spy in the United States, T'Challa sent a spy to keep watch of his younger brother's activities. Zuri aided N'Jobu in his actions, though the prince had no idea that his friend was secretly working for the king.

N'Jobu eventually became disillusioned with Wakanda's isolationist position in the world and soon betrayed his country, giving Ulysses Klaue the information necessary to steal a supply of the country's valuable Vibranium, in hopes of arming black communities across the world.

Zuri reports this information to the king, and T'Chaka arrives at his brother's home to confront him over the betrayal. While N'Jobu tries to deny it at first, Zuri reveals his allegiance to Wakanda, taking the prince by surprise. Though T'Chaka intends to return toothier homeland to try N'Jobu for his crimes, he withdraws a gun and attempts to kill his friend for his treachery.

T'Chaka reacts without hesitation, deflects the shot, and strikes his claws into his brother's chest. He holds N'Jobu as he dies, and makes the hard decision to leave his body behind rather than take him or his now-orphaned son to Wakanda.

This decision ultimately proves to hurt his country in the long run, as the young Erik Killmonger finds his father's dead body which puts him on a path to dismantle Wakanda and the world. HIs plan nearly comes to fruition in Black Panther.

Zuri later reveals his actions to T'Challa, which makes the Black Panther question his father's motives when he ruled the country. Zuri attempts to atone for his actions by pleading for mercy when Killmonger and T'Challa fight for the throne, meeting a grisly end at the hands of Prince N'Jobu's son.

These actions help T'Challa see the error of Wakanda's isolationist traditions, and after the conflict ends he decides to use his country's advance tech to help become a beacon to the rest of the world. And T'Challa realizes that his father and Zuri both made grave mistakes that ended up causing unnecessary bloodshed.

Black Panther is now playing in theaters.

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