Chadwick Boseman left a legacy behind like no other and there was no simple task for Ryan Coogler and his crew to continue it with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. They made the difficult choice to have his character T’Challa pass on. Yet, the biggest challenge was how they’d decided to tackle this sensitive topic and they only knew that they wanted to explore “the transformative quality of grief and trauma” as revealed in an interview with New York Times.
We wanted to have an emotionally intelligent conversation. It’s about the transformative quality of grief and trauma. There’s this expectation with emotional trauma that you just need time. ‘Oh, give them a couple weeks off; they’ll come back to work and get back to it.’ But that person is completely different in some ways. You just don’t see it because the change isn’t visible.Ryan Coogler
He goes on to highlight the decision to not have someone external being responsible for the death of T’Challa, as it would mainly lead to Shuri’s grief being directed outward rather than exploring her own emotions surrounding the loss.
If somebody else would’ve taken T’Challa out, Shuri would’ve looked for that person. We wanted it to be a situation where the only place to go was internal.Ryan Coogler
There’s something fitting with the choice, as it also reflects the grief that everyone involved went through in how Boseman just suddenly passed away and that feeling of having no control. The script also became a way for Ryan Coogler to handle the loss of his friend, going through the same challenge that Shuri was throughout the film handling the ever-persistent grief.