It looks like the development team behind Falcon and the Winter Soldier have gone through quite a few ideas on how to support Sam Wilson’s new role as Captain America. Unlike his predecessor, he doesn’t have the same Super Soldier serum to give him an edge in battle, which hints at him being more dependent on his wits and weaponry. To counteract that, it seems they have considered giving his shield a new Wakandan upgrade that would’ve created a dome energy shield, as shared by development concept illustrator Wesley Burt.
He goes on to highlight how he approached the idea, as their team was tasked with thinking up new ways that Sam could use the shield in creative ways, which ended up leading to the results you can see above.
Ryan [Meinerding] asked some of the [Visual Development] department to take a little bit of time and think up some new ways that Sam could use the shield, more specific to him and his own physicality with it… when I was thinking about the tech rim piece, I was looking for a way to minimally add an element to the shield so as not to distract too much from the shield itself but still make it feel like it could have a believable tech addition and hint at the Wakandan upgrades before you see them usedWesley Burt
While the concept hasn’t made its way into the Disney+ series, it doesn’t mean they may revisit the idea at a later point. We still don’t know what Sam may owe Wakanda given they help create his design and him carrying it is fitting with the shield being made from Wakandan Vibranium. Perhaps they may further explore its ties to the country and how it connects to Sam Wilson’s new role given his own background, especially the way his country views him.
Source: The Art of Falcon and Winter Soldier via The Direct