Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-12 11:44am

Yeah, and/but W'Kabi was pitching this more in terms of "I'm open to going out and fixing the world," not "I want to go out and chainsaw everyone who's oppressing our pan-continental ethnic group."
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-12 04:17pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-12 11:44am
Yeah, and/but W'Kabi was pitching this more in terms of "I'm open to going out and fixing the world," not "I want to go out and chainsaw everyone who's oppressing our pan-continental ethnic group."
This just gives more ammunition to the notion that Wakanda had never let anybody in before. They're like the bottle city from Superman; everything's perfect as long as they don't let anybody in.

This isn't an unusual stance for many more conservative African tribes, honestly, so that's a bit of unintentional (or was it?) authenticity for you there. Before the colonial regime, cross-pollination tended to only happen through conflict, religion or trade. Part of this was the difficulty of travel (not a whole lot of pack animals or roads), part of this was a lack of large kingdoms/empires unifying multiple groups...

Anyway, yeah. Wakanda already thinks they're perfect, they don't need to screw up their own affairs for anybody else's sake. They don't want to change THEIR status quo. Changing other people's for them, maybe, but they need motivation.
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Vendetta » 2018-04-12 05:36pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-12 11:44am
Yeah, and/but W'Kabi was pitching this more in terms of "I'm open to going out and fixing the world," not "I want to go out and chainsaw everyone who's oppressing our pan-continental ethnic group."
On the other hand, he was the one most personally willing to follow Killmonger because he brought Klaue in, and W'kabi's parents were among the fatalities from his original raid.

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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-12 05:43pm

Yes- I'm talking about what W'Kabi was like before that. I suspect that he was at least halfway honestly converted to Killmonger's cause, his isolationist/xenophobic Wakandan supremacy being converted into a manifest-destiny Wakandan supremacy.

And I don't blame him; there's a lot in the world that the Wakandans could reasonably look at and go "we could fix that by going out there and busting some heads."
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-12 05:55pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-12 05:43pm
Yes- I'm talking about what W'Kabi was like before that. I suspect that he was at least halfway honestly converted to Killmonger's cause, his isolationist/xenophobic Wakandan supremacy being converted into a manifest-destiny Wakandan supremacy.

And I don't blame him; there's a lot in the world that the Wakandans could reasonably look at and go "we could fix that by going out there and busting some heads."
This is quite correct, after T'Challa passes his first duel there's a bit where he's visiting W'Kabi at his village and W'Kabi basically says straight up "I don't want us to let them in, but we can go fix things".

How they would do that with hover-UFOs and armoured rhinos I'm not quite sure... might have been more along the lines of killing oppressors and helping set up more democratic systems?
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Bedlam » 2018-04-12 06:24pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-12 05:55pm

How they would do that with hover-UFOs and armoured rhinos I'm not quite sure... might have been more along the lines of killing oppressors and helping set up more democratic systems?
Given that they themselves do not use a democratic system it seems unlikely they'd want to set them up elsewhere. Probably something more along the line of a benevolent Wakandan dictator

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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Q99 » 2018-04-17 11:18am

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-12 05:55pm
This is quite correct, after T'Challa passes his first duel there's a bit where he's visiting W'Kabi at his village and W'Kabi basically says straight up "I don't want us to let them in, but we can go fix things".

How they would do that with hover-UFOs and armoured rhinos I'm not quite sure... might have been more along the lines of killing oppressors and helping set up more democratic systems?
They do have a really good spy network too. Assassinations of oppressive leaders, supplying local movements, that sort of thing.

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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-17 03:28pm

It occurs to me that the armored rhinos are mainly useful because they have both nigh-impenetrable armor and force fields capable of magically deflecting their own energy blast weaponry. Neither penetration nor heating is a realistic threat to well-equipped Wakandan soldiers, so shooting bullets or ray guns at them just isn't very effective, and the only thing that really has much potential to seriously injure them would be sheer momentum transfer.

And one thing a rhinoceros is very good for is transferring momentum.
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-18 01:34pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-17 03:28pm
It occurs to me that the armored rhinos are mainly useful because they have both nigh-impenetrable armor and force fields capable of magically deflecting their own energy blast weaponry. Neither penetration nor heating is a realistic threat to well-equipped Wakandan soldiers, so shooting bullets or ray guns at them just isn't very effective, and the only thing that really has much potential to seriously injure them would be sheer momentum transfer.

And one thing a rhinoceros is very good for is transferring momentum.
If they're useful mainly against Wakandans, though... why?

Armoured rhinos are pretty much a huge red flag to anybody in the outside world who sees them. Even just having tame rhinos would almost certainly set tongues wagging, unless it's some kind of obscure Wakandan tradition to domesticate very exotic wildlife. All the more as they're apparently kept by the Border Tribe (to be fair, we don't see any other tribes in their own context in this film), presumably to use against border-jumpers, but that risks someone escaping and telling the outside world 'those crazy Wakandans are riding rhinos and running down anybody who comes over the border'.

So, that suggests perhaps they're for internal use. Which is just... weird... considering it's some kind of utopian society and presumably post-civil unrest?

Alternatively, I suppose the Border Tribe, along with the Dora Milaje, are the closest thing Wakanda has to a standing army (which may actually be a reasonable assumption), and the rhinos are part of that? Seems terribly low-tech.

I wouldn't be surprised if in Infinity War Pt. 1 though they reveal that Wakanda has been invaded by aliens before (trying to pirate vibranium perhaps?), the rhinos were useful in that situation, and now millennia later down the road they keep the rhinos around just in case.
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-18 03:06pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-18 01:34pm
If they're useful mainly against Wakandans, though... why?
This may well not be the first time Wakanda has fought a civil war. Their armed forces are too disciplined and skillful for a country that has been literally entirely at peace except for special commando raids for the past thousand years or more.

Historically, typical real life monarchies only last like... four to eight generations between major dynastic crises.

For that matter, it seems very likely that at some point in the hundred or more generations that Wakanda has existed, some rival sibling or tribal champion successfully defeated the crown prince in that ceremonial duel they hold during the coronation ceremonies. The duel has to have been a thing that was done for a reason, and for everyone to have reacted with "Crap, well, guess Killmonger's the king now" the way they did, there must have been a precedent.
Armoured rhinos are pretty much a huge red flag to anybody in the outside world who sees them. Even just having tame rhinos would almost certainly set tongues wagging, unless it's some kind of obscure Wakandan tradition to domesticate very exotic wildlife. All the more as they're apparently kept by the Border Tribe (to be fair, we don't see any other tribes in their own context in this film), presumably to use against border-jumpers, but that risks someone escaping and telling the outside world 'those crazy Wakandans are riding rhinos and running down anybody who comes over the border'.
Maybe they're there to fight the reclusive and hostile mountain tribe? Those guys seem pretty rough, and they were clearly enjoying themselves when they got to jump the Border Tribe army. Maybe they have a capital-H History.
So, that suggests perhaps they're for internal use. Which is just... weird... considering it's some kind of utopian society and presumably post-civil unrest?
Again, the most likely explanation is that the continued existence of ritual combat in which the crown prince must battle all challenging claimants to the throne to submission or death reflects a real, if infrequent, occurrence of dynastic disputes or civil warfare within wakandan society. They're a marvelously rich and advanced land, but their political structure is very much premodern and is not set up to truly guarantee a lack of civil disorder.
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-18 03:43pm

That's a fair point that they may still have had civil wars in their recent-ish history. It's not like tribal conflict is anything new in Africa.

I suspect the 'disciplined and skillful' thing is just kind of a small brainbug on the writers' parts though. Wouldn't be the first time some small nation or other has been depicted as uber-awesome even though they have no particular reason to be at that moment. Perhaps trying to draw parallels with Switzerland or something. I should note that, again, the Dora Milaje and the Border Tribe are the only formal military we see; the Mountain Tribe seem to be largely a bunch of goons with spears and sticks, and the other tribes display no military capacity other than individual champions at the ritual combat. The Border Tribe at least has reason to practice regularly, and the Dora Milaje, being the King's bodyguard/commando force, would not scruple training.

That does raise a question in my mind; if the Border Tribe is the de facto military of the country (bearing in mind again that the movie is a very limited portrait of the country), why do they not have more political weight in the government as it is set up? Unless T'Challa's royal family actually comes from that tribe... not impossible but we simply don't know.

Perhaps one thing to ask more questions about-- why exactly do they still have the whole ritual combat shtick, and the whole royal setup? They have had at least generations of spies in a great number of countries, and presumably have had opportunity aplenty to observe a variety of political systems. Is it pure adherence to tradition that keeps them from adopting a more democratic system? Or, as is perhaps more likely, are the leading families in each tribe finding it in their interests to maintain the ritual combat in order to maneuver for political power within the kingdom?
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Bedlam » 2018-04-19 02:15pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-18 03:43pm
Perhaps one thing to ask more questions about-- why exactly do they still have the whole ritual combat shtick, and the whole royal setup? They have had at least generations of spies in a great number of countries, and presumably have had opportunity aplenty to observe a variety of political systems. Is it pure adherence to tradition that keeps them from adopting a more democratic system? Or, as is perhaps more likely, are the leading families in each tribe finding it in their interests to maintain the ritual combat in order to maneuver for political power within the kingdom?
If it ain't broke don't fix it? The general person on the street seems fairly happy with their lot, what do they care if every century or so the current king to be gets murdered and replaced by someone very similar.

Democracy isn't automatically better than any other system just because it's democracy.

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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-19 02:59pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-18 03:43pm
That's a fair point that they may still have had civil wars in their recent-ish history. It's not like tribal conflict is anything new in Africa.

I suspect the 'disciplined and skillful' thing is just kind of a small brainbug on the writers' parts though. Wouldn't be the first time some small nation or other has been depicted as uber-awesome even though they have no particular reason to be at that moment. Perhaps trying to draw parallels with Switzerland or something. I should note that, again, the Dora Milaje and the Border Tribe are the only formal military we see; the Mountain Tribe seem to be largely a bunch of goons with spears and sticks, and the other tribes display no military capacity other than individual champions at the ritual combat. The Border Tribe at least has reason to practice regularly, and the Dora Milaje, being the King's bodyguard/commando force, would not scruple training.


That does raise a question in my mind; if the Border Tribe is the de facto military of the country (bearing in mind again that the movie is a very limited portrait of the country), why do they not have more political weight in the government as it is set up? Unless T'Challa's royal family actually comes from that tribe... not impossible but we simply don't know.
Well, there are five tribes, and we know of the Border Tribe, the Mining Tribe, the River Tribe, the Merchant Tribe, and the reclusive Jabari. So yeah, the royal family has to come from one of the tribes.

Even if the royal family does not follow the practice of the Border Tribe (note that the royals don't practice the kind of ritual scarification the Border Tribe does)... It may well be that the Panther Tribe is in fact an offshoot of the Border Tribe and that the royal family frequently intermarries with the Border Tribe, so that in effect it is a political extension of the Border Tribe. This would also ensure that the tribe most likely to produce capable warriors able to win the ritual combat has little or no incentive to try.
Perhaps one thing to ask more questions about-- why exactly do they still have the whole ritual combat shtick, and the whole royal setup? They have had at least generations of spies in a great number of countries, and presumably have had opportunity aplenty to observe a variety of political systems. Is it pure adherence to tradition that keeps them from adopting a more democratic system? Or, as is perhaps more likely, are the leading families in each tribe finding it in their interests to maintain the ritual combat in order to maneuver for political power within the kingdom?
Probably:

1) Both of the above, plus...

2) Due to vibranium-based technology, the Wakandans live in a state of utopia that was in all likelihood superior to the ways of life they saw in the outside world until quite recently. A Wakandan visiting 1930s France or 1950s America might see no pressing need to change Wakanda's social system to be more like that of the foreigners, plus...

3) It may be extremely rare for the ritual combat to actually change anything, among other things because the crown prince gets to use performance-enhancing herbal drugs while his opponent does not. It serves more as a legalized form of 'safety valve' by which an obviously feeble or unfit heir can be removed from the throne, in case the royal lineage fails, as it almost certainly would have to do once in a while. As such, to most Wakandans it would seem an essentially harmless tradition, and one that serves a valuable function in an undesired contingency that's brought down a LOT of monarchies over the years. Plus,

4) The Wakandans are not heirs to Western philosophical traditions, and never went through a phase where Western philosophy and political theory was higher-prestige than whatever philosophies and political theories they've adopted among themselves. This is basically unique in the modern world, where even countries that were never directly subjugated or colonized (e.g. Japan or Ethiopia), the superiority of foreign technology meant that to modernize their countries, the local leadership had to import foreign ideas to go with the technology. Thus, Ethiopia eventually overthrew its monarchy and became a communist country, even though communism is in no way native to Africa or devised with African economic conditions in mind, and Japan went from being a feudal quasi-monarchy to a parliamentary democracy (with military domination in the pre-WWII phase), even though every single institution of democracy as practiced in Japan was invented on literally the other side of the world.
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-19 07:12pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-19 02:59pm
3) It may be extremely rare for the ritual combat to actually change anything, among other things because the crown prince gets to use performance-enhancing herbal drugs while his opponent does not.
Minor correction: the crown prince has to drink some beverage that seems to neutralize said performance-enhancing drugs before commencing the ritual combat. That said, the crown prince presumably has spent quite some time in training and actual combat, so it's not like they're weak warriors by any means, enhanced or not-- they're just having to fight on a more equal footing. This is a reasonable enough tradition because if the royal family was permitted to tilt the balance in their favor so egregiously, the other tribes might be inclined to disregard tradition long enough to unify and throw over the royal family.

No particular disagreement with the rest of your post. Particularly point 4 about how they aren't as influenced by Western philosophical/political tradition. That's a good thought which hadn't quite occurred to me previously.

I do wonder though how many of the Wakandan spies are drawn from commoners rather than the noble families. The two we see in action are N'Jobu, a prince of the royal family, and Zuri, who becomes apparently the High Priest of the Wakandan religion, presumably via familial connections (very usual in traditional religions). This could serve to limit exposure to the outside world to those who are already disinclined to incorporate changes to their way of life.

Of course, if Wakandan society is so utopian, it could well be that there's honestly not a large difference between 'noble' and 'common' families-- when all people have high quality health care, social services, minimal external pressures, being able to choose between maintaining a traditional lifestyle in the country or a high end technological lifestyle in the city, I could believe that the common people might not care that much for what they might see in the outside world. Certainly N'Jobu seemed appalled enough at what he saw in early-90s Los Angeles to plot a violent attack of some sort ('revolution' might be a strong word, but that seems to have been the direction he wanted it to go into if Killmonger's schemes were any reflection).
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-20 08:38am

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-19 07:12pm
Minor correction: the crown prince has to drink some beverage that seems to neutralize said performance-enhancing drugs before commencing the ritual combat. That said, the crown prince presumably has spent quite some time in training and actual combat, so it's not like they're weak warriors by any means, enhanced or not-- they're just having to fight on a more equal footing. This is a reasonable enough tradition because if the royal family was permitted to tilt the balance in their favor so egregiously, the other tribes might be inclined to disregard tradition long enough to unify and throw over the royal family.
Hm. Perhaps I misunderstood what was happening, because that certainly makes more sense than what I thought was happening, and it was confusing me at the time.
No particular disagreement with the rest of your post. Particularly point 4 about how they aren't as influenced by Western philosophical/political tradition. That's a good thought which hadn't quite occurred to me previously.
Yes. They most surely have their own concepts that would more or less map to ideas like 'rights,' 'loyalty,' 'the state,' and so on, but there are going to be tremendous differences in every level of detail. Their culture is non-Western in a profound sense of the word. If you want to get a sense of how weird Wakanda should realistically be, by Western standards, the best guideline I can think of would be to take the weirdness level of Japan (which Westernized but never had any of its native institutions and mores outright destroyed by foreigners, and which kept any such institutions and mores it found useful). Then multiply by like three. Or five.

A nation five times as weird as Japan could be anything.
I do wonder though how many of the Wakandan spies are drawn from commoners rather than the noble families. The two we see in action are N'Jobu, a prince of the royal family, and Zuri, who becomes apparently the High Priest of the Wakandan religion, presumably via familial connections (very usual in traditional religions). This could serve to limit exposure to the outside world to those who are already disinclined to incorporate changes to their way of life.

Of course, if Wakandan society is so utopian, it could well be that there's honestly not a large difference between 'noble' and 'common' families-- when all people have high quality health care, social services, minimal external pressures, being able to choose between maintaining a traditional lifestyle in the country or a high end technological lifestyle in the city, I could believe that the common people might not care that much for what they might see in the outside world. Certainly N'Jobu seemed appalled enough at what he saw in early-90s Los Angeles to plot a violent attack of some sort ('revolution' might be a strong word, but that seems to have been the direction he wanted it to go into if Killmonger's schemes were any reflection).
Right. Early '90s LA was bad, but only by the standards of a First World nation, and even a First World nation's standards typically wouldn't paint it as horrible enough to demand an immediate revolution.
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Bob the Gunslinger » 2018-04-20 03:49pm

He was in Oakland, not LA.
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Q99 » 2018-04-21 10:29pm

I'll toss in the Border Tribe low-profile forces (who, keep in mind, are all wearing bulletproof/stab proof armor, I find in discussions people underestimate them which is ironic because they're designed to fool outsiders!) and Dora are not the only forces seen- around the council chamber there were figures wearing armor (as in, there was some much more overt metal armor usage, rather than low-profile weave) and armed with the same spears that Killmonger was shipping out. They were at the airport too, and two of them were along with Killmonger at the showdown location.

They might or might not have been border tribe, but they aren't equipped the same as the border forces.
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-18 01:34pm
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-17 03:28pm
It occurs to me that the armored rhinos are mainly useful because they have both nigh-impenetrable armor and force fields capable of magically deflecting their own energy blast weaponry. Neither penetration nor heating is a realistic threat to well-equipped Wakandan soldiers, so shooting bullets or ray guns at them just isn't very effective, and the only thing that really has much potential to seriously injure them would be sheer momentum transfer.

And one thing a rhinoceros is very good for is transferring momentum.
If they're useful mainly against Wakandans, though... why?

Armoured rhinos are pretty much a huge red flag to anybody in the outside world who sees them. Even just having tame rhinos would almost certainly set tongues wagging, unless it's some kind of obscure Wakandan tradition to domesticate very exotic wildlife. All the more as they're apparently kept by the Border Tribe (to be fair, we don't see any other tribes in their own context in this film), presumably to use against border-jumpers, but that risks someone escaping and telling the outside world 'those crazy Wakandans are riding rhinos and running down anybody who comes over the border'.

So, that suggests perhaps they're for internal use. Which is just... weird... considering it's some kind of utopian society and presumably post-civil unrest?

Alternatively, I suppose the Border Tribe, along with the Dora Milaje, are the closest thing Wakanda has to a standing army (which may actually be a reasonable assumption), and the rhinos are part of that? Seems terribly low-tech.

I wouldn't be surprised if in Infinity War Pt. 1 though they reveal that Wakanda has been invaded by aliens before (trying to pirate vibranium perhaps?), the rhinos were useful in that situation, and now millennia later down the road they keep the rhinos around just in case.


While it'd be weird, I'd also point out that if they were used, people are going to cry "AHH, RHINOS!" (Or... be smushed and unable to report anything), not "AHH, SUPERTECH!".

'The Wakandans directed a herd of rhinos to trample the intruders,' is, while eyebrow raising, not masquerade breaking, and allows them to up their deployment level without hitting the real big guns.

Also I'm sure there's a super-long tradition of it.

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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Vendetta » 2018-04-22 08:07am

Q99 wrote:
2018-04-21 10:29pm
I'll toss in the Border Tribe low-profile forces (who, keep in mind, are all wearing bulletproof/stab proof armor, I find in discussions people underestimate them which is ironic because they're designed to fool outsiders!)
The double irony is that the one thing you'd want your visible forces to have in a small African nation is the one thing they don't have. You'd expect the border tribe to be carrying AKs because they're so prevalent in Africa that Mozambique even has one on its flag.

They might think they're silly toys that are only for show, but not having them would be more suspicious...

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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Q99 » 2018-04-22 07:37pm

Hah, true, I didn't think of that.

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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-23 05:22pm

Bob the Gunslinger wrote:
2018-04-20 03:49pm
He was in Oakland, not LA.
Is there a critical difference between the two to a non-Californian audience? ;)
Q99 wrote:
2018-04-21 10:29pm
I'll toss in the Border Tribe low-profile forces (who, keep in mind, are all wearing bulletproof/stab proof armor, I find in discussions people underestimate them which is ironic because they're designed to fool outsiders!) and Dora are not the only forces seen- around the council chamber there were figures wearing armor (as in, there was some much more overt metal armor usage, rather than low-profile weave) and armed with the same spears that Killmonger was shipping out. They were at the airport too, and two of them were along with Killmonger at the showdown location.

They might or might not have been border tribe, but they aren't equipped the same as the border forces.
Forgot about those. Good point.

I recall thinking, though, that they were probably more ceremonially dressed reinforcements from the Border Tribe to back up Killmonger's rule. W'Kabi wears a similar breastplate at a few points as well. I would have to see more pictures to make a more informed conjecture about where they came from, but it seems a logical enough guess that Killmonger would have drawn them from the Border Tribe as that seems to have been the faction backing him the most.

Still, considering the presence of 'champions' from each tribe at the ceremonial royal challenge, it's quite likely that each tribe has its own... I don't know if an organized military would be the right term for it. A security force? A warrior faction? A semi-select group, at least, of individuals trained to fight. The Border Tribe might well simply have the largest such faction due to their specific responsibilities.

And, yes, it's weird they don't have AK-47s. Now that I think about it, that stands out quite a bit to me.

Probable reasons:

--Design choice during film-making, to reinforce the whole utopian ideal of Wakanda. Goes along with the comments during the chase scene where Shuri and Okoye are all 'guns, ugh, so primitive'.
--In-universe: cultural taboo against firearms in Wakanda/lack of need for them due to high tech... but that wouldn't do for telling outsiders as to why they don't use them, the cultural taboo thing might be a convenient fig leaf though.
--In-universe: perhaps illegal immigration/border-crossing isn't *quite* as much a concern as we think, has been in the past but for perhaps a generation, Klaue's attack aside, hasn't been recently. Thus the traditionally large Border Tribe forces are bored and raring for action. Part of this, as well, is that Wakanda is (supposedly) very isolated. Large snow-capped mountains on one side, near impassable (and populated with a rather hostile tribe to boot). Veldt/savanna on another side; this would be where the Border Tribe comes in. If they are bordering the Congo rain forest in central Africa, then that would be another natural barrier.

Looking at a map, it occurs to me that a reasonable location for Wakanda might be near the Rwenzori Mountains in the Congo. They are snow-capped like the Jabari's land (and to boot, Virunga National Park, home of mountain gorillas, is in that area). Then you have the Congo rain forests on one side, Lakes Victoria, Edward and Albert in the area for there to be rivers for the River Tribe. Dunno about veldt/savanna, but maybe at some point in fictional-Africa's past there was more widespread deforestation on the edge of the rainforest or something.

Anyway. So it's geologically/geographically difficult to reach-- right in the middle of the continent, surrounded by rough terrain, and the terrain that isn't rough is patrolled by vigilant tribesmen. Politically... as speculated earlier, I find it quite possible that they're not above interfering with the internal affairs of countries around them to act as a buffer. Some civil war erupts in a nearby country, those countries absorb the refugees because Wakanda helps keep them peaceful enough to do so. The refugees go further... "don't go there, dude, those Wakandans are CRAZY, they'll come at you with rhinos, nobody's ever crossed the border and come back..." "so how do you guys know they come at you with rhinos?" "uh we can see them from the other side? they stand there and look pretty for all the American tourists"
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-24 02:45pm

Vendetta wrote:
2018-04-22 08:07am
Q99 wrote:
2018-04-21 10:29pm
I'll toss in the Border Tribe low-profile forces (who, keep in mind, are all wearing bulletproof/stab proof armor, I find in discussions people underestimate them which is ironic because they're designed to fool outsiders!)
The double irony is that the one thing you'd want your visible forces to have in a small African nation is the one thing they don't have. You'd expect the border tribe to be carrying AKs because they're so prevalent in Africa that Mozambique even has one on its flag.

They might think they're silly toys that are only for show, but not having them would be more suspicious...
For all we know, they have boxes and boxes full of AKs that they only take out when they're posing for foreign photographers.
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-04-24 03:39pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-24 02:45pm
Vendetta wrote:
2018-04-22 08:07am
Q99 wrote:
2018-04-21 10:29pm
I'll toss in the Border Tribe low-profile forces (who, keep in mind, are all wearing bulletproof/stab proof armor, I find in discussions people underestimate them which is ironic because they're designed to fool outsiders!)
The double irony is that the one thing you'd want your visible forces to have in a small African nation is the one thing they don't have. You'd expect the border tribe to be carrying AKs because they're so prevalent in Africa that Mozambique even has one on its flag.

They might think they're silly toys that are only for show, but not having them would be more suspicious...
For all we know, they have boxes and boxes full of AKs that they only take out when they're posing for foreign photographers.
possible but it also depends on what the members of border tribe are pretending to be, it's not like every single african owns an AK, a farmer might have older bolt action rifle or even a traditional spear or bow since if all you're gonna do is try to prevent wildlife from eating your crops/cattle assault rifles aren't the best weapon to use.

So if members of the border tribe pretend to be farmers or hunters traditional weapons wouldn't be so out of place, however for a military force and to degree police force they would be.
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-25 03:05am

Well, someone has to ('pretend to be') responsible for keeping outsiders out of the country, and it might as well be members of the Border Tribe.
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-04-25 06:45am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-25 03:05am
Well, someone has to ('pretend to be') responsible for keeping outsiders out of the country, and it might as well be members of the Border Tribe.
True enough, though depending on the size of Wakanda and the size of the border tribe, the whole of border tribe might not have to pretend to be soldiers or police and some could pretend to be civilians.

Also depending what border zone of Wakanda is like they might not need that many disguised border guards, since if the borders are say for example thick jungle with few paths thru it anyone trying to enter wakanda unannounced probably already knows about the high tech nature and thus disguises would be pointless.
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Re: Black Panther: Critical Thoughts

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-25 01:31pm

I feel like a lot of things in this thread would be more clear if we ever saw how Wakandans engaged with the outside world at their borders ;) we only ever saw T'Challa and his entourage in Nigeria and Korea. The rest of the action was pretty much all encapsulated in Wakanda.

Perhaps there'll be more in the inevitable sequel. One can only hope.
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