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Nakia Should Be The Focus Of Ryan Coogler's Upcoming Disney+ MCU Series

With "Wakanda Forever" surprising absolutely no one by smashing the box office on its first weekend with an incredible $330 million, it's clear that audiences are still keen to go back to the world of the Black Panther and the new hero that is taking up the mantle. "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," the heartfelt sequel to the first film that turned the late, great Chadwick Boseman into an icon as T'Challa now sees his on-screen sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), donning the legendary suit with claws to match. And yet, even though Wakanda has a new protector, there are still areas of this fan-favorite spot of land in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that is honing characters bursting with potential.

When we left "Wakanda Forever," (well, we hope not, right?) Okoye was still seemingly stripped of her title as general of the Dora Milaje after being told off by Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett). There was also a potential shift in power, with M'Baku (Winston Duke) again throwing his name into the hat on Challenge Day to take the throne. While both of those characters are compelling enough to tell a strong story, it feels like Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), despite her absence in the past, might be the one character in the world of "Black Panther" that could be a hugely effective avenue to go down in the future.

A Nakia spin-off show would be the perfect start of spin-offs from Wakanda's finest

In 2021, it was confirmed Ryan Coogler was developing Disney+ spin-off series branching off from Wakanda. Details were slim on what it would entail, but now, after factoring in the massive revelation of T'Challa's unknown son being brought to light, it posits some interesting questions that would make for a great storyline to be dished out in a weekly dose. Given T'Challa II's age, it's safe to say that Nakia both gave birth and has been bringing up the secret heir to the Panther tribe during the five-year gap post-blip, seemingly on her own. How? What did it take for Wakanda's top spy to keep the arrival of her new son, the heir to the legendary Black Panther, under wraps? Here, as they say, where the plot thickens.

Nakia's solo story as a mother and spy-in-hiding could play like part "Terminator," part "Atomic Blonde." Nyong'o could be a Sarah Connor of sorts, resorting to her experience in espionage and infiltration to traverse a chaotic time post-blip, trying to remain undetected as the mother and protector of a then-future king to the most powerful nation in the world. With so much on the line, this personal mission could provide Nakia with an edge we've never seen before, and one that would potentially lead her back to an area into the MCU that was part of a much-loved big-screen installment and a warmly received Disney+ series. 

Nakia could be a re-entry into the world of spies and some familiar faces

Even with impressive masters of the mystic arts and tech-savvy suit-wearing heroes, some of Marvel's most substantial projects have highlighted simple human beings as high-level super spies. For many, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier still stands as the best the MCU has had to offer with its cloak, dagger, and star-spangled shield thrills. It was an energy that was only met in certain areas when "Falcon and the Winter Soldier" attempted to echo some of what made that film great. Nakia could be the refreshing jolt the MCU area needs to recapture, revisiting locations and characters that were only recently added to the Marvel Cinematic Universe map.

With Sam and Bucky's globetrotting mission that hit Disney+, audiences were sent to Mandripoor, which linked to mutant activity in the comics, felt more like a hive of spy activity in a world below the radar of our own. While we don't know how 'connected' Nakia is to spies from other corners of the globe, it would be great to see Nyong'o's compelling character visit that domain, crossing paths with the likes of Sharon Carter and dangers lurking in the shadows for a mother-to-be with a collection of fake passports. This element of reality could be a jarring but necessary addition to the Disney+ shows and one that could elevate the franchise the same way another show from one of Disney's mega IPs is doing at the moment.

Nakia could take from Andor's battle plans in bringing realism back to the MCU

Disney might be taking desperate measures to bump up the viewing ratings for its latest "Star Wars" show, but it shouldn't need to, given the quality the series has delivered. "Andor," the prequel to "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," has been praised for feeling daringly detached from the franchise it's spawned from and the mature and realistic themes it examines. Overused as it may be, this really feels like a "Star Wars" show for people that don't like "Star Wars," and Nakia could do the same for those that aren't a fan of Marvel.

There's no doubt that Lupita Nyong'o has the screen presence to take the lead on a project of her own, and as Nakia, the multilingual scout for Wakanda, it would be a great opportunity. An outsider inside opposing countries that sees this newly revealed one as a threat struck hard in the opening of "Wakanda Forever," but would be equally compelling with Nakia observing it undercover. Suppose Disney was feeling brave with the idea. In that case, they could always take some notes from "Andor" showrunner Tony Gilroy as well, possibly as a collaborator to share the wisdom he applied to the "Star Wars" show as well as "The Bourne Identity" and "Michael Clayton." This sort of creative impact could be the necessary perspective the MCU needs going forward after a phase many haven't been content with.

Nakia could test the realistic waters for a more mature MCU

There's no doubt that while "Wakanda Forever" sent Phase Four out on a high, the films that preceded it haven't been that welcome. "Thor: Love and Thunder" met a hugely mixed reception, with only the likes of "Shang-Chi: The Legend of the Ten Rings" being one of the resounding hits in theatres. With that in mind, Marvel might need to mix things up and Nakia would be an excellent direction for them to go in, given what's planned in the future. With the likes of "Blade" and "Deadpool" on the way, a story like Nakia could ease the family-friendly franchise into slightly harsher territory. One where boundaries are pushed further than "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" or even elements of "Wakanda Forever" teased.

For the time being, all we know is that a series set in Wakanda is still in the pipeline, but whatever direction it takes us, we can only hope that Nakia is one of the characters that gets time to shine in the future. In the little screen time she's had, this Oscar-winning actress has done an exceptional job so that when we finally found her secret, it was heartbreaking and reassuring to know the future of the Panther tribe was in good hands. Who knows when we might see the former love of King T'Challa return in the future, but here's just hoping that we don't have to wait forever.