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Fans Can't Get Enough Of The Whales In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

It's no secret that the Marvel Cinematic Universe can get a bit weird. One only has to look as far as the "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies to get that notion. As movies inspired by comic books, it would only make sense that the films themselves adapt some of these more absurd ideas in their own special way. While it might seem at the outset that "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" would be devoid of any such camp elements given its heavy subject matter, it wouldn't be a true-blue comic book film without at least a little something to give it some flavor.

The film focuses on the nation of Wakanda as they battle with a powerful underwater civilization following the sudden death of King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman). The underwater civilization in question, Talokan, not only gave Wakanda its greatest struggle yet, but it brought audiences to a new corner of the already-expansive realms of the MCU playing field. Exploring how Talokan works as a society was certainly fascinating, with one particular aspect standing out for many fans and viewers — their mode of transportation.

While some MCU heroes and villains use flight, fancy airships, or inexplicable portals to get themselves from place to place, the people of Talokan choose to ride whales. The Talkonians latch on to the marine mammals to leap out of the water and transport several people at once. As silly as the idea might sound, it's one that fans have found quite amusing.   

The whales were the true MVPs according to fans

The whales that the Talokanians use as transport in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" might have caught fans off guard at first, but quickly became a welcome addition to the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Several fan reactions have come out that have made a point to mention the aquatic animals. On Twitter, user @AmnesiacOwl made sure to make mention of the true heroes of the film, commenting, "Also shout out to the real MVP's of 'Wakanda Forever.' Taxi Whales incredible work guys really getting people where they need to be." 

Even more fans talked about the whales on Reddit, where a subreddit thread about the release of "Wakanda Forever" created by u/PhoOhThree made mention of them. Redditor u/Lordsokka commented, "Whales are a very cool animal, the world can do with more whale inclusion" which saw a number of responses. A reply made by another Redditor made a daring comparison by saying, "'Citizen Kane' was really lacking in whales." Meanwhile, Redditor u/DarkDonut75 poignantly commented, "It's about time us whales had our representation in Hollywood movies." They are truly an underrepresented group. 

Although the power to control whales is a more common trait for Namor's comic book adversary Orka, it nevertheless made a natural choice for the film, giving Talokan a greater advantage in battle. However, no matter what the origins of this ability might have been, their inclusion in the film was made to be funny in more ways than one. 

The whales had an inside joke attached to their inclusion

The whales in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" were a fun addition for audiences. But for the film's director and co-writer Ryan Coogler, the joke went deeper. In an interview with SlashFilm, he explained the meaning of the inside joke during their encounter with Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Shuri (Letitia Wright) on the bridge. "That was one that we thought up, and it is interesting," the "Creed" director commented. "Because the whole movie, Okoye is very cynical — our most cynical characters are probably her and M'Baku — and it was always an inside joke for us to have those two be the ones that encounter the whales and just how crazy that is. There's something funny about it to me, personally." 

He goes on to explain how he took inspiration from his memories of SeaWorld and Marine World where he would see orcas perform amazing tricks. However, after seeing the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," a film that centered around the controversy of captive orcas, at the Sundance Film Festival — where Coogler's directorial debut "Fruitvale Station" was also playing — the director was left in shock. His inclusion of the whales in "Wakanda Forever," as a result, was meant to be seen as something awe-inspiring and head-turning at the same time. 

Regardless of the meaning of the whales in "Wakanda Forever," their addition was a welcome one that offered a bit of levity in a story dealing with the loss of such an iconic figure.