What If...? Ep 2 Takeaways: Chadwick Boseman's final hurrah as T'Challa turned Star-Lord is a perfect tribute
What If...? Ep 2 poses a universe-bending question; What If... T'Challa became a Star-Lord?
*SPOILERS ALERT* After leaving us thrilled with the prospect of Peggy (Hayley Atwell) as Captain Carter in What If...? Ep 1, the Disney+ series left us an emotional mess with its second episode. In what was his final appearance in the MCU, the late Chadwick Boseman's soft but equally commanding voice answered the intriguing question; What If... T'Challa Became a Star-Lord? Well, let's find out!
In What If...? Ep 2, we're given the following scenario of how Yondu (Michael Rooker) and the Ravagers mistakenly kidnap T'Challa instead of Ego's (Kurt Russell) son Peter Quill (Not Chris Pratt but Brian T. Delaney). What it entails is a more quick-witted Star-Lord, a galactic hero, who is admired by many fans including Korath (Djimon Hounsou), who he encounters, battles and enlists during T'Chaka's acquisition of the Orb containing the Power Stone on Morag. Along with T'Challa, Yondu and Korath, a surprising addition to the Ravagers is Thanos (Josh Brolin), who is surprisingly not the bad guy, along with Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Kraglin Obfonteri (Sean Gunn). And instead of The Mad Titan, it's The Collector (Benicio del Toro), who is the main antagonist in T'Chaka's path as the latter tries to steal "the Embers of Genesis, nutrient-rich cosmic dust from an ancient supernova with the power to terraform entire ecosystems." In T'Challa's words, it would "eradicate hunger across the galaxy."
Here are the five takeaways from What If...? Ep 2:
T'Challa is more quick-witted than Peter Quill as Star-Lord
From the get-go, we're introduced to T'Challa as a smarter version of Star-Lord with everyone respectful of his kind-hearted "Robin Hood" personality. Even without his Black Panther moniker, T'Challa's aims to make the world (or in this case the galaxy!) a better place is unchangeable in any alternate reality. Speaking of his good deeds...
Thanos is... good?
While Thanos wreaked havoc in the MCU, what with eradicating half of Earth's population in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, in What If...? Ep 2, we see The Mad Titan as the good guy. How? All because of T'Challa, who showed Thanos that "there was more than one way to reallocate the universe's resources," which was, in T'Challa's own wise words, "Sometimes the best weapon in your arsenal is just a good argument" However, Thanos is still of the humble opinion that "genocide" is "efficient." Speaking of Thanos...
'Triple Cross' Nebula on the loose
Nebula, in a blonde hairdo and fiery attitude, still very much hates her father for Thanos' misdeeds aimed at his adopted daughter but T'Challa is of the opinion that the dad-daughter duo needs counselling to work out their grievances. In Knowhere, while it appears as if Nebula may have betrayed T'Challa & Co. to pay her debt to The Collector, T'Challa was in on her plan all along. In a triple cross attempt, we see Nebula rescuing the other Ravagers, including her father (by putting the Embers of Genesis to good use!) when Thanos tries to be the martyr for his teammates. We see the duo kick some major butt with Nebula eventually playing the awkward girl embarrassed by her flirtatious father's antics... in Wakanda!
T'Challa finds his way back to Wakanda
T'Challa and Yondu are successfully able to defeat (using the Sticky Fingers playbook!) The Collector and escape Knowhere. It was earlier revealed to T'Challa that Yondu had lied to him about Wakanda being destroyed as he found a spacecraft sent by his father T'Chaka (John Kani). However, after their successful heist and an emotional chat, the two reconcile and even return to Wakanda with the rest of the Ravagers. We also get a cameo from Dora Milaje's Okoye (Danai Gurira). When T'Chaka sternly enquires about how his son landed on Yondu's spaceship, T'Challa makes the save for Yondu interjecting, "I was lost, Baba. Yondu found me."
Peter Quill's destiny & Easter eggs
"And from one family reunion to another...," The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) narrates. With T'Challa taking up the Star-Lord moniker, what's in Peter Quill's fate? Well, Ego, filled with cruel intentions, does get his hands on his son, at a fast-food joint, as The Watcher quips, "Too bad this might spell the end of the world. But that's a story for another day." Besides Howard the Duck's (Seth Green) hilarious cameo, we find out that Drax's (Not Batista but Fred Tatasciore) wife and daughter are still alive, thanks to T'Challa saving his home from a Kree invasion. Drax's dry humour and the selfies with T'Chaka (Drax makes them take another one because he feels T'Chaka looks "terrible" even though he looks "great!) were a highlight!
Also, there were the obvious Easter eggs with Captain America's shield, Thor's hammer Mjolnir, Hela's deadly horns and necrosword and even "a dagger forged in dark matter taken from" the Dark Elves' ruler. Could you imagine T'Challa holding the Mjolnir because let's face it, he's more than worthy!
Side Note: We loved the flirty interactions between T'Challa and Nebula, whose nickname for the former is Cha-Cha. Nebula says if T'Challa, "I don't know. He looks pretty great from where I'm standing," as the two appreciatively call out to the other.
At the episode's conclusion, a banner reads: "Dedicated to our friend, our inspiration, and our hero Chadwick Boseman." As expected, MCU fans were left numb with this heartbreaking yet perfect tribute to the late, always cherished actor, who made Black Panther immortal.
Which was your favourite moment from What If...? Ep 2? Share your personal picks with Pinkvilla in the comments section below.
Meanwhile, What If...? Ep 3 will be out on August 25.
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