Black Panther celebrated a record-breaking opening weekend on its way to becoming Rotten Tomatoes' highest-rated live-action superhero movie ever. And while the movie itself exceeded some very high expectations, it was also jam-packed with easter eggs, references and cameos that hawk-eyed fans were quick to notice.
Some of these hidden gems included references to comics, locations that the movie was shot at, and links to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other properties.
If you haven’t seen Black Panther yet and care about spoilers, stop reading now. Otherwise, enjoy the five best easter eggs found in Disney’s latest blockbuster below.
At the beginning of the movie, viewers are treated to flashbacks of when T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka, was still king of Wakanda and the Black Panther. The flashbacks are set in two different time periods, with the older T’Chaka played by South African actor John Kani and the younger version played by his real-life son, Atandwa Kani.
Additionally, Stan Lee, as always, makes a cameo appearance as the old gambler that offers to “take care of” T’Challa’s winnings at the South Korean casino.
The film starts and ends in a neighborhood in Oakland, California, which might seem strange considering Black Panther is from a fictional African country called Wakanda. However, when considering the fact that director Ryan Coogler is from Oakland and that the political Black Panther movement also has roots there, this decision makes a lot more sense.
Ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
There are multiple links to other Marvel movies, most notably Captain America: Civil War. Early in the movie, a BBC report ties Baron Zemo to the death of T’Chaka which, in this timeline, happened a week prior to the beginning of Black Panther.
Another notable reference is when everyone’s favorite Disney princess, Princess Shuri, complains that she’s been handed “another broken white boy to fix.” She’s talking about Bucky, Captain America’s trustworthy sidekick, whom Shuri outfitted with a vibranium alloy shield and new arm.
Pop culture references
The links and references to other movies are not limited to the MCU, as Back to the Future is brought up in conversation as that “old American movie T’Chaka used to love watching.” This reference occurs when Shuri presents her brother with his new shoes, which feature self-lacing technology similar to that seen on the Nike Air Mags in the '80s cult-classic.
Black Panther even managed to incorporate actual memes into the movie, the highlight being when Shuri makes fun of her brother’s choice in traditional Wakandan footwear by asking him “what are those?!”
Shuri’s character is an homage to James Bond movies, as she assumes the role of Black Panther’s “Q,” working behind-the-scenes to develop tech to help the hero overcome his enemies.
A Marvel movie isn’t quite the same without a post-credit scene (or two, in the case of Black Panther). In the first scene, T’Challa is seen talking to the United Nations Council about Wakanda’s willingness to emerge from its self-imposed exile and help the world. It also includes a line about how the wise build bridges and fools build walls – which may or may not be a shot at Donald Trump’s Mexico wall.
In the second scene, Bucky is seen for the first time since Captain America: Civil War. He’s all fixed up and people are calling him the “White Wolf,” which is another Marvel character whose parents die in a plane crash near Wakanda, where he is then raised in the country as one of them.
For a more in-depth view of the easter eggs, references, and cameos, be sure to check out the video below.
In other news, check out how Ludwig Göransson made “Wakanda” from the Black Panther soundtrack.