The Lumberjack student newspaper
Illustration by Abby LeForge.

Black Panther pounces on box office expectations


The anticipation for this movie has been building since Marvel made its initial announcement. With everything being promoted – the soundtrack, the trailer and the cast – the hype surrounding Black Panther was at stake.

The opening weekend finally arrives and the movie itself is beautiful and exciting.

Black Panther is an exploration of afro-futurism disguised as a superhero movie. Afro-futurism is a genre of science fiction that shows the future of the African people beyond colonialism.

The fictional nation that takes place in the film, Wakanda, is hidden away from the world to protect its resources. Inside Wakanda is a greatly advanced nation with technology far superior to any other nation on Earth.

Wakanda is the primary source of vibranium, the strongest fictional metal in the Marvel universe. This metal is the source of all technological advancements in Wakanda and makes up the armor of the main character, King T’Challa, who is the Black Panther.

Black Panther takes the throne after his father’s death, shown in the previous Marvel installment “Captain America: Civil War.” T’Challa must protect Wakanda from the outside world as villain N’Jadaka, also known as Killmonger, tries to take vibranium in hopes of helping the oppressed people of the world.

T’Challa has to learn how to be a king on his own terms and not take from his father’s mistakes. An ongoing question as the film develops is if it’s possible to share one’s resources without the threat of a hungry nation trying to take from another country.

The story is an analogy to colonialism, or outsiders trying to take over a country for its resources and knowledge. This ongoing act has been repeated all over Africa, the Americas, Australia and throughout Asia in the film.

Afro-futurism is a speculation of what the future would look like if colonization didn’t happen and a country was allowed to progress without outside influences. That is Wakanda. Its residents, army and monarchy have strong influences from various African nations in its costumes and through its technology.

Black Panther’s suit has subtle African designs. The ships look like traditional African masks and creatures. There are even armored rhinoceros that look intense and awesome.

Wakanda’s warriors are primarily women, which defies Western ideas of an army. The general, Okoye, is a highly trained warrior who is dedicated to her country. One of Wakanda’s spies, Nakia, is intelligent and empathetic.

T’Challa’s sister, Shuri, is a tech genius who makes weapons and is constantly improving her technology as she’s cracking jokes. None of the women are sexualized or have their abilities downplayed. All the women are equally badass than their male counterparts, if not more.

Killmonger is a complex villain, as he is torn between his Wakandan roots and upbringing in Oakland. He is angry about his father’s death and takes it out through murder, hence the name Killmonger. Black Panther and Killmonger represent a battle of colonized ideology versus traditional values.

There are some tidbits that prevent it from being a great film. There are some inconsistencies with the technological capabilities. The story is a little weak and the villain’s motivations are unclear whether the need for resources is either for selfish reasons or the greater good.

Although the landscapes are beautiful and imaginative, the cinematography was uninspired and didn’t maximize the beauty of the film. However, the vast amount of work and attention to detail on the appearance of the film and its characters overshadow nitpicking observations.

The future does not belong to Western civilization. The future can have roots in tradition and can honor ancestors. If this film is influential enough, there could be a multicultural future in science fiction and possibly in real life.


Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination