‘Avengers: Infinity War’s Wakanda Connection Plays into the Fight against Thanos

Since only EW was invited to the set of Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War–and no one else was, nope, definitely not–we’ll have to rely on their insight and intellect when it comes to piecing together the mysteries of the superhero movie. We’ll do our best to connect the dots.

As part of the rambling write-up from EW, we’ve learned a bit about the setting of Wakanda–recently revealed in the smash-hit Black Panther–and what role it will play in the events of Infinity War. Obviously the answer is: A big one! Thanos himself and some, if not all, of his Black Order soldiers have descended upon the once hidden nation in order to claim one of the legendary Infinity Stones. And if you’ve been paying attention to the MCU over the last few years, you probably know the one.

Image via Marvel Studios

Nope! Not the missing Soul Stone, or at least that’s not the main gem Thanos is after in Wakanda. Instead, it’s the Mind Stone that’s currently providing the android Vision (Paul Bettany) with all his incredible power. The problem is, the Avengers have chosen to bring Vision to Wakanda as their best hope to defend him and keep the stone out of Thanos’ titanic grip. Protecting him are Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), with others soon to join as earlier marketing material confirmed.

Here’s what co-director Anthony Russo had to say about Vision:

“Vision is a living MacGuffin. Obviously, that raises the stakes because Vision’s life is in danger, and his life is in conflict with Thanos’ goals, so something’s got to give. Cap makes the decision to bring [Vision] here to Wakanda, Earth is making its last stand to keep the stone from Thanos. It’s the best place to make your last stand.”

So why Wakanda? Well, as you and millions of others saw in Black Panther, it’s a nation of warriors who are quite capable of defending themselves against all sorts of foes when they’re not fighting amongst each other. But since they’re now known to the world at large due to the goal of lifting up the downtrodden with the help of their technology, Wakanda is also exposed and open to attack in all sorts of new ways. Chadwick Boseman, the Wakandan king T’Challa and the Black Panther himself, clarifies the history of the indomitable African nation:

“It’s never been conquered, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been challenged.”

Image via Marvel Studios

And to keep that centuries-long win streak intact, the Wakandans will need a little outside help from folks like Captain America. Boseman continued:

“They trust each other. His shield was already made from Vibranium anyway. So it’s just an extension of what he already had. This time, actually giving it to him … is a testament to our relationship and trust.”

Trust and solidarity among both old and new allies is going to be the major thrust of the heroes’ story in this installment. Danai Gurira‘s Dora Milaje boss Okoye now finds herself not only defending a wide-open Wakanda but also working alongside some pretty bizarre superheroes. Here’s what Gurira had to say:

“Change is scary, but I think the learning curve is to become a citizen of the world versus a citizen of Wakanda.”

Co-director Joe Russo commented further on the divided team’s attempt to unify in the face of a grave, world-ending threat:

“They’re fractured at the start of the movie. It was always the intent, in a larger arc, to split the Avengers up before the greatest threat that they’ve ever seen. Thanos is a virtually indestructible character, which makes him an extremely difficult character to fight.”

Image via Disney/Marvel

Anthony Russo chimed in:

“In the face of this, it’s like, ‘Can you overcome the divisions that have developed between you to face a common cause?’ That’s really the question.”

That is the question. And we’ll see how it’s answered when Avengers: Infinity War opens on April 27th.

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