Shuri is a Disney Princess
Has it dawned on anyone that Shuri, is technically a Disney Princess? Because she is. And that is absolutely amazing.
In the 2018 Marvel movie Black Panther, Letitia Wright delightfully played Princess Shuri, the sister to T’Challa.
Shuri is a young black woman who is responsible for all of the technology in Wakanda, including Black Panther’s suit. If you look at Wakanda and the scope of Black Panther’s tech, this fact alone makes her a woman who can rival Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Mr. Fantastic and Doctor Doom in regards to intellect.
This is an astonishing feat, and, this is a black woman here, which makes this absolutely amazing.
Let’s keep in mind that she is the person who did in fact de-programmed Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier’s Soviet Assassin mental programming), and healed a man from a deadly spinal wound in a matter of hours.
“She’s princess of Wakanda, but also she designs all of the new technology there. She has an innovative spirit and an innovative mind, and she wants to take Wakanda to a new place. Also, she has a great fashion sense, better than mine…” ~ Letitia Wright Actress who plays Shuri
As far as technological expertise, she seems to be an omnidisciplinary scientist/inventor, capable of diving into both the technological and medical fields which is something that not even Tony Stark (Iron Man) can do. She alone is the in-Marvel-Universe greatest subject matter expert on vibranium tech. This alone makes her BETTER than Tony Stark, rivaling even the inter-galactic inventors and tech whizzes, such as Rocket Raccoon and any named Alien race in Marvel Cinematic Universe.
And she’s a princess. Let’s sit on that one for a moment.
Past Disney Princesses
For the most part, the classic Disney princesses were young women who, painstakingly, had things done to them versus actually doing things. Many of these princesses were drugged, had spells cast on them, endured various forms of psychological torture and abuse, all to fall head over heels for a prince somewhere.
One princess, Pocahontas, was colonized, literally. Many of these Disney princesses, such as Ariel and Snow White, were too freaking young for grown ass men to be chasing, but I won’t go there.
The bigger point is the fact that most of these princesses are used to being a damsel in distress who is subservient to the customs, traditions, and social restrictions their society places on them and expects them to follow.
The more recent Disney princesses were written to be a bit more active towards their own plot. Princess Merida for example, was revolutionary for being the first Disney princess to break from such tropes. Moana to another extent is the same way; action oriented, moved the plot, make decisions versus being a damsel in distress.
Still, none of that makes them better than Shuri, however. In fact, none of them hold a candle to Shuri.
Off of Frozen, even Anna doesn’t hold a candle to Shuri. Elsa, the Ice Queen (she’s actually a queen though) doesn’t even compare to Shuri. She’s simply the best.
Black Nerds Rule
“She’s so vibrant; a beautiful spirit, but also so focused on what she does. And that’s good for other people to see, especially young people to see, because it’s like, “Look, there’s a young black girl who loves technology and she’s from Africa.” It’s something refreshing.” ~ Letitia Wright
Let’s keep in mind that Shuri, who has an god-level intellect surpassing Iron Man for Christ’s sake, also isn’t an insufferable genius type, who always thinks they are right, who creates as many problems as one solves. Iron Man has more than once, created his own enemies. Shuri never have, nor would she ever even if she was in Stark’s place.
Shuri, young and intelligent as she is, is simply the life of the party, letting the world know that it’s possible to be intelligent and enjoy your work, family, and the people around you at the same time. Shuri, is essentially a black nerd, and all of her work — this vibranium tech — is black girl magic.
Simply the Best Disney Princess
Full disclosure: for those who have not been tracking, Shuri has eaten the heart-shaped herb before and taken up the Black Panther Mantle in the comics. Due to this fact, she is the only woman we can count on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe who can possibly appear literally as the Black Panther in T’Challa’s place.
So yes. If you understand how amazing Black Panther is, you also understand how badass Shuri is. All of this — the things before Shuri and the things to come — makes her the biggest, baddest Disney Princess ever seen. And that’s worth mentioning.
Black girl magic wins again. And maybe there will be real life Shuris arriving on the scene, inspired by such a great character.