Updated: Feb 10, 2022
Episode Two of What If? Where do I start here… a story about how the future leader of Wakanda ends up being one of the best people to wander through space?
Oh! I know where! We’ll start there! At first I wasn’t too sure how this would work. The idea of T’Challa becoming Star-Lord seems like a stretch on paper. Their stories are very different; almost to the point of Prince and Pauper stat. Actually, almost exactly that.
So it wasn’t at all surprising that the Ravagers picked him up accidentally and Yondu just kinda shrugged it off. Honestly, very on point for these characters.
It’s also very on brand that T’Challa would have a very different handle on the Star-Lord title. While Quill wanted to be known as the Infamous Star-Lord, T’Challa was not only able to bring the name a bit of fame, but also turn himself into Space Robin Hood rather than just some kind of basic thief.
The episode continues on by showing us a lot of familiar faces. He still works closely with Yondu and the Ravagers; having gone so far to actually make them turn a new leaf. No more just being hired hands to kidnap unsuspecting celestial children and doing things only for the money. They’re playing it straight now!
Korath’s being a huge fanboy was a cute little touch. He would be completely gaga over T’Challa Star-lord. (Honestly same, Korath. Same…)
Of course, we also get a glimpse into the old Guardians crew. And by “Guardians Crew” I mean Drak’s and Nebula. It would seem T’Challa has done great things for the galaxy, including things having to do with Kree invasions and the philosophies of a certain mad titan. So, while the Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t a team, the members might be a little bit better off.
The episode centers itself with the appearance of Nebula. She tasks T’Challa with obtaining the Embers of Genesis; a substance that would bring back a dying planet with only a few tiny shards. The problem?
They have to get it from the Collector.
This episode has so many great cameos and easter eggs in it. Even Howard the Duck had a little bit of time to shine. Someday, I hope to see another full length movie featuring him. I know I shouldn’t wish such things on the world, but I still have hope for the silly things in Marvel.
The Collector also gets to be a little more badass than we’ve seen in the past. And, of course, what’s a little Yondu moment without their being a blatant lie that he told his kid to protect him? The relationship between Yondu and T’Challa versus Yondu and Peter is a little different. There’s definitely more of a father-son thing going for Peter, but that’s also the nature of their characters.
Speaking of which, the ending of this episode could have you worried for this particular universe.
I also felt a little misty-eyed when the episode showed its dedication at the very end. Chadwick Boseman brought something to the universe that no other can replace. I always loved T’Challa as a character and to see him played so well is something special. He will always be remembered and deserves every bit of that dedication.
It’s going to be a hard follow-up for the next episode, but I do trust the Watcher to have something nice in store for us.