If you saw Black Panther this weekend (of course you did, because you're a g*d damn adult who makes good life choices), you probably walked out of the theater ready to elect Shuri as queen of whatever country you live in. Shuri is the younger sister of T'Challa and also happens to be the most brilliant person in all of Wakanda.
While simply the existence of the Black Panther film has made obvious strides in representation for the MCU, Shuri is a whole other reason to get excited about the future (and there are already a few think pieces that make this point). Played by Letitia Wright, Shuri is a stand-out character in Black Panther. In a cast comprised of basically the most talented humans on Earth, that's saying a lot.
But it's not just Shuri's wit and ability to keep her brother's ego in check that make us love her. She also happens to be the person behind all of the coolest tech in Wakanda.
Tiny, marble-sized balls that emit an electromagnetic pulse and knock out power so her brother (and Nakia) can stop some human traffickers? Her invention.
Stylish beaded bracelets that are like your cell phone, smartwatch, and complete Wakandan control center all in one? Hers.
A nanoparticle Black Panther suit that emerges from some excellent jewelry, stores/redirects kinetic energy, and keeps T'Challa looking great AND intimidating in the process? SHURI'S IDEA.
A massive, countrywide magnetic bullet train lined with sonic emitters that renders Vibranium inert so it can be safely transported all over the country and doesn't accidentally blow the whole thing sky-high? EAT YOUR HEART OUT, ELON MUSK.
Plus she's got the badass skills to keep Wakanda safe. JUST LOOK.
Oh, and did we mention she is ONLY A TEENAGER?! AND A PRINCESS. Can she be our best friend, please?
Shuri is not only an inspiration to teenage girls (and everyone else too, tbh) but especially to those interested in science and technology. Statistics of women in STEM fields are abysmally low, and representation in media isn't all that great either. Superheroes save the world usually using special powers, but Shuri's "powers" are her brains and hard work -- nothing accidental about it.
Not to get too cheesy, but perhaps her greatest superpower is the confidence she has in herself. She doesn't doubt her abilities or tech. It's awesome. She's awesome. You don't need to tell her (but she certainly won't say no to the compliment). If we could each have half as much confidence in our abilities as Shuri does, WHAT A WORLD IT WOULD BE.
And it doesn't hurt to have Angela Bassett as a mom.