With Black Panther, the MCU gave nerd girls a new Disney princess we could proudly rally around in Shuri. Played by the spirited and charismatic Letitia Wright, Shuri is not only T'Challa's sass-slinging little sister, not only the fierce and fashionable princess of Wakanda, not only a mighty fighter with powerful blasters as her weapons, but she's one of the greatest engineers the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever seen. And while the first three qualities are major reasons we want to see much more of her in upcoming MCU fare, it's that last one that's got us convinced Shuri will play a major role in Avengers: Infinity War.
Spoilers for Black Panther lie ahead.
In the post-credit sequence, Black Panther picks up a thread dropped at the end of Captain America: Civil War. Though absent from the action of Wakanda's civil war, Bucky Barnes (aka, The Winter Soldier) was chilling with a local tribe, where Shuri visits him. On its surface, theirs is a pleasant but seemingly meaningless exchange. But this scene isn't so much about what's there, but what's not: Bucky's robot arm, which was spotted in the Infinity War trailer.
In Civil War, Iron Man dismembered Bucky's Hydra-made cybernetic limb in their epic battle. Then, in a diplomatic move toward his new super friends, T'Challa (aka, the Black Panther) took in Bucky as a political refugee, hiding him in the secretive nation of Wakanda. But with Black Panther bringing Wakanda's top-secret tech to the world, it won't be long before Bucky might come out of hiding too. First, he'll need a new arm. And who better to build it than the mastermind behind the most technologically advanced super suits the MCU has seen?
Forget Tony Stark's briefcase suit. Sure, he had bracelets that helped the Mark VII find him on the fly. But none of that compares to Shuri's Black Panther designs, which unfurled an efficiently armored full-body suit from a single, masculine necklace.
She even designed it in two colors!
Now imagine her genius applied to building Bucky's arm. The Winter Soldier will need a mighty left to properly throw down against Thanos. Forget his titanium clunker; Shuri can construct him one made of vibranium, the same incomparable material as Cap's shield! She could equip it with blasters like she brandished in the big Black Panther battle scene. And I'm sure she'd concoct some cool new gizmos to give it some extra pizzazz.
Maybe best of all, imagine the look on Tony Stark's face when he realizes a teen girl designed something so elegant, so mighty, and so damn cool. Maybe he'd be so impressed that MCU could pave their way to making Shuri the franchise's female version Iron Man. Shuri could be Iron Heart and a superhero in her own right!
I mean, a princess can dream.