Marvel's Black Panther rises above almost all the superhero movies that came before it because it prioritizes its important story and its characters' motivations over the usual comic book spectacle we've come to know and expect.
Don't get us wrong, the movie has its fair share of spectacle, but nothing in its entire 135-minute runtime happens without a valid reason. That's what makes the creative team's decision to shed some light on the plight of the missing Chibok girls such an important one.
In one of the movie's first scenes, T'Challa/Black Panther and Okoye head over to the Sambisa forest in Nigeria — which is used as a shelter by the extremist terror group, Boko Haram — to extract his ex-girlfriend, Nakia from an undercover assignment and save some kidnapped girls.
The movie uses that scene to remind the world of the horrors that are still happening in Nigeria — 113 of the 276 girls that were abducted by Boko Haram in 2014 are still missing. It also takes a moment to show that young girls aren't the only victims: young boys are also abducted and trained as militants.
During an interview on The Raro Lae Show, Black Panther executive producer, Nate Moore discussed the scene:
"The notion that Wakanda exists, has all these resources, and is in Africa — a continent that is plagued by conflict of different kinds — we knew we wanted to tell a story of whether or not they'd feel a sense of responsibility.
And [missing Chibok girls] is a conflict that is unfortunately still ongoing. We wanted them to come face to face with a real thing.
We would have been cheapening what Wakanda meant if we didn't tackle that, because this is a real thing that people should be aware of if they are not. We didn't want to exploit it, we wanted to shine a light on it."
Listen to the full interview below: