Sitting down with The New York Times, Coogler narrated a chase sequence as a part of their Anatomy of a Scene series. As a Kendrick Lamar song from the Black Panther: The Album soundtrack blares in the background, the two-minute scene follows T'Challa and his sister Shuri during an action scene. He explained that the pairing hinted at one of the film's themes: traditionalists vs. innovators.
"The whole idea for this scene is we wanted to have a car chase that was unlike any car chase we had seen before—combining the technology of Wakanda and juxtaposing that with the tradition of this African warrior culture," Coogler said. "In our film, we kind of broke down characters between traditionalists and innovators."
Coogler continued, "We always thought it would be fun to contrast these pairings of an innovator with a traditionalist. T'Challa is a traditionalist when we first meet him. His younger sister Shuri is an innovator. So we paired them together. In the other car we have Nakia and Okoye, which is also a traditionalist and innovator pairing. Nakia is a spy, who we learn is kind of unconventional. Okoye is a staunch traditionalist, probably one of our most traditional characters in the film. You know, she doesn't really like being in clothes that aren't Wakandan, and this scene is kind of about her bringing the Wakandan out."
In a new interview with NPR published Thursday, Coogler discussed how he travelled to Africa for film research in hopes of answering the question, "What does it mean to be African?"
Coogler explained, "For me, it was about this question of 'What does it mean to be African?' It was a question I couldn't answer. When I was taking this project, it was a question I needed to answer about myself, you know, which is the personal connection that I'm talking about. And it's a question that sounds specific, but it's actually universal for a lot of reasons. I mean if you ask yourself, 'Now what does it mean to be Ukrainian?' or 'What does it mean to be Eurasian?' it's a deep question, right, if you think about it. It's not a question you can answer with one word. But it's a question you can spend your life trying to figure out, and have fun doing it, I truly believe."
You can watch the chase scene commentary at the top of the page. Black Panther is now in theaters everywhere.