Marvel’s What If…?
Season 1 Episode 2
What If…T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?
The rough and tumble space pirates known as the Ravegers abduct T’Challa instead of Peter Quill.
In another series of twists, The Watcher beings this episode with a conversation about nature versus nurture and it is interesting considering the premise of the episode. What happens next is something I wasn’t expecting when Korath (voiced by Djimon Hounsou) gets the drop on T’Challa aka Star-Lord and gives him the kind of greeting Peter Quill wished he received. The scene is incredibly funny and I love seeing Chadwick Boseman return as T’Challa, even if it’s only his voice. It’s such a fun scene and I love the tone of it.
There is a definite tonal shift in the episode that makes it engaging especially seeing how T’Challa’s presence changes everyone around him including Yondu. We also get to see the circumstances of how T’Challa was taken by the Ravegers in the first place and the explanation is actually really interesting. There are more changes to the galaxy based on T’Challa’s presence and those changes are both comedic and entertaining especially with characters like Nebula and Thanos.
Their latest job entails stealing something from The Collector and their diversion requires drawing out the Black Order. After T’Challa secures the help of Howard the Duck, he continues his way through The Collector’s collection until he stumbles on a ghost from his past. As he learns the truth, he discovers that not only has he been betrayed by everyone around him, but that the Collector wanted him for a very specific reason.
The episode is a fun, raucous trip from start to finish. The tone is perfect for the Guardians of the Galaxy and it was interesting to see how a character like T’Challa navigated that world. The cast was great and I loved the themes of family throughout the episode especially the T’Challa/Yondu dynamic and Thanos/Nebula. The episode is filled with awesome Easter Eggs for the trained viewer and its entire tone was inventive and entertaining.