So at the start of the movie, Killmonger and this character are working together:

Ulysses Klaue.

Eventually though

Killmonger kills Ulysses and uses his body as leverage to gain the Border Tribe's favor or something.

But now I'm wondering:

Why did Killmonger go through all the trouble and danger of robbing the museum? Why didn't he just kill Ulysses at first glance and immediately head to Wakanda?

  • 2
    He needed Ulysses Klaue to be back on Wakanda's radar. Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 18:31
  • @JackBNimble Uhh...what?
    – LCIII
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 18:36
  • 1
    He probably was working with Klaue until the opportunity to betray him came up. Klaue had armed henchmen for the robbery and meeting. When Killmonger made his move, there was no one loyal to Klaue around (except a pilot if I remember right)
    – Nolimon
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 18:50
  • Too many spoiler tags.
    – Lexible
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 18:50

2 Answers 2



  • This is hard to answer without spoilers...
  • Assuming he knew something (from his father or other sources) about the time frame it would take for T'Challa to be crowned after his father's death it is very likely that:

He was trying to draw out King T'Challa because usurping the throne would look better if the current King failed before he succeeded.

So as we learn during the movie, Killmonger is

A kick ass military might that uses deadly and merciless tactics to achieve his goals. According to Everett K. Ross at some point in the movie, he was part of a team for the CIA that started coups and used pinpoint assassinations to upend countries to make it easier to manipulate them into doing things that they want.

Given this:

Killmonger knows usurping the throne is easier if you can prove that you are able to accomplish a task that the current King was too weak to complete. This is why Killmonger set up and ensured that T'Challa failed his mission. Had this not been his plan why would he have stopped him? Therefore, drawing out Klaue triggered the Wakandans into action, additionally all those affected by his actions (W'Kabi) were seriously looking for him to be brought to justice. Everyone also knew that this was the best (and possible last) chance to get him.


After T'Challa failed, and the anger and depression of the failure had a chance to set in, Killmonger went straight to W'Kabi (I am sure that he had current sources to tell him current dealings of the Wakandans to know that this was the village to go to and W'Kabi was the one to talk to...) and laid the body at his feet. This was the best and easiest way he had to be delivered straight to the throne room to issue his challenge as well as ensure he would have at least some loyal support after becoming King.

  • 1
    I don't think you should bother with spolier tags, since anyone reading the OP's question must then know that the answers will reveal movie plot points.
    – Lexible
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 7:20
  • 1
    @Lexible - I felt the same way, but someone also pointed out to me before that people linking into the site might not get that warning and, of course, better safe than sorry... rather have it and not need it and all that jazz...
    – Odin1806
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 17:29

Like all good evil genius plots, this one is multi-staged:

1) Set up the bank robbery to draw Klaue out of hiding. 2) Allow Klaue to get caught. 3) Help Klaue escape so Wakanda feels let down by leadership. 4) Kill Klaue. 5) Bring Klaue to Wakanda and boast, "See what I did that your all powerful leader could not?"

If Killmonger just skipped directly to step 5, he wouldn't have the "I'm better/I'm the true protector of Wakanda" air about him.

  • 2
    Is it possible his initial plan was to bring Klaue in alive, and he only improvised on this when Klaue forced his hand? I mean even T'Challa's plan was to kill the guy in the field, bringing him in alive for a big public show trial would arguably have been an even greater achievement.
    – delinear
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 13:20

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