The moral conundrum of Black Panther inverts the superhero trope of great power and its correlating responsibility. The latest Marvel movie finds the technologically advanced African country of Wakanda — located somewhere in Northeastern Africa, according to varying accounts in the comics over the years — practicing political isolationism.

How does an isolated, largely secret country, which doesn’t have an external trade policy, have such a robust economy? Manu Saadia, who in his words, thinks about “unevenly distributed futures” in science fiction, authored Trekonomics, a book about money in Star Trek. He says cultural traditions in Wakanda largely keep its economy humming along — and keep people from going crazy.

“The people of Wakanda do not seem to care about the accumulation of wealth the way we do,” Saadia tells Inverse. “They have marketplaces and food stalls and open-air restaurants, but no-one seems to exchange currency. It’s definitely a choice. You have to assume there’s no Wakandan currency and therefore no basic income. One of Wakanda’s main tribes is the traders and merchants. I suppose they are the ones running the shops and the big marketplaces in the city.”

Saadia is used to wading into murky sci-fi utopian waters. His research for Trekonomics leads him to believe Star Trek’s economy probably has a lot in common with Wakanda. In *Trekonomics, he writes, “Technology alone does not make the Federation what it is. Free and plentiful energy, pervasive automation, artificial intelligence and replicators certainly help…the benefits they accrue depend entirely on value systems and social organizations.”

This connection is apparent to Saadia with Black Panther. “There’s definitely an element of the Federation in Wakanda,” he says. “I came out of it thinking about Star Trek’s Prime Directive; the obligation not to interfere with other people so as not to contaminate their cultures.”

In Wakanda. T’Challa, Shuri, and Nakia all enjoy a socially enlightened utopia, which makes the attempt of Killmonger to usurp everything all the more shocking. But, if Wakanda is so peaceful and progressive, why do they have a king? Saadia thinks it’s in their ancient traditions that the Wakandians keep themselves from becoming too power hungry.

“They sit on the most valuable natural resource in the world, it gives them unlimited powers and infinite abundance,” Saadia says, referencing the fictional metal of Vibranium. “Under such conditions, where economics no longer matters, staying human and not going on a berserker colonizing spree is remarkable. It’s tradition that keeps them grounded and restrained. They cultivate their bodies and minds. They are artists and adventurers and shamans and civil servants. That is why they commit to ancient rituals, that is why they stay true to their roots.”

Saadia is quick to point out that the unity of Wakanda isn’t connected just to the power of the tech. The people themselves are resources, in which Saddia finds parallels not only with Star Trek, but the Ian M. Banks’s Culture novels, too. “Wakanda’s true resource is its scientifically-inclined yet incredibly traditional culture, which allowed it to grow hidden and unimpeded,” he says. “The brain is the ultimate resource. Had the Wakandans kept fighting amongst themselves, nothing would have come of the wealth of the soil.”

Saadia thinks that “most economic problems are resolved,” in Wakanda. Which leaves one last question. Who actually converts all the Vibranium into the amazing things we see in the movie? If no one seems to have a job, do they just dutifully make all the stuff we see in the marketplaces because of tradition? Saadia has a theory: “Who makes the stuff is harder to guess. But given their level of technological advancement, I would wager it’s robots. It has to be.”

Photos via Marvel, Wikimedia / DASHBot

Fortnite: Battle Royale Season 5 is just around the corner. It might feel like Season 5 just began, but as summer winds down you can expect to see some major changes in the popular game. So when exactly will these changes occur? And what will they be?

Here’s everything you need to know about the start of Fortnite Season 6, and our best theories for what to expect in the next couple of weeks.

Welcome home. Never sleep again. Shirley Jackson’s acclaimed 1959 horror novel The Haunting of Hill House is coming to life as a new Netflix series, and the first trailer is so bone-chilling spooky, it might earn a permanent spot in your annual Halloween marathon.

On Wednesday, Netflix sent chills up everyone’s spines when the streaming giant released the trailer for The Haunting of Hill House, starring Michiel Huisman (Orphan Black), Carla Gugino (Wayward Pines), and Kate Siegel (Ouija: Origin of Evil). The series debuts on October 12.

For fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the words “live action” may trigger instant feelings of dread (what with M. Night Shyamalan’s terrible live-action movie). But a new series from Netflix might actually be good, at least based on the little information we have so far.

On the plus side, the new series is being led by the original Avatar creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who seem pretty determined to undo everything wrong with the previous film (which was accused of whitewashing the cast and also just kinda sucked as a movie). Early concept art also looks good, even if it is just concept art from some guy no one’s ever heard of before.

The Handmaid’s Tale didn’t win big at the 2018 Emmy Awards, but, earlier that night on the red carpet, Hulu’s near-dystopian series still managed to make headlines. Speaking to the press, one of the show’s lead actors revealed a pretty big spoiler for Handmaid’s Tale Season 3.

Spoilers for Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 ahead.

A girl has a name in gen:LOCK — and her name is Cammie MacCloud.

Actress Maisie Williams, best known for her role as Arya Stark on the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, has joined the cast of Rooster Teeth’s gen:LOCK, a new sci-fi animated series also starring Michael B. Jordan, David Tennant, and Dakota Fanning. The series is set to premiere in 2019.