When T’Challa’s claim to the throne was challenged in “Black Panther,” he didn’t use every resource available to fight his way back to power. After all, he had a highly trained assassin frozen in one of his labs, but director Ryan Coogler explained why the Winter Soldier was kept on ice.

[Spoiler Alert: The ending of “Black Panther” will be discussed below.]

Though Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is seen in the post-credits scene with Shuri (Letitia Wright), he probably could have been helpful with taking out Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). However, waking up early wouldn’t have been helpful for Bucky.

“Bucky would have horrible PTSD. He would need spiritual guidance,” Coogler said on the Empire Film Podcast. “The last thing he would need to do is jump into that civil war, and so that was kind of the thought process there.”

Black Panther Winter Soldier
The “Black Panther” writers had good reasons for not bringing in Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) earlier. Marvel Studios

The post-credits scene in “Black Panther” made it clear that Bucky wasn’t thrown into any intense situations. He seemed to be having a peaceful existence in Wakanda, surrounded by nature and a bunch of kids (who called him “White Wolf”). Shuri said she had a lot to teach him, which might hint that she’s helping him oon the spiritual guidance front.

Winter Soldier’s mental health wasn’t the only reason for his absence, though. The “Black Panther” writers also wanted to avoid the white savior trope.

“And it could be potentially problematic if it’s a bunch of Africans fighting and you bring in a white dude, he comes in shootin’ people,” Coogler laughed. “We were aware of that. Bucky’s not trained to neutralize people peacefully. He’s an assassin. We were like, ‘I don’t know if we can do that…’”

The problem was not, however, anything to do with Shuri’s abilities. Black Panther’s little sister is depicted as one of the smartest characters the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever seen. While Bucky’s hair growth indicates that the post-credits scene takes place a little after the movie’s main events happened, it still wasn’t too challenging for Shuri to erase Hydra’s brainwashing.

“That was something that was always — it was a Shuri thing, because in our world we kind of figured that Bucky Barnes would be her assignment. We kind of drop the hint at that when they bring Ross in and she’s like, ‘Oh another one.’ … So we dropped hints in there, but what we kind of decided was that her cracking his mental code, if Shuri’s as smart as she is, that wouldn’t really be a big problem,” Coogler explained.

“Black Panther” is in theaters now.