Wonder Woman 1984: Why Barbara Becomes A Cheetah After Her Second Wish
Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) turns into a cheetah-like superhuman in Wonder Woman 1984, but the specific transformation has a special significance.
Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) turns into a cheetah-like superhuman in Wonder Woman 1984, but the specific transformation has a special significance. Aside from Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), Barbara serves as a primary antagonist for Diana Prince (Gal Gadot). While the “Dreamstone” becomes the source of Barbara’s newfound powers, the mythical object gives Diana a chance to reunite with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). While the Amazon princess realizes Steve’s return is costing her powers, she fails to encourage Barbara to renounce her wish before her colleague loses all of her humanity.
After Max manipulates Barbara into giving him the Dreamstone and all its powers, he successfully transforms himself to serve as the living embodiment of the object. Upon doing so, he gains the power to personally grant the wishes of others. By this point, Barbara already used the Dreamstone to be more like Diana, accidentally obtaining super strength and other god-like abilities in doing so. As time goes on, Barbara starts to lose her humanity, falling deeper and deeper into being a villain with a thirst for power.
While it’s established that the Dreamstone and Max are capable of granting one wish per person, Barbara receives a second grand request. Since she aligns with the businessman in the fight against Wonder Woman, Max believes his new ally deserves a boon. Barbara claims, “I want to be an apex predator,” a wish that Max instantly grants. This causes the former insecure and good-natured Barbara to enter her final stage of transformation by becoming Cheetah. Though Barbara isn’t referred to as Cheetah in the movie, nor does she specifically wish to become the large cat species, she nonetheless turns into an alpha thanks to her wish to be an apex predator.
Barbara Wanted To The Top Of The Food Chain In Wonder Woman 1984
Barbara’s fondness for predators is teased throughout Wonder Woman 1984 with her wearing animal-print clothing during her gradual loss of humanity. The first depiction of Barbara turning into Cheetah occurred a bit differently in the comics. The arc from the late ’80s presented Barbara as an archaeologist that agreed to be the guardian of an African tribe in exchange for immortality and the powers of a cheetah. The DC Rebirth arc was closer to the latest sequel since Barbara served as a career-driven woman who became friends with Diana. Barbara was then transformed into the beast known as Cheetah, one of Wonder Woman’s greatest foes, through a ritual against her wishes.
When Barbara first wishes to be like Diana, her decision stems from her coworker’s strength, beauty, and confidence. With her overwhelming insecurities, Barbara spends a lot of time sitting on the sidelines, observing others and being overlooked. Despite attaining Diana’s powers, she still wants something greater. With a background in zoology, Barbara likely has an affinity for studying certain animal species and the power they contain. Even so, Barbara seemed to use the phrase “apex predator” in a general sense of the word, meaning she wanted to be at the very top, the pinnacle of power. What she got was something far more literal. While Cheetah’s ending in Wonder Woman 1984 is unclear, what is clear is that her decision to become an apex predator came from her heart. Barbara puts up a good fight in Wonder Woman 1984, but Diana knows what it takes, physically and emotionally, to harness such powers, allowing the long-time hero to defeat her opponent.