Chula In ‘Echo,’ Explained: What Were The Supernatural Powers Of The Choctaw Ancestors?

Echo, an MCU spinoff, follows the story of a Native American superhero Maya Lopez, a differently abled woman with an extraordinary photographic reflex. In this cinematic representation of Maya Lopez, we are broadly introduced to her back story as well as her connection with the mythical stories of the Choctaw people. In this five-part series, we saw Maya Lopez having recurring visions of some of the most powerful Choctaw heroes and their supernatural powers surrounding her. She gained a vivid insight into those powers after her grandmother Chula told her the story of how she had given birth to her mother, who had been born with some supernatural healing powers. Chula is an important figure in this story, responsible for shaping Maya’s future. Even though the relationship between Maya and Chula was affected by some choices Chula had made in the past, they eventually reconciled. Let’s discuss Chula’s character journey to learn more about why she made some questionable choices in her life.

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Spoilers Ahead


Why Did Chula Abandon Maya And William?

After Chula lost her daughter in a car accident, which also cost Maya her leg, she was gravely devastated by the loss. Chula had never wanted her daughter to marry a man like William, who was the commander of the tracksuit mafia. Chula knew that by marrying her daughter to someone like William, she was essentially signing a death warrant for her daughter, and eventually her worst nightmare materialized. Therefore, Chula made the drastic decision of asking William to leave for New York, taking his daughter with him. Chula could have decided to raise Maya under her supervision, but instead of doing that, she chose to abandon her just because Maya reminded her of her daughter, whom she had lost. Somehow, she not only blamed William but also the little girl, who had nothing to do with this accident. Chula couldn’t bring herself to forgive anyone and decided to cut all ties with the Lopezes.

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Chula was so mentally broken by the loss of her daughter that she got separated from her husband and chose to spend time alone with all the memories she had left behind. However, in Tamaha, we saw Chula and her husband have a strong connection of friendship even after the two had drifted apart. The scene where Chula demanded a sewing machine and her husband instantly came up with one was a heart-melting scene from the series, showing her husband’s efforts in making Chula happy. Both of them wished well for each other, even though they were no longer together. Even when Maya was holding her grudges against her grandmother, her grandfather told her how grief-stricken Chula was. Instead of blaming his wife for the broken family, he chose to understand Chula and connect with the pain only a mother could bear after losing her child forever.


What Were The Supernatural Powers Of The Choctaw Ancestors?

Maya Lopez and her mother, who were both born deaf, might have suffered a difficult life due to their disabilities, but they never let those disabilities define them. Chula was aware of her ancestors’ supernatural powers, which had also been passed down through Chula’s daughter as well as Maya, who had healing powers.  The stories of ancient Choctaw superheroes like the bravest warrior, Tuklo, or the Choctaw’s leader, who saved her people from a collapsing cave, were not mythical, but they were actually the ancestors of Maya.  The women from her ancestry made a difference and established equality between men and women. It’s likely, they had different superpowers, like healing, telekinesis, or super strength, but what united them was their strong will to elevate the status of women in society. Maya and her mother were both gifted with these healing powers, which made them unique among others. As Maya didn’t know about her powers and wasted all her rage in the exercise of murderous activities, Chula decided to give her a reality check so that she could find her true self and the purpose of her life.

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How Did Chula Reconcile With Her Granddaughter?

When Maya Lopez was finally back in the town of Tamaha, initially no one told Chula about her return, as Maya asked everyone not to. But when she came to find that Maya had arrived in Tamaha and didn’t try to meet her grandmother, it broke her heart. She couldn’t blame Maya because Chula knew she was responsible for Maya’s strong resentment towards her. But deep down, she could comprehend that Maya was disturbed by something that had previously affected Chula as well. We saw both of them having some visions of the past Choctaw heroes who were their ancestors. Their presence had always surrounded their family, but neither Chula nor Maya could comprehend that so easily. After repeatedly being disturbed by those visions, Maya finally decided to talk to Chula in order to know the mystery behind these visions. Chula told her about some of the experiences she had had in her life, which proved that their family was not an ordinary one but had some supernatural abilities. Chula told her about the time when she was in a life-threatening situation during her labor. The situation of the fetus was not healthy, so against doctors’ orders, the people of the Choctaw community brought Chula to a forest, and with the help of a midwife, Chula gave birth to her baby. However, during this painful process, Chula felt her ancestors’ presence surrounding her in the forest, guiding her. She felt protected by that supernatural presence, so she believed that those powers had been passed down through the generations through her daughter, and now through Maya, those powers were echoing back once again. Initially, Chula’s words sounded gibberish to Maya, but the moment she had a vision of her mother asking her to believe in her powers, she realized the deep, embedded connection she had with her people.

Chula was subsequently captured by Kingpin, who demanded Maya Lopez back in his clan as his most trusted and fierce assassin, but Maya didn’t give in to Kingpin; instead, she stood up for herself and her family for the first time. Chula might not be a crucial figure in the Marvel comics or in the cinematic universe, but she played a vital role in shaping Maya’s decision to choose good over evil. Chula’s journey ended with Echo season 1, and probably we’ll never get to see her in any other installments. But in this five-part series, she embodied the role of a heartbroken person who might have made some mistakes in life, but she chose to rectify them by holding the hands of her granddaughter at the time she needed her the most.

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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