Despite what many naysayers predicted, Avatar: The Way of Water has proven to be a box office hit, which means that future films will be produced.
At this point, the third Avatar film is already done and will be released in two years. There are reports that the fourth film has been partially filmed, but that could just be effects shots that would be unfinished if the film never comes to be.
Given that director James Cameron envisioned five films to tell his Avatar story, where would the story go? There will be spoilers below for both Avatar films released to date.
One of the best features of Avatar: The Way of Water is that unlike the previous film, it actually opened up the worldbuilding in the franchise and dropped tantalizing hints of where the story will go.
The Kiri Connection
The film introduced many new characters and gave new and interesting developments for established characters. The most interesting new character was Kiri, the adopted daughter of Jake Sully and Neytiri. It was revealed that she is the daughter of Grace Augustine, who was killed in the first Avatar, but there are questions as to who is her father. More importantly, Kiri was shown to have a deep, spiritual connection to Eywa, a life force that is connected to all living creatures on Pandora, the alien moon in Avatar where the characters live. Her connection to Eywa was quite evident as she used it to defend herself against humans hunting her and her siblings, and when she was able to get bioluminescent fish creatures to help find her adopted mother and sister, who were in danger of drowning.
It has been theorized that Kiri does not have a father and is a product of an immaculate conception, which has many echoes of not only the Star Wars prequels but Christian religion. Another theory has it that Kiri is actually the personification of Eywa, who has taken physical form to better understand Pandora and the Na’vi. In either case, Kiri is being set up to be a conduit or a savior of the moon against the human invaders, and this will be the needed advantage the Na’vi people will need against the humans.
In our history, whenever a technologically advanced culture first encountered a native culture that was not as technologically advanced, the results were grim for the native culture, as it was overwhelmed. The Na’vi face a similar fate in the overall story of Avatar, and the Eywa connection will probably be the only way they could fight back against the humans. We’ve seen this already in Avatar, when out of nowhere armies of native animals viciously attacked human forces trying to destroy a Na’vi stronghold, and we saw it again to a lesser extent in the sequel when Kiri used her connection to Eywa to protect her.
Not only is Kiri the key to saving Pandora, but possibly Earth itself. It was mentioned in Avatar: The Way of Water that Earth was dying, which was why humans showed up in greater numbers to begin colonizing the moon. The title of the third film is for now, Avatar: The Seed Bearer, this could be referring to Kiri. If she turns out to be a manifestation of Eywa, she could provide the means to somehow saving Earth from ecological devastation.
James Cameron has said that at some point in either the fourth or fifth planned film, part of the story will take place on Earth. This is where Kiri and Earth’s salvation could come into play.
Other Points of Views
The director elaborated that Neytiri will visit Earth and be exposed to other aspects of humanity. She will learn that not all humans are evil. This is a bit odd given her romantic relationship with Jake Sully, who was once human, and that he has close ties with sympathetic humans on Pandora, who have aided the Na’vi. Then again the fact that her son was killed by humans could have hardened her against humans. A clue for this development was when she grabbed Quaritch’s human son Spider and threatened to kill him. For a moment in that scene, it really looked like she meant to do it, given her earlier rampage against human soldiers who killed her son.
On Earth, Neytiri will probably find human allies who are ready to join the struggle against human invaders on Pandora. It is possible the franchise could conclude with epic battles taking place on Pandora and even on Earth as Na’vi and human allies fight the invading humans who are bent on world conquest. One of those possible allies could be Quaritch himself.
When Quaritch was first introduced in Avatar, he was a one-note villain who only saw the Na’vi as savages or pests to be eliminated. He was killed at the end of the film. In the sequel he was resurrected in a way when an avatar body (a clone grown out human and Na’vi DNA) was created in his image and implanted with his memories. Throughout Avatar: The Way of Water Quaritch is out hunting Jake Sully, but in a Na’vi body. This allowed him to better blend in and survive the deadly environment of Pandora. In the film, Quaritch makes great efforts to adopt the Na’vi way of life to better understand his prey. This could eventually make him sympathetic to the Na’vi even though Cameron said he would be the villain in the next two films. We saw him soften from his tough-as-nails militaristic demeanor in Avatar: The Way of Water. He forms a fragile bond with the son of the original Quaritch to the point that he gives in to Neytiri when she threatens his son.Continue reading