“Avatar: The Way of Water” is dominating the movie industry


Alivia Baker

“Avatar: The Way of Water” continues the series’ theme of relevant topics and stunning visuals as it delves into themes such as human relationships with nature, loving others despite differences, family bonds, and tradition.

Nisha Reddy, Writer

The newest hit of the movie industry is James Cameron’s sweeping “Avatar: The Way of Water” (ATWOW). The new sequel came out on Dec. 16, 2022 in theaters all around the United States. A continuation of the first “Avatar” movie, which came out on Dec. 18, 2009, “ATWOW” has earned over two billion dollars in profit, making it the fourth largest earning movie in history, right behind the original movie. After 13 years, fans have received what they have been patiently waiting for: new characters, a new plot and an entire change of scenery.

Lo’ak Sully side by side with his spirit brother, a freshly bonded friendship in the deep ocean of Pandora, between Na’vi and Tulkun. (polygon.com)

The term “Avatar” comes from the concept of a human being’s thought process and brain makeup being transferred over to a foreign alien species. This species is known as the Na’vi. The movie is set on the planet of Pandora, the home of the Na’vi species. The main point of the first “Avatar” movie was that the “sky people,” otherwise known to audiences as humans, came to Pandora in order to inhabit the planet as a new home instead of Earth. Through a brilliant display of teamwork, the Na’vi people fight, leading to the humans’ surrender and the victory of the Na’vi people. 

In this new sequel, the plot begins with the two married main characters from the first film, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri Sully (Zoe Saldaña). Five new main characters are introduced as well, the children of Jake and Neytiri. The Na’vi children are biologically similar to them, as Neteyam (Jamie Flatters) is 15 years old, Lo’ak (Britain Dalton) is 14 years old and Tuktirey (Trinity Bliss) is eight years old. The couple has another daughter that was birthed by a Na’vi, whom they took in after her mom died in the first movie: Kiri, who is 14 years old (played by Sigourney Weaver, the same actress that played Kiri’s mother in the original “Avatar” film). The last child that made his way into their family is 16-year-old Spider (Jack Champion), a human that was born on Pandora, but was allowed to stay while the other humans returned to Earth. 

The Sully family confronts the Metkayina Clan for the first time, requesting a new home to keep themselves safe from the sky people. (piratesandprincesses.net)

The plot of the sequel is set to travel and learn with the Sully family as they navigate life on Pandora. The “sky people” come back to the planet, seeking for inhibition once again, but also with another, more sinister goal. The main antagonist in the first “Avatar” movie was Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang). He died as a human, but then came back in “ATWOW” as a Na’vi. Now, he and his other Na’vi antagonist figures have the duty to kill Jake Sully, as Jake is Toruk Makto: the leader of the Na’vi people of the forest clan, the Omaticaya Clan. 

Because of this return of the sky people, the Sully family leaves the Omaticaya Clan and their home in search of the Metkayina Clan, the water Na’vi. Here, they are accepted into society, but have to adapt to a new environment. The water Na’vi have thick arms, strong lungs and thick tails for swimming. The forest Na’vi, such as the Sullys, have thin tails, thin arms and long bodies for enhanced speed and agility through trees, vines and leaves. 

On the grounds of their forest home, Jake Sully angrily yells at his son Neteyam for flying himself and Lo’ak Sully into danger. Kiri Sully, the healer, examines Neteyam for battle wounds while Lo’ak and Neytiri Sully listen respectfully. (hollywoodreporter.com)

The Sully family is able to adapt to the water world of Pandora, overcoming difficulties and gaining enemies along the way. The main water Na’vi introduced in the film is a family of four: the clan leader Tonowari (Cliff Curtis), the mother of the family Ronal (Kate Winslet) and their two children, 15-year-old Ao’nung (Filip Geljo) and 15-year old Tsireya (Bailey Bass). 

As the plot progresses, Colonel Quaritch and his crew continue on their quest to hunt down Jake Sully. The movie ends with a dramatic fight sequence, a tragic death and an eye opening moment that leaves suspense for the audience to dawn upon.

Director, co-producer and co-editor, James Cameron, has an incredibly detailed plan for the release of the rest of the “Avatar” franchise. Disney revealed that the third film will be released on Dec. 22, 2022, the fourth on Dec. 19, 2025 and the fifth on Dec. 17, 2027. So, if you’re an Avatar fan, don’t hold your breath. Exact dates are already announced for the future storyline of Pandora and the Na’vi species. 

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