Avatar: The Way of Water only just came out, and believe it or not, I’m already hankering for more Pandora.
The yet-unnamed Avatar 3 has already been filmed,
with a release date set for December, 2024. Based on the end of The Way of Water, we know that it will continue Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri’s (Zoe Saldaña) fight to rid Pandora of the sky people, aka humans. That obviously leaves a lot of wiggle room for speculation, but it just so happens that I have a whole wishlist of things I want to see happen in Avatar 3.
1. You can never have too many space whales.
With its flying ikran, bioluminescent wood sprites, and sinister viperwolves, Pandora’s wildlife is easily the most exciting element of the Avatar franchise. Meeting new fantastic creatures is a surefire way to generate awe, and nothing is more awesome (in all senses of the word) than the tulkun. This whale-like alien species has a deep bond with the Metkayina Na’vi, and they are the clear MVPs of The Way of Water. They captured my heart with their many fins and deep intelligence, and I desperately want more time with them in future Avatar installments. This sentiment extends to any and all strange creatures James Cameron and his team may dream up: Give them to me in spades!
2. Are there more Na’vi clans?
Avatar introduced us to the forest clans of Pandora. The Way of Water introduced us to the reef people. Each have their own cultures and physical adaptations suited for the environment they live in. For example, the ocean clans have flatter tails that help them maneuver through the water. How would these differences extend to other biomes, such as deserts or plains? Meeting the rest of the Na’vi population definitely seems like it will help in the fight against the humans, so it’s likely we’ll see them soon. However, my main hope here is that Avatar sequels are more mindful of their portrayal of the Na’vi. They are clearly inspired by real-life Indigenous cultures, but they too often fall into harmful tropes, such as that of the “wise savage.”
3. What is the full extent of Kiri’s powers?
Jake and Neytiri’s adopted daughter, Kiri, has a strange birth story, to put it mildly. She’s the daughter of scientist Grace, who died in the first Avatar but whose avatar form was kept in stasis and miraculously bore a child. In future installments of Avatar, we’re sure to learn the truth about her parentage (I have my theories). But more than that, I hope we get to see more of her fascinating abilities, which seem to connect her to Pandora and its deity Eywa. In The Way of Water, we saw how Eywa’s wood sprites gravitated toward her and how she could hold her breath underwater for far longer than even the Metkayina. In her most badass moment yet, we also saw her manipulate a Pandoran sea anemone to murder an attacking human. My wish is simple: More of all that! Kiri will surely grow, face more challenges, and learn to push the limits of whatever her powers are, giving viewers plenty of opportunities to watch a new extraordinary hero come into her own.
4. Will we ever see what’s happening on Earth?
As General Ardmore tells us in The Way of Water, Earth is in a bad way. Pandora is poised to be humanity’s next home. And while I love spending time on Pandora (again, especially with the whales), part of me is curious as to what Earth looks like at this moment in time. What kind of climate-ravaged, resource-depleted hellscape does Cameron have cooking in his brain? And speaking of Earth…
5. What if we take the fight to the humans?
This is by far the most ridiculous and least plausible item on my wishlist, but wouldn’t it be wild to see the Na’vi come to Earth and take down their enemies at home? A large part of me thinks that it would be dumb, as the focus of the franchise should remain on Pandora. However, the rest of me doesn’t care that it would be dumb — it just wants to see an army of Pandoran creatures and Na’vi charging through a city. This is Avatar wish fulfillment, right? Just like with the rest of these movies, we might as well go big or go home.
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