Avatar 2: The Way of Water


James Cameron’s “Avatar 2: The Way of Water” hit theaters Dec. 16

Yness Martinez, Editor

On Dec. 16, the 13-year wait was over. James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water hit theaters and has, my apologies, taken the world by storm. Cameron once again enraptured his audience in the stunning and mystical world of Pandora through technology that transcends any technology the silver screen has ever seen.

In 2009, Avatar was praised for its impeccable graphic that surpassed the CGI of any other sci-fi movie ever made. It broke records in the box office to be considered the highest grossing movie of all time. Fans immediately clamored for any news of a sequel to Cameron’s masterpiece, which were only met with vague dates and ideas for over a decade. Cameron didn’t work on any other project for that time; he instead focused on drafting the stories of the sequel, third, fourth, and fifth Avatar movies. And not just that, Cameron realized in order to achieve his vision for the sequel, technology would have to catch up. “The Way of Water” required the obvious, his ten-foot aliens would need to be submerged in water for much of the movie. The technology proved difficult to acquire, and required years of testing and improvements for the actors to finally film successfully. Flash forward to May 9. The official trailer is released, announcing the movie to come to theaters in December. 

I made sure to hit up the bathroom before settling in for over three hours in Pandora. The movie did a quick, almost sloppy, job of catching the viewers up on the time skip. Our protagonist, Jake Sully, is a father of four and the leader of their Na’vi Metkayina tribe after betraying and defeating the ‘Sky People’, humans, from colonizing Pandora. After being forced into hiding by a new force of humans from Earth, Jake decides to take his family to a safer place, a new tribe of Metkayina that live in a chain of islands. There they struggle to conform to their new society and their traditions. The kids butt heads and eventually draw Jake and Neytiri into more combat with the humans that hunt them. 

The budget for Avatar 2 was over 200 million dollars, and it shows. Even if I hadn’t liked the film, it would have been worth it just for the visual aspect. The movie draws obvious parallels to our own demise, if we don’t take care of our planet, and reflects human greed as a formidable plague as it spreads from Earth to a new planet. The continuation of the conflict in the first movie highlights that this will be the core focus of all his movies; the humans vs. the Na’vi. In many ways, I was glad to spend more time on the new characters. Jake’s kids take to the forefront of the plot and leave a mess behind for the adults to clean up. Each of the children have different personalities that make them endearing or frustrating, just like normal kids. Their family dynamic is almost typical of humans. They bicker over toys, hit each other when they’re angry, but they also have one another’s back. It’s a far cry from the story of the first Avatar that revolved around Jake’s lone wolf personality in the face of injustice around him. 

I laughed and cried, surprising, and left the theater more desolate than I entered. I desperately wanted to live in that world – the colors and interactions with nature that we never experience because humans don’t know what it is to live harmoniously with the life around us. It’s a longing that is difficult to fix. Closing the Avatar chapter for two years will be difficult for all, but not as difficult as the thirteen years it took to reopen it.