After seven weeks and after grossing over $2 billion at the box international office Avatar: The Way of Water is still going strong. While it’s unclear how many stories James Cameron still has in him, the fact remains that this franchise will continue.
The Way of Water was equally as ambitious as the first film. On top of building everything we already knew about the Na’vi and Pandora, it taught us so much more about this universe. By the end, it also left us with some baffling and burning questions.
Although are too many to count, here are five that I think are the most important questions left unanswered by Avatar: The Way of Water.
***If it wasn’t already obvious, the rest of this article will contain massive spoilers***
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
1. What will happen to Spider when Jake finds out he saved Colonel Quaritch?
Now, this is one question I can imagine everyone had when they saw Jake finally embrace Spider (played by Jack Champion) as a son, hours after losing his own biological son in battle and mere moments after the audience witnessed him save the evil Colonel Quaritch from certain death. When we last see the family, Jake has no idea of Spider’s secret betrayal. Consequently he has no idea that Quaritch is still alive – or that he will obviously return to try and destroy Pandora!
What’s so compelling about this dilemma is that it’s clear that Spider was put in a very difficult situation in the film. Despite his detachment from Quaritch (his biological father), his own humanity prevented him from letting him die. While he blatantly turns his back on him after bringing him to the surface and reviving him, that still doesn’t absolve him from Jake’s inevitable wrath after he discovers the truth.
The longer I sit on this question, the more I realize that it’s no coincident the character’s name is Spider. He’s stuck in his own web of lies and deceit. And there may be no safe way back.
2. Who is Kiri’s father?
Now, Spider wasn’t the only person with Daddy issues in the film. In fact, the introduction – or resurrection, rather – of Sigourney Weaver as the young Na’vi named Kiri created more questions than anything. While it is eventually explained that she was biologically born from the body of Grace (Weaver’s Avatar character in the original film), it’s never revealed if Kiri has a father or who that father might be. However, unlike some of the other questions on this list, we do get some strong clues.
Throughout The Way of Water, Kiri is shown to have an exceptional connection to the Eywa (God) of Pandora. Despite being dubbed a “freak” for this odd connection, with it she’s able to physically link up to some of the ocean plant-life and save some of the Metkayina during the film’s climactic battle. Because of the nature of this connection, it is possible that she has no father at all. Instead, the Eywa might have created her using Grace’s body as a surrogate. And because it would be lazy writing if it turns out she’s also Quaritch’s kid, we hope this is the correct answer.
3. How much of Pandora is there left to explore?
Of all the questions The Way of Water leaves you with, this is probably the most pressing. That’s because two films in and it’s still unclear how big Pandora really is. I know that James Cameron has gone on the record saying that he wants each Avatar film to work its way through the different elements. With the first films tackling earth and water, does this mean at some point down the line we’re going to see Na’vi who harness both wind and fire too? As if it isn’t already hard to search for the franchise on Google without the algorithm getting confused for the Nickelodeon series of the same name…
But in all seriousness, the existence of fire and wind tribes makes you wonder how intricate the rest of the planet is. Does this mean that there might be a volcanic biome somewhere? Could there be Na’vi with wings? Incidentally it feels like the sky is the limit. For now anyway…
4. Who sent “them” back to Pandora?
The Way of Water begins with humans returning back to Pandora and finishing the job they started in the first film. They set up base on Earth. They resume their search for Unobtainium (which still continues to be the worst name for a MacGuffin ever) and wind up stripping away many of the Na’vi’s resources in the process.
Despite seeing Giovanni Ribisi’s Parker Selfridge return to deliver Quaritch a message, and the introduction of Edie Falco’s antagonistic General Ardmore, it’s never made clear who is pulling the strings back on Earth.
While I’m sure we’ll get the answer in the next film, it raises an even bigger question: will Jake and his tribe eventually have to visit Earth to end this war? Producer Jon Landau has previously hinted at some of the Na’vi visiting Earth in future films. And if the bloodshed continues, it’s hard to imagine the series ending any other way.
5. What happened to Jemaine Clement’s character?
This is probably not one of the questions you want an answer for, but I think it’s still important to ask. In the film’s climactic battle, we see the hunting vessel captained by Brendan Cowell’s Mick Scoresby destroyed by the Na’vi’s ally Tulkun Payakan. Before the vessel sinks we see Jemaine Clement’s Dr. Ian Garvin escape. Despite working with Scoreby, Garvin is introduced as a morally grey character. He loves exploring Pandora’s oceans, but hates hunting its creatures. Will he prove to be an ally himself in the next film? Or will his horrible experience make him see the alien oceanlife in a different light?
Clement has played both heroes and villains in the past, so it’ll certainly be interesting to see which side Cameron has designed him to be on. Similar to Edie Falco’s previously mentioned General Ardsmore, we don’t think we’ve seen the last of him and we’re excited to see what happens next!
What questions do you still have about the film? What answers do expect when the sequel drops next year? Sound off below!
Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.
Directed by James Cameron and produced by Cameron and Jon Landau, the Lightstorm Entertainment Production stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang and Kate Winslet. Screenplay by James Cameron & Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver. Story by James Cameron & Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver & Josh Friedman & Shane Salerno. David Valdes and Richard Baneham serve as the film’s executive producers.
Avatar: The Way of Water is (still!) in theaters now!