February 4, 2023

James Cameron’s elastic world-building creates endless possibilities for his sequel Avatar: The way of the water takes viewers back to the alien world of Pandora and prepares them for a journey that will last a long time avatar3, 4and maybe 5. Part of the drive for Cameron was working with actors he loved; although the characters played by Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang both “died” (we’ll get to that) in the 2009 avatarthey both return in new forms in the sequel.

Weaver’s new character, Kiri – the teenage Na’vi daughter of Jake Sully – becomes the central mystery of Pandora’s past, present and future. Parenting questions are often fun concerns for franchise storytelling — think Star Wars’ obsession with Luke Skywalker’s or Rey’s parents, or Game of Thronesendless teasing about Jon Snow’s mother. And the Avatar series is no different, with avatar2 raises the burning question: who is Kiri’s father? The film’s context clues and Weaver’s own commentary shed light on what will likely be a key question in avatar3 and further.

[Ed. note: This story contains spoilers for Avatar: The Way of Water.]

Years after the events of avatar, The way of the water sees Jake Sully and Neytiri happily bond and raise a blended family. Together with their three biological children (two sons, Neteyam and Lo’ak, and a young girl, Tuk), they now care for a surrogate human, Spider and Kiri, born of Dr. Grace Augustine (Weaver). while she is in suspended animation. The idea that Grace’s comatose Na’vi body conceived and gave birth to a child while floating in an avatar room is a tough, world-shaping nut to crack. And Cameron doesn’t really crack it! Instead, Kiri’s conception and roots blossom The way of the waterthe weirdest storyline.

In case you don’t remember the now 13-year-old’s end avatar: Grace is mortally wounded during the final battle against the human invader Colonel Quaritch (Lang) and the human army, and to save her life, Jake and Neytiri attempt to transfer her consciousness into her avatar body using the power of the Tree or Souls. Except it doesn’t really work. But before Grace crosses over, she tells Jake, “I’m with her” – referring to Eywa, the deity of Pandora, who the Na’vi believe connects all living things. The ultimate bummer: While Quaritch’s persona was saved for later cloning, no one on the human side cared enough about the scientists to give them a full sentient download, or the shoddy human faction on Pandora wasn’t equipped to help her, so there’s no Grace Brain fills in an Avatar clone The way of the water. Oh yeah.

Kiri holds her braid as she stands in a human lab and watches a video of her

Image: 20th century studios

Based on what the audience and Kiri see The way of the water, it’s fair to conclude that Grace’s ghost missed the avatar boat and zipped through Pandora’s neural network instead. Midway through the film, Kiri – who is not only a huge nerd who loves nature, but also seems to have a supernatural connection to Pandora’s ecological systems – bonds with the underwater equivalent of the Tree of Souls and “meets” her mother (Weaver again, without CGI) for the first time. The face-to-face connection ends in one of the film’s more shocking moments: when Kiri is flung back to her corporeal body, she has a near-death attack.

But how did Grace’s avatar get pregnant? The end of avatar, now overshadowed by Weaver’s human-self cameo, suggests asking who Kiri’s father is – as the Na’vi kids do in the movie! – may be the wrong question. Contrary to the Christian idea of ​​the Immaculate Conception of Jesus, Kiri is less like the embodied child of the god and closer to the Greek god Gaea, a walking incarnation of the world itself. If Grace’s “soul” had been funneled into Pandora’s synapses, then Eywa, more of a ghost in the machine than the machine itself, could have easily been sent back to Grace’s avatar form.

Kiri’s untapped power comes into focus later in the film, when Clone Quaritch and the tulkun hunters chase the Sully children through the oceans of Pandora. So far, Cameron has illustrated Kiri’s connection to Eywa with a delicate touch – she just loves plants, and sometimes sends animals around a bit! She could look at the sand all day! Very relatable to us Beach Kids who could stand in the ocean for eight hours, but then Cameron ups the ante: During the action sequence, Kiri begins to wield the plants and ocean life as weapons. Kiri is an X-Man (X’vi?), and we can only imagine what that means for Jake Sully’s endless war against the Sky People.

This is all to say that one of the movie’s burning questions may never yield an answer with a secret character, as it did in Star Wars or Game of Thrones. The Sully bros can tell Kiri all they want about a potential Grace/Dr. Norm Spellman’s mysterious parentage, but Eywa’s power goes beyond the typical birds and bees. (Or tulkun and ikran, in Pandora’s case.) The mystery speaks to Cameron’s real vision for Avatar: Spirituality, biology, and technology are all intertwined and blurred by Pandora’s living moon. Kiri is alive, Eywa is walking and avatar3 through 5 promising to somehow be even weirder and wilder than The way of the water.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *