By Falak Jamal

Staff Writer

Source: 20th Century Studios/Disney

James Cameron has done it again, new decade, new blockbuster. Avatar: The Way of Water grossed over 2 billion dollars in the box office knocking out the fan favorite, Spider-Man: No Way Home. The long awaited sequel has exceeded everyone’s expectations, and quite frankly, it wouldn’t be terrible waiting another sixteen years if the next movie is going to be as good as this one. 

Avatar: The Way of Water is a sequel to the first Avatar movie that came out in 2009. Why did it take so long to make a sequel? One look at the movies reveals an intricate filming process. James Cameron, the director, wanted people to feel like they were in the fictional world of Na’vi and wanted them to be pulled into the movie.  

The movie brings back many characters from the first film including Jake Sully and Neytiri who have started a family. We see the battles they fight and struggles they go through in order to keep everyone safe. The Na’vi version of one Colonel Miles Quaritch, has come to finish what he started, including vengeance on Jake for the death of his human form. The militaristic planet-destroying humans of this universe are set as the major villains. They try to hide from Quaritch by going undercover in the Metkayina clan, the water people. When they are there they learn the way of water and the way of the water people. His deeper themes of environmentalism and colonization and how he incorporates elements of indigenous culture could be very eye opening for the viewers who don’t understand the struggles of the earth today. There are a lot of references to indigenous struggles as well. One may think this is just an action packed movie with a meaningless plot, however, Cameron would want people to take into consideration the “populations that are displaced by colonial and imperialist actions.” He talks a lot about how the film is related to imperialism in the sense that “the way human history has always worked is that people with more military or technological might tend to supplant or destroy people who are weaker, usually for their resources.” He’s clearly alluding to current events and encouraging humanity to take action. 

Further deliberation about the events and themes in Avatar reveals that they closely relate to our world now. We can’t fully relate to it because we don’t have flying sea creatures, but we do have cute whales, however, it’s more of reality than we think.

The humans have used all of earth’s natural resources and discovered the world Pandora to be somewhat habitable to humans. The element unobtainium is worth lots of money back on earth and the oceans are filled with traces of unobtanium where the Metkayina clan lives. Earth is dying so the government does what they do best and take what resources they need leaving everyone else to die. 

The audience can connect with the Sully family because they actually get to see them grow and struggle throughout the first movie, and can feel more sympathetic for them in the second one. In this regard, the second movie is so much better than the first one. This movie is a real tear-jerker Jake and Neytiri have the feeling of loss within their family was really heartbreaking. We are as terrible as Cameron portrays them to be. 

There’s lots of development from the first movie. They have the same themes of family loss, revenge, preserving nature and animals but in the second movie, it’s done even better. I think we can relate more to this in real life because of the constant oil spills, pollution and plastic pollution. 

There’s a lot of character development in the movie really falling onto Lo’ak. The cinematography was without a doubt the best I have ever seen. The way they incorporate places on earth with their own creative turn. 

Leaving Pandora and coming back to our real world was probably the worst part of everything.