We all remember when the original Avatar movie was released in 2009 as the ground-breaking cinematic spectacle directed by James Cameron. Grossing over 2.8 billion dollars, to this day it remained the highest-grossing movie of all time. With that huge success, Cameron was ready to make a sequel, but it took him many years to develop a story and characters that satisfied his appetite. After 13 years of waiting, the second out of five announced installments of the Avatar franchise is finally here — Avatar: The Way of Water. It’s known that the Avatar is a futuristic science-fiction adventure. We could’ve seen during the video log scenes that the original movie takes place in 2154. So, when does The Way of Water takes place in the timeline of the Avatar franchise? SPOILER ALERT!
Avatar: The Way of Water’s opening sequence starts in 2155, one year after the events of the original movie when Jake and Neytiri’s sons Neteyam and Lo’ak were born, as well as their adopted daughter Kiri. Their daughter Tuktirey was born in 2061. In 2168, humans returned to Pandora in another attempt to conquer it. One year after that, in 2169, the main events of Avatar: The Way of Water are starting to occur. So, the sequel takes place 15 years after the events of the original movie.
What happened during and between the two Avatar movies?
The original Avatar movie takes place in 2154, as the audience could’ve seen when taking a closer look at the video log scenes. Therefore we can say that Tom Sully, Jake’s brother, was killed in 2148, considering that Jake’s trip to Pandora took 6 years. The events of the first movie lasted for a total of around three months from the moment that Jake arrived on Pandora to the ending when Jake was permanently transferred to his avatar to start his new life as a native of Pandora.
At the beginning of Avatar: The Way of Water, we learn that Neytiri got pregnant not long after the final battle in the original movie. Therefore we can presume that Neteyam, Neytiri and Jake’s oldest son, was born in 2155, and his younger brother Lo’ak was born not long after. Around that time, Kiri was also born from the avatar of the deceased Grace Augustine, who died in the original movie.
Another important character in the movie is Miles, also known as Spider, who was born in 2154. Spider is the biological son of Colonel Miles Quaritch. He was born on Pandora, but because he was a baby then, he couldn’t have been sent back to Earth after Quaritch was defeated. Therefore, Jake took Spider under his wing and he’s been living as a human among the natives of Pandora ever since. Jake and Neytiri’s youngest daughter, Tuktirey, was born in 2161.
Although defeated in the first movie, humans didn’t want to stay off Pandora forever, as they returned in 2168. The movie showed us the return, but after that, it immediately jumped one more year, to 2169, when all the main events of The Way of Water take place. During that year, the Omaticaya clan found a safe place to stay in the Hallelujah Mountains, and Jake has some sort of rebellion against the invaders. Colonel Quaritch returned as an avatar clone, and Jake soon escaped with his family to Metkayina, an oceanic clan located on the reefs of Pandora.
When will Avatar 3 take place?
Unlike the first movie, which could stand on its own, The Way of Water asked many questions and didn’t offer clear answers to most of them. The second and third installments of the franchise were filmed back-to-back and it’s expected that the third movie will give us some of the answers and continue the storyline almost immediately after the events of The Way of Water, having all the cliffhangers in mind.
We can only speculate what will happen in the third Avatar movie, but considering the ending of The Way of Water, it’s pretty safe to say that the third movie will continue the story right where the second one finished. There are many questions for which we are expecting answers in the next installment. As we have seen, Quaritch is still alive, although Jake is now unaware of that, which gives the main villain an advantage to strike again.
Also, the question of Kiri’s parentage is also expected to be answered in one of the upcoming sequels. We know that Grace is her biological mother, but who is her biological father still remains unknown. After watching the second movie, we can only wait. The good news is that Avatar 3 isn’t far away, as it’s set to be released on December 20, 2024.
Avatar: The Way of Water now plays in theaters.