Perhaps the movie’s biggest achievement is the way it sells viewers on the idea of multiple sequels. I think most of us were a little confused and skeptical when we first heard James Cameron had plans for four more Avatar movies. The ending of the first movie seemed pretty complete, after all; where was the story supposed to go from there?
But as the credits roll for “Avatar 2,” the possibilities for “Avatar 3” suddenly seem endless. After all, a new generation of interesting characters have been introduced, and they’ve all got juicy potential storylines the writers can pick from. Kiri in particular, with the still-unclear circumstances around her birth, her strange connection to Eywa and her close relationship with Spider, has enough going on in her life that she could carry one of these movies just on her own.
Kiri growing up to take center-stage of the series would be almost exactly what ended up happening after “Terminator 2,” after all. The difference was that while James Cameron left that franchise after the second movie (where it immediately started falling apart quality-wise), here he’s going to be sticking around until at least the fourth film to see things through.
As we watch the box office numbers for “The Way of Water” roll in, it seems clear that the future for this franchise is as bright as its ever been. The Avatar movies are always going to be a little divisive, and we’re always going to be hearing understandable complaints about how long they are, but like it or not, you can no longer deny they’ve made an impact.